Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Cement Based Tile Adhesive But Were Afraid to Ask

Cement Based Tile Adhesive

Also known as Thinset adhesive, powder adhesive.

Cement based tile adhesive is typically available in 20kg per unit bags and is available in a few different types. Cement based tile adhesives are of a high specification and can be used on wall and floor tile installations and also with the full spectrum of different tile types. Cement by its nature is a water resistant material, so cement based tile adhesive can be used in frequently wet areas or even in total immersion of water (such as swimming pools) Also, most cement adhesives can be used externally and are frost resistant, making them suitable for fixing tiles to a garden path, patio or a porch area.

Cement cures by way of a hydraulic nature, which in basic terms means that it does not rely on air to cure it. You can use cement based tile adhesive to fix large format tiles and also tiles with a low porosity such as porcelain and glass tiles without having concerns that it will not cure in reasonable time. Cement adhesives can be built up to a certain degree also, where walls or floors may not be as flat as expected or the tiles are particularly large. Depending on the product, cement based adhesives can be used up to 6-8mm thick generally and up to 12mm thickness in limited areas. There are specialist adhesives which can be used at a thickness of 25mm which are designed for the very large format tiles that are becoming fashionable these days, or the slate tiles you can purchase that are uncalibrated and can vary in thickness wildly. Although cement based tile adhesive has a universal and broad usability factor, one important fact is that if you are tiling onto a gypsum (plaster or plasterboard) substrate, then you must prime the plaster first, this is very important and if ignored can lead to a failure. Please read our notes on priming to understand what to use.

Although cement based adhesive has hydraulic curing, you will need to use a cement based tile adhesive with some degree of polymer (ie. flexibility) to fix your porcelain or glass tiles or other low porsosity tiles. This is because although the adhesive will cure behind these tiles, it cannot cure into the body of the tile and create a good anchor (bond) with the tile. The inclusion of polymer acts basically like glue and sticks to the tile and forms a strong bond. Money saving tip: There are some cement based tile adhesives specially formulated for porcelain tiles which are cheaper than their flexible alternatives and the packaging will reflect it’s suitability. basically these adhesives have a small amount of polymer which is enough to bond to porcelain without being classed as flexible.

Rapidset cement based tile adhesive

Rapidset cement bassed tile adhesives typically have a curing time of three hours approximately. This makes it suitable for fast track installations where the need to finish the job quickly is paramount. The trade off with having a rapid setting cement based tile adhesive is that once you mix the adhesive with water in a bucket, you must use it within 30-45 minutes (this is known as pot life) If it is a particularly hot day it is recommended to revert to a slower setting adhesive as you will find that it can become unusable and be curing in the bucket almost immediately. For these reasons it is recommended that Rapidset cement adhesive is used by professional tilers only, as they can make use of it’s fast setting nature to finish an installation quicker. Obviously there may be times when a non professional will want to use a rapid setting adhesive eg. Family home with only one bathroom, where it will not be possible to stay off the installation overnight until it cures. If you are not experienced and wish to use a rapidset product then please only mix small amount at a time. Although cement based adhesive is suitable for wall or floor tile installations, Rapidset is mostly used only on the floor due to the requirement to be able to walk on the floor quickly.

Standard setting cement adhesive

Standard setting cement adhesive will typically have a curing time of 16-24 hours. The pot life is extended to 4-5 hours as opposed to Rapidset which is 30-45 minutes, this makes it more suitable for the DIY tiler or for wall tile installations where you tend to have more cutting of tiles and the importance of getting the installation into service is not so great.

What colour cement based tile adhesive should I buy?

Cement adhesives are available in grey (cement colour) or white. White will cost significantly more than the gre due to the extra cost of the white cement in the products. As a general rule, if you are tiling a wall or floor with a solid bodied tile such as ceramic, porcelain, vitrified, terracotta, quarry or dark natural stone tiles then you would use a grey cement based tile adhesive. If you are grouting with a lighter coloured grout such as white, Ivory, cream etc and the tile is relatively thin, you may want to change to a white adhesive to avoid the risk of the adhesive discolouring the grout.

If you are wall tiling and using the standard white grout, you would select a white adhesive. The most important requirement comes when you are tiling with a light coloured natural stone such as marble which is translucent by nature. If you are using light coloured stone then make sure you select white adhesive as the grey can stain your beautiful new marble tiles and shade them much darker. When in doubt use a white adhesive or seek advice from your retailer or tiler.

Flexible or Non Flexible cement based tile adhesive?

As to whether you need a flexible or non flexible cement based tile adhesive will depend on several factors, obviously flexible cement based tile adhesive will cost more as the polymers that make a product flexible are the most expensive ingredient. The following installations will require a flexible adhesive.

False or stud type wall tiling (plasterboard or timber walls)

Tiling onto a wooden floor

Fixing a glass or porcelain tile

Tiling onto low porosity substrates

Tiling onto underfloor or undertile heating systems

Tiling onto suspended floors or balconies

Pro’s of Using a cement based tile adhesive

Cures hydraulically, more control over drying time. (Even when used over tanking systems)

Can use on full spectrum of tile types, truly universal.

Choice of rapidset cement based tile adhesive or standard.

Can be used on larger format tiles and built up on uneven surfaces

Most can be used externally, frost resistance.

Cement by nature is always water resistant and can be used in total immersion

White or grey in colour to suit natural stone fixing or standard tiles

Very strong bond with tile and substrate (subject to correct selection)

More control over the material due to mixing yourself.

Con’s of using a cement based tile adhesive

Must prime Gypsum (plaster) surfaces before using cement based tile adhesive

Rapidset can become impossible to use in hot weather

Have to mix the product before use.

Mixing can be a messy process

This guide will hopefully help you to make the right decision when it comes to selecting your tile adhesive for any project you may undertake. Although cement based tile adhesive may seem a mundane, unimportant and unlikely topic for an article, you can be rest assured that the failures that have occurred due to lack of knowledge have proved to be very costly, I want to save you this cost and inconvenience.

My name is Wayne Phipps and I have worked in the tiling industry for 25 years in various technical and sales capacities. Allow me to inform you of all things tiling from my experiences and you may avoid the costly mistakes made everyday by people time after time when undertaking a tiling project.

The Best Tiles for Your Home and Where to Buy Them

What are the best tiles for your home? Obviously there are many brands of tiles out there that have nice packaging with pretty pictures, but from what I have found out from personal experience is that there is nothing that even comes close to the Mona Lisa brand.

Mona Lisa tiles have an excellent range (including porcelain panel), unbeatable value for money, and excellent quality. Isn’t that the same with any other brand of tile you ask? No. Although many tile brands do claim a measure of quality, they are so much more expensive than Mona Lisa tiles. Basically, with Mona Lisa you are getting a top quality tile for a fraction of what you would pay for a boutique brand.

