Installation of tile floors, solid stone countertops, shower walls, backsplashes, and similar applications demand exceptional finesse. It isn’t enough if you just use top-notch materials. You also need first-rate workmanship that only strongly committed experts can offer. Tile and stone installation is a long-term investment that delivers immense value, durability, and beauty. Tile and stone installation professionals have years of experience. They’d have encountered and overcome almost every type of complication that can possibly arise. Some reasons you need experts for tile and stone installation are discussed here.
Professional tile and stone installations demand the eye of an experienced specialist from start to finish. Tiles and stones are best installed by veteran craftsmen who’ve had plentiful experience in every phase of the tile and stone installation process. These long-lasting flooring materials must be meticulously placed on a substrate that’s prepared strictly in accordance with industry guidelines and manufacturer stipulations. Therefore, this complex installation isn’t recommended for inexperienced individuals or even for seasoned DIY-selfers.
The substrate always comes first with any tile and stone installation. The substrate is, in fact, a sub-floor on which the tiles or stones will later be affixed. It’s essential that this substrate is thoroughly cleaned to eliminate all foreign substances such as oil, dirt or dampness that might hamper the tile or stone elements from adhering firmly to it. The margin for error in the preparation of the perfect substrate is zero. Even a slight trace of moisture will interfere with the tile or stone elements adhering to the substrate firmly.
After the substrate is prepared, the installers will ensure that the level of the substrate is uniform. The substrate needs to provide a firm base upon which the tile or stone pieces are placed. If the substrate is level, the tile or stone elements will also be level after installation. Alternatively, if the substrate isn’t perfectly level, the tiles or stones will not set properly. And they could easily crack or chip when walked on. Besides, whenever the tiles or stones are located in places of high moisture content such as a bathroom, kitchen or home exterior, an additional waterproofing coating is applied. Tile and stone installation experts use a technique wherein a tile or stone is affixed right onto a cement backer unit. This unit provides a water resistant as well as a supportive layer between the attached tiles or stones and the porous substrate.
Once the substrate is ready, tile and stone installation experts create a layout plan for your installation area. The dimensions must be accurate so that the right quantity of tiles, stones, and other materials is ordered for your new or remodeling project. The experts undertaking your project will consider all other installation features such as adjacent transitions, cabinets or stairs. The layout plan is vital because it’s used to create the correct pattern and alignment of the tile or stone elements being laid.
Firstly, the installer draws a series of chalk lines for guidance. The installer then lays the first column of tile or stone pieces on the substrate. This is a trial installation. No adhesive material is used to affix the elements. Another row is then placed perpendicular to this first row to create a “T” shape that presents as the starting point for the installation. After the layout has been satisfactorily determined, the tile or stone pieces are affixed to the substrate using an adhesive material. The installation is completed following the starting pattern and alignment.
After affixing the tile or stone elements to the substrate, installation experts allow between 12 to 24 hours for drying. Then, they apply grout in the minute gap between the tiles or stones. Since grout is available in numerous colors, it’s easy to match the grout to your tile or stone elements. Finally, the grouting and adhesive are allowed to dry for another day before the new surface is ready for use. Even this final step of grouting is a job that’s best done by experts!
This detailed explanation demonstrates that tile and stone installation work must be undertaken only by seasoned craftsmen. As far as laying tile or stone flooring goes, the expertise of your tile installer makes the difference between your floor lasting for decades or lasting for just a few months.