So, you have selected the perfect tile, the proper grout is a lovely match, the installation materials have arrived and the project begins. To prevent “surprises” as your project moves forward, there are few things that you must know before
Tile work is not a clean trade. There WILL be dust from setting materials, backer boards, and the process of cutting tiles. Wet saws, mixers, and grinders are not generally quiet tools, so expect some “noise pollution” as well.
There WILL be left overs and scrap tile. It is critical that the installer have extra tile to work with. It is like insurance; extra material allows the installer to make a better-looking cut on a tile rather than the cheapest cut due to a potential shortage of material. Sometimes the tile will look better laid in one direction that will waste a bit more tile. Paying a little extra for a correct layout is far preferable to a “more efficient” installation capped off by a one inch cut bordering the entire room. Note that any extra tile should be retained. You never know when a plumbing issue may cause you to have to cut into a wall, when unexpected movement cracks a tile, or when someone may drop a bowling ball on the corner of a marble floor. (Yes, it has happened!)
Stone products are not always uniform as veins naturally vary. It adds to the beauty of the product and enhances the natural look of the finished job. Be sure that you consider this in the selection of your materials. Avoid natural stone if you want a very uniform appearance. Similarly, dye lots in man-made products can change. Purchase the necessary material for your job at one time if possible to avoid unwelcome variances.
If you have carefully discussed these items with the “right” contractor (see the previous blog) you will not encounter any of these common surprises during your installation project. And, you won’t wonder “what is going on here?”