As floor covering specialists, clients often ask us the same, good questions. We thought it would be useful to share them, and their answers with you. With the goal of simplifying your tile projects or simply helping you to understand what is involved, here are the most frequently asked questions.
Can I find the same tiles that i bought a while ago?
Usually not; tiles have dye lots, so there are slight colour variations between lots. When you buy tiles, it is important to make sure that all the boxes are from the same lot to reduce the chance of colour variations (no matter if they are for a backsplash, floor or shower). This is one of the reasons why it is always better to buy more tiles than necessary in case you may need some later (to repair a broken tile for example). As well, trends in the tile industry change quickly and collections are rapidly discontinued. It is always better to buy more than the exact quantity.
Why do I have to account for a loss when buying tiles?
Since porcelain is a dense product, it can sometimes be hard to cut, so you may have to try more than once. This is why it is always important to have extra tiles just in case. As well, as previously mentioned, it is important to ensure that all of your tiles are from the same lot to avoid colour variations. For example, you could buy tiles and return to the same store a week later and there could no longer be any tiles from the same lot available. How do you ensure that you have enough tiles? The calculation is simple: you just add 10 to 15% more than the surface you have to cover. This extra amount will cover losses and you will still have some left over for future needs. However, this percentage can vary depending on how the tiling will be done (certain patterns require more cuts, so there is more loss). Ideally, you should confirm how much extra to buy with your tiler; they know best!
Is there a minimum amount of space that you should leave between tiles?
The minimum required is 1/16 inch; this spacing is often used when installing backsplashes or rectified tiles. The decision about how much space to leave between tiles is purely esthetic and varies according to individual taste. The norm is 1/8 inch and the maximum is ½ inch, which is frequently used to create a rustic look (like bricks and mortar).
What is the best size of tile for various tile projects?
There is no one answer to this question. The size is often determined by trends in the tile industry. For a certain time, small tiles (3x6, 4x4) were all the rage, while now larger tiles are now on trend (24x24, 12x24, 6x36). As well, despite what you may think, large tiles can be installed on both walls and floors. The installation method is what changes depending on size of the tile. So, you can use whatever size of tile you want, the sky is the limit.
Is it true that large tiles are easier to break?
This is a myth. Installing large tiles must be done in a certain way to avoid potential breakage after installation. Any installations done to standard should not cause any problems.
Why type of tile should i use in my bathroom?
Since the bathroom is where water gets splashed around, the ideal tile is porcelain. It is dense, non-porous and absorbs almost no water.
Is it possible to install tiles on top of existing tiles?
It is actually possible to install new tiles on top of existing tiles. However, there is some preparation required. First, light sanding is necessary, then any dust must be cleaned in order to ensure that the new tile will adhere better.
What type of tools and materials do I need for a tile project?
The equipment required for tile projects is relatively simple. To cut tiles, you will need a water saw and/or a tile cutter, and/or a diamond saw for the finish. You will also need a pail and a hand mixer for mortar, mortar, grout and wedges (Raimondi clips). Installers often bring their own equipment.
How do you choose the finishing trim?
To make sure that you have the proper finishing trim, you need to know how thick your tiles are (including the mortar). This thickness will determine the trim to choose. For example, a 3/8-inch tile will require a ½ inch trim. To avoid getting the wrong trim, ask your installer, they will tell you what to choose.
What type of membrane should I use?
There is no one right answer to this question. The type of membrane depends on the type of floor covering you are installing, and where it will be installed.
2 mm membrane
A 2 mm membrane is actually a thin membrane used to avoid noise caused by friction between the subfloor and the flooring. It is mostly used for floors on the ground and second floors.
Vapour barrier membrane
A vapour barrier membrane is used in basements to prevent vapour (as its name indicates) from the concrete slab from entering the space. Since it is made of felt, the membrane acts as a barrier against moisture, providing comfort; it can also be used for soundproofing.
6 mm membrane
Made of recycled rubber, a 6mm membrane is used for double glue down carpet installation (i.e., the membrane is glued on to the subfloor, then the carpet is glued on to the membrane). It acts as substrate for the carpet.
7 lb membrane
A 7 lb membrane is used for stretch in carpet installation due to its composition which is impossible to glue. As with the 6 mm membrane, the 7 mm membrane acts as a substrate for the carpet.
Can I install laminate or linoleum flooring on the wall?
Installing laminate and linoleum flooring on the wall is possible, however, the proper glue must be used for this type of installation. Ask your flooring retailer about which type of glue is the best. As well, it is important to ensure that the wall is straight so that the planks adhere properly to the surface.
If I purchased a wood or linoleum plank more than a year ago, can I still find more of the same ones?
Unlike tiles, flexible flooring is easier to find. However, it is important to keep in mind that product life cycles are about a year, so it could be difficult to find the same product since it may have been discontinued.
What is the spacing required between the wall and the floor covering?
The spacing varies according to the thickness of the product. For example, an 8 mm thick plank will require an equivalent space between the wall and where you start your installation. To ensure that you leave the right space between the wall and your flooring, ask a specialist who can tell you how much space is required.
Does the thickness of laminate flooring reflect its quality?
This belief is unfounded since the quality of laminate flooring (floating floors) is determined by its resistance to wear. Standards have been established to classify the level of wear resistance using a code, the AC (abrasion class). The higher the AC level, the higher the quality of the floating floor. Generally, a suitable laminate floor for homes is AC3, which is resistant to normal levels of traffic. For commercial use, laminates rated AC4 To AC6 are ideal.
What is the best type of wood?
No one type of wood is better than the others. Deciding which type of wood to use depends on your needs and what you are looking for. Each type of wood has its own characteristics that meet different requirements.