You will notice though, that Mona Lisa tiles are manufactured in China – not Europe. Having said that, most things today (including designer label items) are manufactured in China now. Does this mean that these tiles are not as good as their European rivals? By no means! This is because the Mona Lisa factory uses the latest equipment shipped in directly from Italy. This is something that many other major tile brands in China don’t do because they are happy with the same old machines they’ve been using for the past 20 years! Because of this commitment to quality, Mona Lisa tiles are not plagued with the defects inherent in other tile brands such as, warping, black spots, time-wear, water retention, staining, color and pattern inconsistencies, and other major problems. Some people think that by paying more for a pretty picture that they are getting a better tile – nothing could be further away from the truth. Another reason to go for Mona Lisa tiles is that they are one of the only manufacturers of Porcelain Panel – truly incredible stuff if you ever get the chance to see it.

What sort of price difference are we looking at? While some brands sell for $100 m2 to $200 m2, or much more, Mona Lisa brand tiles are priced in general from $10 m2! Hard to believe? Just check out the Tile Factory Outlet online catalog and you will see for yourself.

If you are in Australia and interested in buying tiles, there are 3 tile companies in that offer the best deals on tiles for small-end to top-end consumers.

Tile Factory Outlet: You can visit their website Tile Factory Outlet won the price war hands down, with consistently having the cheapest porcelain tiles. Not only that, they are one of the only distributors of Mona Lisa porcelain tiles Australia-wide. They claim to sell tiles at auction prices – and they do indeed. They are one of the only tile companies in the world that have a fully integrated online store that links directly to the items they have in stock and the online interface is updated in real-time in conjunction with sales from their store.

When you walk into their showroom, you will get the feel of walking into any major outlet store with samples stacked on top of pallets of tiles ready to be shipped out. Tile Factory Outlet sell more tiles in one month than most shops sell in a year – purely because of their unbelievable prices. The best thing is that Tile Factory Outlet can help organize shipping your tiles Australia-wide.

Tiles to Go: You can see their site Tiles to go sell Mona Lisa tiles along with a range of other brands. Their head office is in North Mead, Sydney, and they deal hand-in-hand with builders and architect firms. Whilst Tile Factory Outlet focuses on selling great tiles at cheap prices, Tiles To Go focus more on the customer as a person with specific tastes and desires.

As soon as you walk into their store, you will immediately receive in-depth support to help you find the design you want, how you want it, and how to make it a reality. The best part is that Tiles to Go still offer their range of tiles at excellent prices. True to their name, Tiles To Go can offer this fantastic service and pricing without taking up too much of your time. “Tiles to Go. For people on the go. At prices to go!”

Tile Gallery Imports: Tile Gallery Imports are a wholesaler. That means they sell to construction companies, independent retailers, and large quantity orders. The good news is that they also sell the Mona Lisa brand tile if you are looking to order them. If you have a large order in mind, it will definitely pay to check these guys out.

Buying tiles is easy when you know what you’re looking for. This article focused on Mona Lisa tiles and where you can buy them in Australia. But Mona Lisa don’t manufacture every type of tile out there. The important thing is that you do your research before buy tiles so that you don’t get tricked into paying too much.

Carson Sharein is a consultant in a number of areas, such as education, health, and business. He has a sincere desire to use his knowledge base and extensive experience to help others achieve success in every day life.

Cheap Bathroom Tiles – How to Snag the Best Bargains

Are you looking for the best way to do up your house and particularly your bathroom without having to spend too much money? The tiles you use on the floor and walls of your bathroom make a huge difference to the overall look of the room because you can select them to give the impression of space and of luxury to the room. However, they can be quite expensive especially if they are of the best quality. You need to know how to select attractive but cheap bathroom tiles that are also of very good quality. This is essential in order to ensure that you do not face maintenance problems in the future.

It is possible for you to find cheap bathroom tiles but it depends on how much effort you are willing to put into looking for them. There are many home improvement stores that stock a large range of flooring solutions and you will find options to suit every budget. However, you might need to look for options that are even cheaper because tiling is just one expense when you have to re do your entire bathroom or your house. It is a great idea for you to plan ahead so that you can buy tiles for your bathroom when they are on sale. Almost every store goes on sale at certain times of the year when it has to get rid of old stock in order to make way for newer designs. You can pick up excellent stuff at very low prices just because it belongs to an odd lot or an older design. You will be amazed at the kind of discounts that some of these stores offer just because they want to clear out their shelves.

If you are unable to wait for a discount sale because of certain logistical issues you could exercise the option of buying your supplies online. There are many stores that sell cheap bathroom tiles online. It is a rule of internet commerce that products and services cost less if you buy them online. You should therefore look for a reliable online store that specializes in selling bathroom tiles of good quality. They offer great customer service and even permit you to make price comparisons easily. In fact, most people find it easier to buy their raw materials online rather than going to a lot of stores in order to do the required research.

The cheapest option of all is to find your bathroom tiles in a resale scrap store. These stores buy up excess tiles from various construction companies that operate in the vicinity. These tiles are of the best quality because they are used by builders in their various projects but they are extremely cheap because the scrap store has acquired them at a very low price. It is not easy to look through the inventory but it is worth all the effort you put into it.

These tips are very effective if you are looking for the best possible but cheap bathroom tiles to renovate your home.

Asbestos Floor Tiles And Asbestos Siding

Floor tiles that contain asbestos are very prevalent in homes that were constructed before the 1970’s. Asbestos containing floor tiles became popular because of their low cost as compared to other types of floor covering such as wood and marble.

Asbestos floor tiles can be a health risk. If the tiles are worn, or damaged the asbestos fibers can become friable or air born. If the floor tiles are water damaged they are equally a problem. Foot traffic can cause mechanical damage to these floor tiles. Sanding or removal of the floor tiles can also cause the asbestos fibers to get into the air.

When asbestos fibers enter the air, they can cause a number of illnesses and health issues, including lung cancer, as well as other diseases. Asbestos-related illnesses are dangerous and can be fatal. These types of asbestos caused diseases may take several years or longer before presenting symptoms.

Asbestos floor tiles should be removed by a reputable asbestos abatement company. The contractor will take the steps necessary in order to avoid asbestos being released into the air.

Another less but less desirable method to deal with the asbestos is to cover it with another floor covering. This will not cure the underlying problem of having the asbestos tiles but is a way to protect the tiles from being damaged. Carpeting is a good choice because it is installed with a pad. The pad along with the carpeting will help keep the asbestos tiles from mechanical damage. Just be sure not to damage the floor tiles while installing the carpeting. Linoleum and vinyl are other options to cover asbestos containing tiles.

