Resource Type: FAQ

Installation FAQs

Valuable information on installation from grout joints to calculating quantity

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Is tile installation expensive?

When compared to other coverings, tile installation is more expensive. However, tile installation can be permanent and less expensive in the long run after replacement and maintenance costs for other materials are factored in. For this reason, select the tile you love.

Should I have my tile professionally installed, or can I do it myself?

Some products (e.g. marble, limestone, granite and glass) and some applications (e.g. stall showers with water-proof pans and “warm floors”) are projects for professional installers. Remember, your professional installer provides many value-added services (e.g. take-offs, deliveries and warranties). If you are considering do-it-yourself, pick up one of the many books or videos available. Some products and projects lend themselves well to do-it-yourself.

What is the best way to calculate the quantity of tile I will need?

Multiply length times width of the area to be covered to give you the square footage. For most installations, add 5-7 percent for cutting loss and attic stock. When installation is diagonal or you are using a multi-size pattern, you should add 10-15 percent.

Do you recommend contractors?

We will give you at least three names. You should get references for your project type, discuss what you want in detail and ask for suggestions.

How do I make sure a contractor is qualified?

The tile contractor plays a critical role in the quality and longevity of your installation. Require a portfolio and references that reflect the contractor’s experience with projects of similar size, scope and complexity as yours. Ask the contractor if he or she has completed any industry-recognized training and certification programs. Then, do the legwork of checking references and qualifications. The common practice of using the low bidder means quality contractors are always competing against contractors who cut corners on materials and workmanship.

What is the narrowest grout joint I can use?

Not less than three times the variation in facial dimension of the tile to be used and never less than 1/16”. To butt joint tiles does not provide sufficient accommodation for building movement or variations in thermal expansion.

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