Considerations for Laying Ceramic and Quarry Floor Tiles

Of all the readily available coverings for floors, ceramic and quarry tiles are the longest lived and hardest of materials. Laid properly, a hard tile floor should add substantially to the value of your home and the huge range of styles available leaves plenty of scope for expressing your own personal taste in design.

Before going ahead however it is as well to consider the limitations of using ceramic and quarry tiles. Most hard tiles raise the level of your floor quite substantially, which could involve removing skirtings, trims around doors, and fitting wooden ramps with adjoining floor surfaces.

Hard tiles are as good as permanent so you should think twice before laying them around built-in structures such as kitchen units and islands as the chances are the units will be the first to go, leaving holes that you may not be able to match.

Solid floors are better suited to hard tiling than suspended wooden ones. It is possible to tile a wooden floor but only if it is absolutely free of structural movement and properly lined with plywood. It is also very important to remember that after laying a tiled floor, you will no longer have access to the services which run under once the tiles are firmly fixed in place.

When sourcing your tiles you may find that DIY shops, builder’s merchants and superstores stock limited runs of the more popular ranges of ceramic floor tiles, but their choice of quarry tiles is often quite limited. For the widest selection of all types of tiles, visit a specialist tiles supplier as most have panels showing the finished effect which may not be as you might have imagined.

Wherever you buy your tiles, the same supplier should be able to supply the adhesive, grout and specialist tools required to carry out the job.

In terms of your design there are other important things that should be considered. If the tiling project is for a bathroom or an entrance hall, the tiles are likely to get wet. The tiles for these areas should have a non-slip surface to avoid injury. Tiles also come in a gloss or matte finish which gives you extra options. And do you have a basic preference for flat or broken color? Flat colours produce a nice clean, streamlined effect but you might well find it is too clinical if used over a large area. And if the room you are tiling is long and narrow, arranging your tiles in a diagonal pattern will give the impression of greater width.

Faux Tin Ceiling Tile an Attractive Alternative

Faux tin ceiling tile is a great way to augment the attractiveness of your ceiling. The tiles simulate antique tin and come in various colors, patterns and finishes that will reflect nicely on you as well as your home.

Installation of faux tin ceiling tile is not as difficult as you might think. The tiles can be purchased in a tongue-and-groove, lightweight design that allows for easy placement with a ceiling adhesive. You will definitely want to measure your ceiling before you purchase the tile so you get the proper amount of coverage without having to make a needless second trip to your ceiling tile supplier. Using a 24” x 24” tile is good idea for larger rooms and you may want to go with a 12″ x 12″ tile for smaller areas. Be sure to add an additional 10% for the partial tiles that will be needed in areas not requiring a full tile. Also noteworthy is that many of these tiles can also be used for wall coverage and backsplashes.

If you are planning on installing the faux tin ceiling tile yourself, you will need several tools. Depending on the type of tile and the method of installation for that particular type, you will require certain tools from the list that follows: ceiling tile, nails, glue gun, steel tape, ladder, furring strips, stapler, folding rule, caulking gun, border molding, straight edge, handsaw, staples, chalk line, utility knife, graph paper, hammer, hand cleaner, ceiling tile adhesive, measuring tape, safety glasses, and tracing paper. Be sure to check where you are purchasing the tile from in regards to the exact tools you’ll need. If you are able to get a helping hand with your installation that should make the project a bit easier and quicker.

When it comes to cost, for the enhanced aesthetics to your ceiling, the savings compared to more expensive metal ceiling tile, and the ease of installation the faux tin ceiling tile depending upon the design and style you choose can be obtained for well under $10.00 dollars a 12” x 12” tile. Which might be very appealing, especially to the capable do-it-yourselfer.

Faux tin ceiling tile comes in a variety of colors, styles and designs and when you figure in the cost and ease of use it certainly has advantages that you should consider.

Ceramic Tile Installing Tricks

Ceramic tile installing is much the same whether your project is a floor, walls or a counter top. Get the basics ceramic tile installation right and you can do most any project successfully. Let’s start with what you need for any tile project.


Gather your tile tools first. These are the basic tools, many of which you already have. Here’s what you need:

  • Plastic 5 gallon Buckets,
  • Ceramic Tile Nippers,
  • Tile Cutter Board,
  • Hammer,
  • Screwdriver,
  • Notched Trowel,
  • Margin Trowel,
  • Chalk Line,
  • Pencils,
  • Tri Square,
  • Spacers,
  • Tape Measure,
  • Level,
  • Tile Sponge,
  • Tile Saw.

You for sure need tile nippers. Then a tile cutter board is used for making clean straight cuts. A tile saw can make all the cuts needed. You can start with a small cheap saw and upgrade later.

2. A Solid Base

Many kinds of surfaces will work for a base, but the mounting surface needs to be solid. Old linoleum will work. Old tile will work. Concrete will work. But the best surface is usually cement board, Hardibacker board. It’s rigid and adhesives stick to it just right.

3. The Right Adhesive

The pros use a wettable powder called thinset that’s a masonry product. You can also use a pre-mixed adhesive with latex. For mixing wettable powder get a paint stirrer for use with your portable drill.

4. Careful With Spacing

To look great, the tile must be set evenly with consistent spacing. Mark off chalk lines as guide lines and then carefully keep the spacing between tiles consistent. Your tile suppliers stock plastic spacers that make keeping those spaces between the tiles uniform. Use those until you can eyeball the space and make it consistent. Part of the fun of laying tile is keeping the tile straight and level even though the tile size varies a little from tile to tile.

5. Grout Right

After the tile is set and dried in place, fill the spaces with grout. Grout can contain sand or not. Whether you use sanded grout depends partly on the size of the spaces between tiles. Grouts often contain latex additives to improve the performance. Sometimes installers choose epoxy grout for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Epoxy grout is waterproof and stain proof.