The existence of asbestos floor tiles should be disclosed to any potential purchasers of your home. It is not ethical not to disclose the presence because if the buyer decides to remove the floor covering installed over the asbestos, the asbestos floor tiles can become damaged. As home inspectors it is next to impossible for us to determine the type of materials that are under the new floor.

Another place that asbestos was used is on the siding of homes. Asbestos cement is a hard siding and is composed of a mixture of Portland cement and asbestos fibers. The siding was banned in the country in the mid 1970’s.

Asbestos siding became popular because in 1920 a major fire prevention organization recommended the siding because of its fire resistant properties. The agency was recommending the replacement of highly flammable wood siding with the asbestos siding which is very fire resistant. The use of asbestos siding really became prominent in the 1940’s and this is the decade in which many homes have this type of siding.

In 1970 the health risks associated with asbestos exposures grew and became more prominent. As the anti asbestos sentiments took hold the US federal government stepped in and banned asbestos from building products in 1973.

It has been well established that asbestos can cause serious health problems if it is inhaled. Asbestos can cause two major types of cancer asbestosis and Mesothlioma. Both of these cancers can be fatal in the majority of instances. However, asbestos siding if it is in good condition does not present a health hazard. This is due to the cement component that is in the shingle. The cement binds the asbestos fibers and prevents the fibers from becoming air born. The EPA has established that asbestos is a health hazard when it is in a friable or in an air born state. The only way that the asbestos fibers can get into the air is for them to be damaged mechanically.

Asbestos cement building products such as siding are not considered hazardous unless they are disturbed. If the siding is damaged by chipping, sawing, grinding or sanding this will allow fibers to enter the air. Then the asbestos is considered in a friable state and a health hazard. Deterioration or wearing of the siding can also lead to particles becoming airborne and potentially dangerous.

Proper care of asbestos cement siding is very important in order to avoid damage and deterioration. Asbestos cement siding is very brittle and cracks very easily which can cause asbestos particles to become airborne. A professional siding contractor can replace the damaged siding with fiber cement siding that does not contain asbestos. Specific fiber cement materials have been manufactured for repairs that are intended to look like asbestos cement siding. All asbestos containing materials must be discarded properly. In some states you can take the damaged siding to a landfill that can handle asbestos. In other states specific waste disposal facilities need to be used.

Asbestos cement exterior cladding has been in use for many years, Home inspectors in Middlesex County New Jersey are likely to encounter asbestos cement siding when inspecting exteriors. Knowing some of the health risks associated with this type of siding can be useful when answering questions about asbestos, although any specific concerns should be deferred to the appropriate healthcare professional.

How to Place New Wall Tile Over Old Tile

Tile can be installed over tile as long as the underlying tile is sound. Before considering whether to install tile over tile, inspect the original installation for cracks, loose tiles and water damage. If the underlying tile is not stable, the tile that you place over it will buckle, crack or fall off the wall over time. A common problem facing installers of wall tiles is the tiles’ shifting downward under the force of gravity before the adhesive sets. This is usually caused by not mixing your adhesive properly. Closely follow your manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper mixing.


Prepping the Surface

1. Clean the surface of the tile that you are tiling over.

2. Sand the surface of the tile to aid the adhesion of the new tile to this surface. Use a sander with 80-grit sandpaper to rough the surface of the tile.

3. Sweep and clean the surface to remove any dust caused by the sanding.

Laying Out the Tile

4. Find the exact center of the wall. To do this, use a measuring tape to find the center of each side of the wall and draw a perpendicular line from the edge across the wall. At the intersection of this X and Y axis is your center mark.

5. At the base of the wall lay a row of loose tiles from the center mark to the end of one of the walls or installation area. Be sure to insert two spacers in each tile so that you get a proper layout. You will most likely not be able to fit the last tile between the edge of the wall and the row of tiles. This is fine; leave that one out for now.

6. Measure the distance from the last full tile to the edge of the wall or installation area. Note this distance for later.

7. Lay another row of loose tiles from the center of the wall in the opposite direction.

8. Measure the distance from the last full tile to the edge of the wall or installation area.

9. Move the vertical center line to split the distance between these two measurements. For example, if the space on the left side is 8 inches and the space on the right side is 4 inches, move your line 2 inches to the left so that there are 6 inches on each side.

10. Repeat this process for the horizontal center line. However, because you are installing wall tiles you will not be able to rest these on the floor like you did for the vertical center line.

11. Place a tile at the center mark and hold it with your hand.

12. Put you tile spacer on top of the tile and make a mark on top of the tile spacer.

13. Set the bottom of a tile at this mark and repeat the process. Place a tile spacer and make a mark.

14. Measure the distance from the last full tile to the top of the wall. Mark this distance for later use.

15. Repeat the same process toward the bottom of the wall from the center mark.

16. Split the difference between the two measurements and adjust the center line as necessary. The intersection between these two adjusted lines is your tiling center mark. This splits the wall into four quarters. You will tile these quarters one at a time originating from the center mark.

Preparing the Thinset

17. Pour half the manufacturer’s recommended amount of water into the 5-gallon bucket.

18. Empty half of the bag of thinset into the bucket.

19. With your grinder/high powered drill set at a low speed, with the mixer attached, blend the water and thinset.

20. Add the remaining water and thinset in small batches while mixing, until you have added all of the water and thinset.

21. After blending thoroughly, allow the thinset to sit for 15 minutes so that the adhesives within it can fully incorporate.

Laying the Tile

22. Scoop a portion of thinset out of your bucket with the half-inch trowel.

23. Start at your center mark and spread the thinset across the old tiles. Tilt the trowel at a 30-degree angle and spread the thinset in large half-arc strokes. The edge of the trowel should not drag along the tile below, but should press the thinset against the underlying floor.

24. Spread several square feet of thinset out. Do not cover the whole floor.

25. Place one tile at your center mark, in the corner of the quarter of the wall that you are starting with. Do not press the tile down into the thinset, but give it a gentle, even press so that it bonds to the thinset.

26. Place a tile next to that one and insert two tile spacers between them. Place the tile close enough that you do not have to shift the tile excessively in order to be flush against the spacers.

27. Continue this process of spreading small patches of thinset, setting tiles and inserting two spacers.

28. Cut tiles that will butt against the wall or other obstructions with the wet saw. Remember when measuring these spaces to account for the distance that your joint (and spacers) will occupy in the area. The joint is the area between your tiles that the grout will occupy.

29. Continue around the room, completing the quarters marked out by your center line marks.

30. When finished, allow tile to set for 48 hours, unless you used a quickset thinset, in which case refer to the manufacturer’s curing time.

Grouting the Wall

31. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

32. Scoop a cup-sized portion of grout with the padded grout float.

33. Start grouting from a corner of the room that will allow you to work toward the door. This will prevent you from being trapped in the room and having to walk over the grout.

