Working with Tile CLEARANCE

Working with Tile

SKU# 070759

Discover the Tiling Options Available for Your Home, and How to Ensure a Perfect Job Youll Be Proud of

Lane Meehan
Tom Meehan


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Other Formats
  • Product # 070759
  • Type Paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-56158-677-6
  • Published Date 2005
  • Dimensions 9-1/4 x 10-7/8
  • Pages 208
  • Photos color photos
  • Drawings and drawings

There are more tile options available today than ever before maybe too many. This book will help you find the right style and shape tile for any building or remodeling project, as well as select the best material. Clear, step-by-step installation instruction from a veteran tile-setter will help you in each stage of the job. All areas of the home are covered, as are various types of tile including ceramic, stone, slate, and glass.


Preview a sample of this book below

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started

Chapter 2: Floors

Chapter 3: Wainscot

Chapter 4: Fireplace

Chapter 5: Backsplash

Chapter 6: Countertops

Chapter 7: Tub Surrounds

Chapter 8: Showers

Chapter 9: Shower Pans

Chapter 10: Stone

Chapter 11: Glass Tile

Chapter 12: Repairs


Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

When Tom worked with his father 30 years ago, installers went to the customers home and helped pick the tile. The job may have included three or four bathrooms, a kitchen floor, and maybe even a foyer. Tom and his father would show up with 10 or 12 sample boards and walk out an hour later with all the choices made.

Not that it was easy: There were as many as 40 possible colors for bathroom tile alone, and the 4-in. wall tile was just the start. The lower 4 ft. of the wall was usually tiled, forming whats called a wainscot. There was a trim tile, called a cove base, where the wainscot met the floor, and another trim tile, called a cap or a tile chair rail, that could be used at the top. Customers could pick a matching, contrasting, or complementary color. Most bathrooms also got a full set of ceramic fixturestowel bar, soap dish, toothbrush, and toilet paper holder.

Those relatively simple days are gone. We have a wider variety of tile shapes and sizes today than we did back then. Probably the most popular is 6-in. by 6- in. tile, which gives walls a clean look and a minimum number of grout lines. Rhomboids, or diamond shapes, have been making a strong impact in the past few years. Theyre most popular on backsplashes, but they add a wonderful texture to any wall. New decorative borders and trim pieces make it easy to interrupt the wainscot part way up, and once you do, you can turn the tiles diagonally to create different visual textures.

Ceramic fixtures are on the decline. Todays toothbrushes just dont fit into the holders once common over the sink. Standard toilet paper holders dont accommodate the larger rolls of toilet paper sold today. Old-fashioned tub soap dishes with the handle across the top are a thing of the past, too. Theyve been replaced by grab bars. Given the tendency of soap dishes to pop out of the wall when you grab them, its probably just as well. The shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and other beauty products we use today would overwhelm an old-fashioned shower stall. Now, we cut shampoo niches into the wall, sizing them to meet the customers needs and tiling them to match the shower.

Floor tiles are becoming larger, too. In the past, a floor tile commonly would have been 8- in. or 10-in. square. Now we tend to use tiles 12-in. by 12-in. or even larger. They reduce the number of grout lines, making the room look bigger and less busy. On the other hand, we are also seeing a great deal of small stone mosaic patterns. Mosaic patterns can make a big impression in a small powder room.

In the old days, a high percentage of foyers would have been red, gray, or green slate in one of a number of random block patterns. Today, the possibilities are endless. You can create a formal marble entry or a more rustic entry using tumbled marble. Borders and patterns can be combined to imitate rugs, making wonderful welcome mats, especially inside sliding or French doors. We have even filled entryways with what look like ponds of water made with fish- and shell-shaped tiles surrounded by tumbled stone.

Whats New in the Kitchen
When Tom was doing kitchens with his father, the floors were usually either quarry tile, 8-in.-sq. Italian tile, or Mexican terracotta tile. Today, the combination of tile technology and our fast-paced lives has changed how we design kitchen floors. The most popular kitchen floors are now ceramic or porcelain 12-in.-squares made to look like stone.

The varied texture hides a multitude of sins, such as the juice spills, sand, dirt and pet hair. The matte finish keeps footing reliable even when the surface is wet. Porcelain and ceramic tiles come in many patterns and variations. The trend is to make tile that looks like tumbled marble or limestone, and its amazing how real the tiles look. Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are reasonably priced and very durablea great way to update a kitchen without breaking the budget.

Slate also has become increasing popular for kitchens. Unlike the flat slate of the 70s, available in three colors, slates today come in a wide variety of colors and textures. Surfaces today are more forgiving than the flat, chalkboard finish that showed scratches and was very difficult to maintain. Many slate tiles have a beautiful cleft texture that helps prevent slipping but still lets you move your kitchen chairs across the floor. Slate is usually slightly more expensive than ceramic tile but is a nice compromise if you want all the wonderful colors and textures of real stone without paying for a more expensive stone such as tumbled marble or limestone.

Tile Still a Smart Choice
People we meet at our tile store on Cape Cod or through Toms tile-setting business often assume we have fantastic tile in our own home. And the fact is that we do. But we also have four active boys in the house, and tile makes a lot of sense for us from a practical as well as an aesthetic point of view. Like many other parents, wed like to keep our house spotlessly clean and well organized, but the reality is that if were not working, we probably are racing to a karate class or a baseball game or some other activity. Tile is not only durable and good looking, but it also hides our housekeeping shortcomings as no other material could do.

A lot has changed since Tom began working with his father a generation ago. Its not just that there many more colors, sizes and types of tile to choose from. There also are better and more varied materials used to install tileeverything from grout and thinset cement to special floor membranes and sealers. All of it helps ensure that the beauty and practicality of tile remains as compelling as its ever been.


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