34. Spread the grout in a diagonal direction to the joint. Keep the float at a 30-degree angle and be wary of gaps in your coverage.

35. Use a wet grout sponge to wipe up any excess grout in a diagonal direction to the joint. It does not matter which diagonal direction you clean the grout off in, just do not run the sponge straight down the grout joints yet. Rinse the sponge often and make sure you adequately remove any grout on the surface of the tile.

36. Wipe the grout sponge along the joints to recess and shape the grout within the joint.

37. Allow the grout to dry according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Type of Tiles Used in Homes and Businesses

Types of Tile to Choose From

Tiles are considered a cost-effective flooring choice that’s also environmentally friendly. You can use tiles that are made from natural stone, or man-made materials. The manufacturing of tile does not use heavy chemicals and harmful substances that you find in other flooring options. Tile also generally carry a longer life span than other flooring option like wood flooring. Here are some popular tile options that you can choose from for your next project.

Ceramic Tile: is used in more than just the kitchen now a days. Ceramic tile is a versatile and adaptable material that can be used in a number of settings. Ceramic tile low-maintenance which give it added appeal. The kitchen and bathroom are great locations to use ceramic tile, as well as all the living areas, hallways, foyers, and porticos. The design of Ceramic tile offer limitless possibilities. Ceramic tiles come in a number of shade of colors and size variations. Ceramic tile can be used to create ceramic accents in back splashes, counter tops, and shower stalls.

Porcelain Tile: is a type ceramic tile that is very popular. The difference between ceramic and porcelain is the temperature it is fired at when being made. The higher temperatures used to make Porcelain tile makes it more resistant to moist conditions, less porous, and more stain-resistant. Porcelain tiles can be used for indoor and outdoor installations. Porcelain tile is more expensive than Ceramic tile due to the cost of labor to have them cut. Porcelain is a harder and more dense material that is hard to cut, so the cost and labor involved goes up. You can find Porcelain tiles in matte, un-glazed or a high-polished finishes.

Mosaic Tile: is generally under six square inches and made out of porcelain or clay material. Tile mosaics give you the ability to be very creative when designing your project. You will see Mosaics most often in smaller areas like bathrooms, kitchen back splashes, and small counter space areas. Most are shaped like a square, octagon, or hexagon. Theses tiles can be bought on pre-mounted paper or fabric mesh sheets.

Natural Stone Tile: is a product made by nature, no two stone tiles will look exactly alike. Stone tiles are a natural solid formation of one or many minerals that have formed over millions of years through pressure. As the Earth’s crust began to expand and erode through time heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals to the Earth’s surface, which formed colossal rock beds all over the world. This has created thousand of types of stone that have been quarried over the centuries. These quarries are located all around the world. The majority of natural stones come from the United States, Canada, Spain, Turkey Italy, France, Greece, India, China, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil. There are 3 popular types of tile used today.

Travertine Tile: comes in natural beige stone shades, and is commonly used in the Kitchen on the counter tops and the back splashes. Travertine is also great to use for bathroom counter tops, shower area and on the floor.

Marble Tile: is a natural stone that has been used for hundreds of years in residential homes and commercial buildings to create a luxurious look and feel. There are many variations in the color of each and every tile, so it creates a one-of-a-kind design that can not be naturally duplicated.Marble is porous tile that must be sealed.

Granite Tile: has been used on kitchen counter tops for many years. It has also been used in bathrooms on the shower walls and counters. Granite tiles are provide a natural antibacterial surface that is not damaged by water contact. This is why Granite is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom tile installations.

Slate Tile: is a natural material that’s comes in many different shades of colors like blues, purples, and grey to black shades. Slate can be used for exterior projects as well as inside the home because of the many different looks and colors you can pick from. Slate tiles have become more popular today than ever before because of their versatility.

Quarry tile: is a ceramic tile that is un-glazed. This type of tile is a cost-effective and durable product. Quarry tile is less likely to chip or scratch. You can find grades of this tile that will stand up to extreme cold weather conditions, as well as the hot climates. This tile is a sound choice for your home or business projects because it can be used for both indoors and outdoors. Quarry tile is porous and can become stained, so it is generally covered with a glaze seal or wax finishing to protects it from staining and chipping. This type of tile only comes in a few color selections, but you can find different shades of each color. The most common colors of Quarry tile are brown, red, orange, and grey. Due to the fact this type of tile is less slippery than most other selections, you will most often see it used in hallway floors, kitchen floors, and pool areas. Be sure to use as little water as possible until you have properly grouted, glazed, and sealed this tile. You run the risk of mold growth and water damage to un-glazed tile.

Tiles Varieties – Find Out the Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Tiles

Tiles come in many shapes and sizes. The can be used for the floor, for walls, in the kitchen for things like benches and splash backs, even for roofs. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. No matter what the need there will be a tile for the job. But how do you know which tile is the right tile for the job? Read on to learn about the different types of tiles in Perth, their advantages and disadvantages and what they are commonly used for.


Let’s start with the most common tile that everyone will be familiar with. Ceramic tiles Perth are usually seen and used in bathrooms and showers. They are very hard, waterproof and easy to clean and in Perth can purchased for as little as $30 per square meter.

Within the ceramic tile range, there are tiles that are made for walls and there are tiles that are made for floors. Wall tiles nearly always have a gloss (shiny) finish and are thinner and lighter than floor tiles. This allows for easier installation.

Floor tiles are thicker and heavier than wall tiles. Because people will be walking on them and furniture can be stored on them, they need to be very strong. Floor tiles can also have a gloss finish and this is often the case for living areas. However if you are using a ceramic tile in a wet area like the bathroom, it is suggested that you do not use a gloss finish. A gloss finish means the tiles will be slippery and dangerous when they get wet.

Ceramic tiles are a great all-purpose tile. They resist water can withstand very high heat and are relatively easy to install. Be careful though because ceramic tiles are very brittle so if you drop them or drop something very hard on to them they can crack and even shatter.

Ceramic tiles are installed on top of a tile adhesive with a small gap in between each tile. The gap is then filled with a tile grout that can come in various colors but it usually white. These tiles also come in a variety of sizes. Everything from a small 100mm x 100mm square tile, to a large 600mm x 600mm square tile. There is a wide range of sizes in between these to suit your needs and give the right look. They also come as rectangle sizes like 100mm x 200mm.


Stone tiles are very similar to ceramic tiles except they are made from natural stone rather than ‘manufactured’. Stone tiles are usually very heavy, very strong and also able to withstand a lot of punishment and traffic. They can be made from marble, slate, sandstone, travertine and various other natural stones.

They either come in a natural finish or a machined finish. A machined finish means the top of the tile has been cut back to give a flat surface in the same way that ceramic tiles are flat. A natural finish means the top of the tiles has only been roughly cut and they will have natural dips, grooves and bumps. Which ones you use comes down to personal choice and the look you are going for. Both can be very beautiful and effective.

Unlike ceramic tiles, stone tiles absorb water. This means they will not be as slippery when wet, but also means they need to be sealed to prevent stains. If you spill some red wine on a stone tile that has not been sealed — it will be there forever.

Stone tiles Perth are more expensive than ceramic tiles and therefore are not as common. Because they are more expensive and not as common, stone tiles can really stand out and have an impact on the look of your house. They will also add value to your house if you are looking to sell – especially in the competitive Perth market.

Stone tiles are slightly more difficult to lay than ceramic tiles because of their extra weight. They are very strong and heavy so it also makes cutting the tiles harder. Otherwise they are laid in pretty much the same manner as ceramic tiles.


Cork tiles Perth are usually 300mm x 300mm and as the name suggests, are made from cork. Cork tiles are popular for use on floors in general living areas. They are much warmer than ceramic tiles and also much quieter.

Another advantage to cork tiles is that they are softer then ceramic tiles. This means they are more comfortable to walk on, but also if you drop a glass or something similar it is less likely to break if you have a cork floor. Cork tiles need to be sealed to protect them. Depending on the variety they may come already sealed or they may need to be sealed after installation.

Similar to ceramic tiles, cork tiles are laid on a special adhesive. The difference however is that cork tiles are butted right up against one another. There is no gap left in between each tile. This not only saves installation time and makes the job easier, but when a complete floor is laid, you can not see that it was done using tiles. Instead the floor will look like one piece of cork and this can be quite effective.

The downside of cork tiles is that they are not as hard wearing and durable as ceramic or stone tiles. In heavy wearing areas they will need to be replaced, or at least refurbished after 10 – 15 years. In Perth be careful about laying cork tiles in an area that gets high amounts of sun. The harsh Perth sun can quickly fade cork tiles – even if they have been sealed. Upfront they are a cheaper alternative to something like stone, but over many years they will need to be replaced and can end up costing even more.


Similar to cork tiles, it is possible to get carpet tiles that come in approximately 300mm x 300mm squares. The end result is also similar in that a complete floor will look like one piece of carpet and not tiles.

One advantage of carpet tiles over normal carpet is that you can replace individual tiles if they get damaged or stained. This is a great way to keep your floor looking brand new for years to come. Carpet tiles are also easier to handle than trying to get in a bit roll of carpet.

If you have a very big area that you want to carpet it may be that it is not possible to get a roll of carpet big enough. In this case – carpet tiles are the perfect solution. Carpet tiles in Perth are more common in large areas like halls, office buildings and business premises. This does not mean you can not use them for your home. They come in many designs and are usually very easy to clean. Great for a large kids room or activity area.


Vinyl flooring was traditionally only available in a sheet, however it is now possible to get vinyl tiles. This is similar to cork or carpet tiles. Vinyl tiles are very cheap, hard wearing and warm and soft underfoot. You can get various designs to match whatever look you are after. You can even get vinyl that has a timber look to it.

Modern vinyl is suitable for use in any area, including wet areas like bathrooms. It is a great alternative to more expensive tiles like natural stone and give any area a great face lift. The use of vinyl tiles in Perth bathrooms can sometimes have a negative impact on the resale value of your home. The Perth market sees them as a cheap option. If you are not considering selling in the near future they are a fantastic and much cheaper alternative to ceramic and very easy to lay.


Rubber tiles have only recently started being used around the home. They are very hard wearing, slip resistant, extremely quiet and are nice and soft to walk on.

The color range is limited and they probably will not suit many styles but are still an option that should be considered. Rubber tiles are cheap to lay and cheap to buy. They are a great discount tile for the Perth area but may be hard to find because they are still not very common.

A perfect location for rubber tiles Perth would be an outdoor shower near a pool or spa.

Instructions Of Tiles

There are many different types of tiles which, the handyman can apply to floors, walls and ceilings. One of the oldest types is ceramic tile – these are baked clay and have been used generally in the bathroom for walls and floors. There are also plastic tiles which have been used mainly for walls and ceilings.

Ceramic tiles, however, have moved out of the bathroom into other parts of the home. Contemporary homes often have kitchen counter work tops and sometimes even living room walls made of ceramic tile. These tiles can be applied with special waterproof adhesive to any suitable smooth surface. No longer is it necessary to apply wire lath and cement to set the tiles in place.

Plastic tiles, which have gained in popularity since the end of World War II, are available in many different colors, sizes and patterns.

There are basically two types of plastic tiles. The rigid ones are made of polystyrene; the flexible tiles are usually made of vinyl. Both are applied in somewhat the same manner, although some flexible tiles come already glued. All that is necessary is to moisten the adhesive backs of these self-adhesive tiles and they can then be applied to the wall or floor.

Metal tiles of various kinds also are available. One of the most recent developments is an aluminum tile to which a ceramic coating is bonded at a temperature of from 900° to 1000° F. It can be cut easily and even bent if necessary. The tile is applied with mastic.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is one of the oldest building materials known to man. Its history dates back centuries ago when it was first discovered that clay baked at high temperatures turns into a hard, durable material which is both waterproof and fireproof.

But tile is one of the most modern of materials, too. It is easy for the average handyman to install and will afford a lifetime of constant, rugged use without deterioration. Real tile – that is, tile made from baked ceramic materials – is a permanent installation. Its colors never fade. Because of its durability and the absence of any upkeep or remodeling, real tile constitutes a significant economy.

Today, ceramic tile is available to the homemaker in an amazing variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. With a good waterproof adhesive, tile can be readily installed on walls, floors, and countertops.

Technically, there are two main divisions of tile: wall and floor tile. Wall tiles in popular use range from 17/4″ square to 6″x9″ rectangles. They come in either a high glaze or a matt glaze which is a somewhat softer-looking surface.

Floor tiles go from “dots” (11/32″ squares) to 9″ squares. Commonly used nominal sizes, though, are the 2″ square, the 1″ square, and the 1″x2″ rectangle. Floor tiles are generally unglazed.

Floor tiles can be broken down into three subdivisions:

• Ceramic mosaics are less than six square inches in facial surface.
• Pavers are those unglazed floor units measuring six square inches or more in facial surface.
• Quarries are made to resist especially severe conditions of weather and wear. They have a strong, dense body which can withstand extremes in temperature.

Technique of Handling Tile

Here are simple instructions for installing ceramic wall and floor tiles.

Virtually all common home surfaces which are true, level, free from moisture and foreign matter are suitable for receiving tile. In any area affected by steam or water, the base surface should be covered with two coats of primer, the second applied at right angles to the first.

All joints and apertures, such as those for bathroom fixtures, should be sealed off with a waterproof tape.

To begin tiling, install the bottom row first. Establish a level line for it. If the floor is not level, make cuts in the bottom row of tiles. If this is done, the top row of the wainscot will be level.


Simply draw a pencil line over the glazed surface parallel to the raised bars on the back of the tile, take an ordinary glass cutter and score the surface along the line. Then place the tile, glazed side up, over a nail and press on either side of the scored line. The tile will part cleanly down the line.

For special cutting, such as around fixtures, use pliers to nip off small chunks of the tile. Then smooth the surface with a Carbo-rundum stone.

Tiles in the bottom row should be “buttered’ individually with a small dab of adhesive and then pressed against the wall. Don’t put on too much adhesive; it may ooze out of the joints between tiles.

After setting the first row, spread a thin layer of adhesive over several square feet with a saw-tooth trowel. Press the tiles firmly into place with a twisting motion of the hand. Spacing bars on the edges of wall tile will keep the pieces a uniform distance apart.

Once a wall has been tiled, let it set for a day or so that the volatile elements in the adhesive can escape. Then soak the joints between tiles with a wet sponge at least four times at five-minute intervals. A gallon of water is enough for about 50 square feet of tile-work. Soaking – thorough soaking – is done so that the tiles will not draw water from the fine cement, called grout, used to fill the spaces between them.


Commercial grout is a fine white powder. Mix it with water to the consistency of heavy cream. Let it stand for 15 minutes and remix. The mixture can be applied to the tile joints with a sponge, a squeegee or by hand with a pair of rubber gloves. Fill the joints completely.

Going over the job with the end of the handle of a toothbrush will give it a professional finish. It will help to force the grout into the joints, too.

Cleaning is simple. A damp sponge or cloth will remove the excess grout from the face of the tile. A dry cloth should be used for polish.

But before the final polishing, all the grouted joints should be wet down with a sponge several times in the next four or five days, so that they will set properly.

How to Tile Floors

Floor tile is set very much the same way as wall tile. The surface must first be in good condition, firm, perfectly smooth and free from moisture and foreign matter. Floor tile – the smaller unglazed units – come pasted on to paper sheets measuring l’x2′.

Sheets of the tile are pressed into the adhesive spread on the floor, with the papered side uppermost. Let the tile set an hour. Wet the paper slightly with a damp sponge and pull it off the tile. At this time, the adhesive will still be pliant so you can re-align individual tiles if necessary. If you have to walk over the floor now, do so on board or cardboard so your weight will be more equally distributed.

The floor, just like the wall, should be allowed to set for a day before grouting. But floor tile, which has little absorbency, doesn’t have to be soaked before grouting.
The grout mixture here is different. It should consist of one part waterproof Portland cement and one part finely screened sand. A minimum amount of water should be used in mixing – just enough for workability. Spread this mixture over the floor and work it into the joints with a squeegee. Joints should be completely filled.

All excess mortar should be removed before it begins to harden. Use a burlap cloth at first and then a damp cloth. If necessary, go over it several times until all traces of grout are gone. Then polish with a dry cloth.

The floor must now be cured. Cover it and keep all traffic off it for about three days. If it’s necessary to walk on it during that time, put down boards.

Where Tile Can Be Used

Fine installations of ceramic tile by the homemaker have been made on bathroom walls, floors and countertops; in home laundries where a definitely waterproof surface is required; anywhere in the kitchen, including extensive countertops and splash-backs; and in game rooms where a durable yet permanently decorative finish is desired. Tile is being used increasingly as surfacing for living room floors and in the dining area. The most recent trend is the use of colorful tile on the exterior of homes where a decorative yet weatherproof paneling is desired, such as the exterior overlooking the outdoor terrace.

Terraces, of course, have long been made of tile – quarry tile which is also made from natural ceramic materials. Quarry comes in shades of red, chocolate and buff. Entranceways are also popular sites for quarry tile.

Smaller decorative uses of tile around the home include: fireplace fronts, hearths, windowsills where plants are set, table tops, surfaces of room dividers, radiator tops, stairways, and shelves.

Cleaning Ceramic Tile

All tile made from natural ceramic materials is easy to keep clean. A detergent is best for both floor and wall. For floors, the detergent solution should remain on the surface a few minutes before mopping. Wipe the floor and wall dry with a soft cloth. Most soap leaves a sticky film over tile. This film retains dirt and could make the floor slippery. If such a condition already exists it can be remedied with a wash of commercial scouring powder or kerosene. Waxes, plastic finishes, polishes, emulsions, nonslip coatings and the like are never required.

Marble Tile

Marble tiles are available to be applied to any wall surface that has been properly prepared. The marble tiles are installed in a manner somewhat the same as ceramic tiles. Here is the technique of handling marble, in this case Vermont Pavonazzo.

Vinyl Tiles

Although extremely popular in 12″ squares for floor covering, vinyl tiles in the 17/4” squares for use on walls has decreased in popularity in the last few years. They have given way almost exclusively to ceramic tile which once was a mark of affluence because of their then high cost. Now, fired clay, or ceramic tiles, are being imported and sold at prices comparable to that of vinyl.

Even at comparable prices, other factors weigh in favor of ceramic for wall applications. Ceramic tile has a sheen and luster that cannot be matched by vinyl. They are hard, however, and in places where furniture may bump against the tile, vinyl may be preferred. The resilience of vinyl is, of course, excellent for use as a floor covering.

Vinyl tile is good for use in bathrooms, and it washes easi

Beautiful Ceramic Tile Work is Possible For the Beginner

Anyone with a little care and patience can install beautiful ceramic or glass tile work. You will find that with a little care in layout of the tile, choosing the right color combinations and sizes of your tile and then carefully installing the tile can result in work that you will be proud to show off to your friends and you can save large sums of cash as an extra bonus.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS REQUIRED – Paper pad, pencil, measuring tape, 2″ level, chalk line, tile cutter (you may rent one by the day at most rental stores or buy an inexpensive one for less than $25), sponges, bucket for clean water, bucket for mixing grout, grout, pre-mix tile adhesive, latex (rubber) gloves and a sponge float or two and a water bucket.

LAYOUT – Start with a small project. Perhaps a countertop or backsplash in the kitchen or perhaps a sink backsplash in the bathroom. Using a pad and pencil sketch the surface you are going to apply tile to and measuring each dimension of the work. A typical area sketch will show all dimensions from wall to wall, floor to ceiling for whatever surface where you are going to install tile. Keep your measurements accurate. Tile is expensive so limit your waste.

COUNTERTOP – The countertop must be very stable and solid. A double layer of ¾ plywood or ceramic tile cement backer board and a layer of ¾” plywood is a minimum. Cement backer board is available under different trade names but is especially made for ceramic tile. Make sure it is secured properly. Cutting can be done with a power saw and carbide blade but causes a great deal of dust so cut it outside and use safety glasses and a dust mask. Backer board in sink areas is recommended.

For this example, we are going to install tile on a kitchen countertop. When we measure the countertop area, we find it is 2′-0″ (24″) deep or wide and 10′-0″ (120″) long. A little math tells us we have 20 square feet (SF) of surface to work with. (2’x10’=20′). Now we pick out our tile. The most common kitchen countertop ceramic tile size is 4 1/4″ x 4 ¼” but you may use any size tile you would like. Tile comes in 12″ x 12″, 1″ x1″ (mosaic), 6″ x 6″, 8″ x8″ and even larger tiles are available. Some countertops are done in broken tile pieces to create a really different design of your own. Off to the store we go. You will find dozens of sizes and colors to choose from at most tile stores, and large retail home stores. Making this choice can sometimes be the hardest part of this job. Purchase the tile you like and get 20SF plus 2SF extra for special cuts. If you have chosen a stock tile, you can always go back and get a few more pieces to finish. If you have chosen a close-out or special sale tile, get plenty (perhaps 30SF) as there may not be any left when you go back. Purchase all the other supplies at this time. The salesperson can help you figure out the amount of adhesive and grout you need but all packages have approximate square footage of coverage on them.

INSTALLATION – Start by dry laying the tile on the countertop. Place full pieces at the front edge and working to the back of the counter. If you find you have a very small piece at the back, say ½” wide, try spreading out the tile a little to increase the grout joint width to take up this space. You do not want to try and install these tiny pieces of tile. Do the same for the length of the top. If you find you have approximately a ½ tile or more at the back of the top that’s great. It is the least seen part of the countertop. Once you set your toaster, blender, bread box and can opener on the counter, the back edge almost disappears. Using your 2′ level as a straightedge, make a pencil line from front to back and square to the front edge of the counter. If you have a 2′ framing square this is the time to use it. Just place one leg against the front of the counter and the other leg will be square. Make sure the trim along the front edge of the counter is nailed tightly and is level with the top of the tile. Front trims are usually wood but counter edge tiles are available if you like that look. Purchase enough lineal footage of edge tile to go end to end of the counter top. If you are using edge tile, these will be the first pieces installed. Edge pieces come in 6″, 8″ and custom lengths but is not recommended to try and line them up with the countertop tiles. Starting with a ½ tile, install the edge tiles from one end to the other. A support ledger should be installed under the bottom leg of the tile as a temporary support until the adhesive dries. Spread some adhesive along side the pencil mark you made for the square line. Spread only a little at first until you get used to the time it takes to install the tile and the setting time for the adhesive. You don’t want to try and remove dried adhesive. As you place the tile, twist the tile slightly to assure you have full contact with the adhesive below.

Ok, you placed the first 6 tiles. Are the lines straight? Are the tops of the tiles level and even? Are the spaces between the tiles all the same? Plastic spacers are available for various widths of grout spaces and are a good idea for your first project but your eye is usually the best way to judge this. For a short time, you can move the tile around to get the best spacing. Now go ahead with the rest pf the tile making sure you do not place adhesive where the cut tile will go. A small spackle knife can easily remove any adhesive accidentally spread into those areas. Return the adhesive to the bucket ONLY IF IT’S clean! You don’t want dirt or other debris in your adhesive as it will make a bump under your other tile. You will find it gets easier and easier. Install all your full tile first. Take another good look at your work. Are the tile joints straight from end of end of the counter? Adjust them now. Tile cutting is really easy but try a piece as a sample. Measure the space you have for the cut tile and deduct the width of your grout joints. Carefully mark the tile and place it in the cutter. Follow the cutter instructions. You will find it does not take a great deal of pressure on the handle to score the tile. Press on the handle and it will snap the tile on your score mark. Practice a little. (remember the extra tile you bought?) Don’t get upset if you crack a few or the tile does not snap on your mark. They are cast ceramic and contain air bubbles and other imperfections that sometimes causes them to crack unevenly. Install the cut pieces but hand “buttering” (placing the adhesive on the backs of the tile) and placing them one by one until you have them all installed. Clean all you tools carefully. It is almost impossible to remove dried adhesive. Check over your work and make sure you did not leave adhesive sticking up out of any joint or on the face of the tiles. Using a damp sponge and your spackle knife, carefully remove any excess adhesive. Let the tile dry 24 hours.

GROUTING – Grout comes in both sanded and non-sanded types. Sanded types are intended for use where you have larger grout joints such as floors. Non-sanded is generally for walls and countertops. Mix your grout in a small, paper bucket available at paint or hardware stores. You will most likely want to throw it away when you are done. Grout also comes in many colors with color being the choice of the buyer. You should not however use a white grout in kitchen counters as food stuffs, oils and other kitchen items can quickly stain it. Try to stay to a darker color. Leave white for the bathroom. There are grays, pewter, off-whites and other colors than will compliment your tile color. You may want to wear gloves for this part as grout can stain your skin. Some people are allergic to latex so rubber gloves are also fine. Place a small amount of the mixed gout on the tile. Yes, right on top of the tile. Using your sponge float, push the grout down into the joints working at a 45 degree angle to the joints as much as possible. You will find you will have to push and prod the grout into corners and edges but it’s all technique. You will quickly develop one of your own. Scrape the excess grout off the tile with the edge of the sponge float. Make sure the joints are all filled and are slightly below the top of the tile just a little bit. Never leave it above the top of the tile. Work a small area at a time. As you work, keep an eye on the completed areas. They will quickly develop a haze over the tile from the drying grout. Do not leave this haze on tile. It will be extremely hard to remove later if possible at all. Using your bucket of clean water and another clean sponge (6″-8″ long is best) gently wipe the excess grout that has dried on the tile being careful not to wipe the grout out of the joints again at a 45 degree angle to the joints when possible. You will have to repeat this cleaning 2-3 times to get it all off the tile but eventually the haze will stop appearing. Remember, do not wipe the grout out of the joints. You can use your sponge to reshape damaged joints or place a little grout somewhere you missed but timing is everything. If done while the grout is still wet, you will never see this touchup work. Once all the grout is installed and wiped clean, you are done. Let the grout dry for at least 24 hours before cleaning the countertop or placing items upon it.

WALL TILE- Wall tile installation is basically the same as a countertop with a few exceptions. Ceramic tile on walls must be installed on either water resistant drywall (green board) but cement backer board is amuch better job. Tile generally is subject to high water use around sinks and toilets for example, so a water resistant backer is important. Shower areas MUST have cement backer board for long life of your wall. We mentioned the use of tile spacers and this is a good place for them. They will help keep the tile from sliding down, closing the grout joint while the adhesive is still wet. Joint spacers come loose in a package or sometimes on a card connected with those little plastic ends like model airplane parts. Just snap them off as you use them placing one or two in each joint. Once the adhesive dries, you can pull them out and use them again and again. Layout remains the same as before. In this case you want your cut pieces to be at the floor on top of the baseboard. This is least viewable area. If you are using ceramic tile baseboard, install these pieces first making sure they are level across the entire wall. Make your plumb starting line as before and start your tile along this line to assure straight vertical lines. Step back often and admire your work. Make sure the grout line spaces are straight!

CUTTING-Cutting small pieces of tile is the same as a countertop. Use your tile cutter. Once you encounter an outlet box however, these require a little extra work. If you are very lucky the outlet box is between two tile or at the edge of one tile. You can cut the sides of the box using a carbide blade and grinder or a portable ceramic tile saw. (These are also available at your rental store by the day). Cut the sides first and the score the top of the box mark. Using a pair of square jawed pliers, grip the tile firmly and snap out the piece. WEAR YOUR GLOVES AND SAFTEY GLASSES! Small chips and grinding dust can easily cause an eye injury. Ok, you broke the tile. Try again. When you get one done the rest will be easy. The cover plate will cover any space around the outlet as long as you keep the cut fairly close. Test fit the tile dry. If it fits and the cover will cover the gaps, go ahead and install it. Circles are a little harder. These can be made with a grinder if they are large enough circles but for small circles a Dremel tool or drill with a carbide drill bit works best. You can drill a series of holes along the line as close together as possible and then snap out the remaining piece. Using the grinder or Dremel, grind away any parts that need to be removed to get the finished opening. Test fit it dry first. These are the basic items you will encounter in a wall project. Grouting is the same as a countertop. Work small areas, be careful to remove the haze as you proceed and do not wipe out the grout joints. Tiles can also be installed at a diagonal to the walls to make the room appear larger or create visual interest.

FLOORS-Floor tiles are generally 12′ x12″ but come in other sizes as well. Special made pieces such as emblems, decorative plaques and borders are all available to be included in your floor layout. Layout is a little different for a floor than a wall or countertop. You want to hide the cuts if at all possible under the toe kicks of the base counters. At the same time you want the tile to appear evenly spaced within the room. Starting at the entrance doorway, mark the centerline of the door opening and chalk a line across the entire room square to the doorway. Now measure from the layout line to each side wall. Does the tile work out to even tile? Does it work out to equally sized cut pieces? That would be ideal. A persons eye tricks them into thinking that if the tile line in the middle of the door they entered is centered and straight, the whole floor is centered and straight. There is nothing wrong if you have different sized pieces on each side. With cabinets the fridge and other appliances, the edges are barely visible but the center of the floor is always visible. Once again, dry lay some tile from your layout line at the doorway centerline to the walls. Take a good look. Is this what you want to see when it is finished? If it is, go ahead and start the installation following all the guidelines for walls and counters as to how to proceed. Tile joints in floors are always wider than walls or countertops. 3/8″ joints are common but I have seen ½” joints that look great. It is your decision as to what you want to see. You are also going to use sanded grout for your floors. It is stronger than un-sanded grout and the sand adds extra strength to the grout for the larger joints. You will use LOTS of grout for a floor compared to a countertop. The use of ¾’ power drill and grout mixer paddle is recommended but you can hand mix it. It is a lot of hard work. Placement of the grout is the same, work small areas, cleaning the tile as you go and so on. Keep off the finished tile for at least 24 hours. It may look dry but it is not. Walking on un-dried adhesive can twist a tile out of line and look terrible forever. Chiseling out a hardened tile and resetting it is no fun at all.

CRACKED TILE-I will touch on these for a moment as these styles are coming into use more and more each day. Cracked tile tops are made with bits and pieces of many different tiles that you have gathered or purchased at your local tile store. If your are looking for a mixed color top of red and green, get some red and green tiles that are the colors you like and we will break them. You can mix lots of colors for a true random colored mosaic looking piece. Place the tiles in a good paper sack and place it on the floor (preferably not ceramic). Use your sidewalk. Wearing your safety glasses and gloves strike the tile with a hammer breaking them into small pieces. Keep checking the bag. Pieces ½” to 1″ are great but the smaller the pieces are, the more pieces you have to install. Smaller pieces will give a more mosaic like look and can be well worth the effort. With your prices ready, draw the pattern or rough picture you are trying to create. If you are trying totally random, just make sure the colors are well mixed. If you are creating a picture or distinct pattern, apply your tile adhesive directly onto the piece of tile and then place it. This will keep your layout lines visible and allow you stop work whenever you tire. The rest of the installation is the same as other tile work. Work clean and keep your tools clean. Let your work dry well before applying grout.

MOSAIC TILE- Mosaic tile comes from the factory glued to an often sized 12″ x 18″ plastic grid sheet as a base to hold dozens of tile at once. When installing mosaic tile on a floor or wall, this saves hours of labor in that you can set 12″ x 18″ of tile at once and not have to apply each 1 x1″ tile by itself. When doing custom work, you want to install each tile one at a time. The tile will simply snap off the sheet or you may use a razor knife to slice off sections to infill your pattern perhaps 2,10 or 20 pieces at a time. Mosaic tile is used by artists and craftsmen worldwide to create beautiful pieces of work from pottery to wall and floor designs or a picture to hand on the wall for decoration. The designs are limitless and are limited only by your imagination. Mosaic tiles are very, very hard but can still cut with great care. When working with small pieces be careful when using power tools to cut the pieces and keep your fingers away from the blade. Always, always use your safety glasses and gloves. Cut tile can leave very sharp edges to cut you. A gentle rubbing of the tile edge on sandpaper will help remove this sharp edge. HINT-Watch in your local tile store or home center for busted boxes or odd sheets of tile people have returned. You maybe able to get a great price on these far less than retail and the stores clean up the mess. It can provide you with a far greater choice of colors to work with without having to stock whole sheets of odd colors. Create away!

A few extra hints. There are various products on the market for waterproofing your tile grout joints. Most are silicone based products that are applied with a brush or self-contained roller applicator. These do work but need upkeep by the reapplication of the silicone to maintain the seal. Oft times, the silicone discolors from cleaning agents or sunlight and does become unattractive. It is difficult to remove in these cases so caution should be used in using them. Keeping the joints clean and the occasional touchup of the grout should be all that is needed for long life.

With practice you can create some rather outstanding ceramic tile work. There is no limit what you can do with designs, colors, or even pictures within your tile work. Try it!