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How to lay ceramic tiles quickly and well? Where to start and what to look for

In this article, we will consider what to look for when laying tiles and planning the whole renovation, with the help of a construction company that will lay the tiles for us. Therefore, it will not be an instruction on how to lay tiles well and equally, but a set of necessary information on how to plan it, and what to pay special attention to the success. Laying tiles may seem like a very easy activity, but like every profession has its own secrets, details and rules that are worth exploring before we start working. Of course, there is no black magic here but it is worth knowing everything related to it because after the glue has dried it will be too late. Here we go.

Projects

As in any construction, engineering, social or any other process, design is the most important. Efficient planning of each activity, the appearance of the space we occupy or aesthetic details will give us not only a sense of security but also the certainty that the final effect will be as we want. At the design stage, errors do not cost as much as at a later time and the consequences of inadequate performance may be irreversible. That is why I consider this stage one of the most important. If we do not have the skills to design, the sense of aesthetics and the sense of a planner or even an organizer, it is worth it to hire a suitable person. A qualified designer or interior decorator will not only plan the layout of the room efficiently, but will be able to choose the right tiles in the shop with us, order and organize a construction and installation team, and make sure that all work on the site is done. If the renovation requires the cooperation of several construction companies or specialists whose work depends on each other and must be carried out in the right order, the designer can also plan the entry and exit schedule so that the work of subsequent professionals will be arranged in time. The costs of such assistance are usually settled on the size of the room and exactly depend on the square meters of the designed space, while they are usually a fraction of the entire budget that is intended for renovation, therefore it is always worth using such services. What exactly will give us the preparation of the project and the implementation plan for the entire project?
As I mentioned earlier, proper planning of the entire process will avoid many mistakes. The first issue is the right choice of ceramic tiles and it is by no means a price, although it is also important to fit in the budget, while the appropriate size of tiles can be crucial for the aesthetics of a given room. It also affects the exact fit to the dimensions of the floor or wall in such a way as to trim elements that may not look well hidden in the right places. Ideally, when we have already chosen or bought tiles before the walls and floors are finished and we can adjust the dimensions of some architectural elements, shelves, walls and other details to the dimensions of the tiles. Proper planning, for example, of switches and sockets, avoids the situation of later modifications or placing them in a slightly aesthetic place, close to the edges and corners of the tiles. It is worth to think about the function of a given room at the beginning, the location of electrical devices and, therefore, current sockets, sanitary facilities, washbasins, table tops and all end devices. All this is crucial for further work to be carried out quickly and efficiently without unnecessary mistakes.

Which ceramic tiles should I choose?

If we use the help of an architect or interior decorator, our role can be limited only to what tiles we like and purchase financing, the rest will be taken care of by the designer. In the case when we buy tiles on our own, it is worth knowing about them as much as possible to choose the right one. In building wholesalers, there is usually an adviser, which is usually the seller. Unfortunately, we can not always count on objective help because the seller is often interested in selling concrete ceramic tiles, and not those that suit us best. It is worth having a minimum of knowledge on this subject. The most well-known division is floor tiles and wall tiles, matte or gloss, thin below 8mm and thick above 15-20mm. We will choose other tiles outside, where we must remember about weather conditions such as icing and other interior spaces. Also the dimensions of the tiles are important and the choice is really big, starting with small mosaics or tiles with dimensions of 10 cm by 10 cm and on very large large plates finishing. We will prepare a separate article about large-format plates because they are more and more popular today and their location is not an easy task at all. It is enough to mention that the largest of them exceed 3 meters in length and the cost of one plate sometimes exceeds several hundred zlotys. It is easy to imagine the consequences of accidentally cutting or breaking such a plate and complications in transporting, bringing and arranging such giants. For such large-sized tiles it is necessary to use specialized devices, carrying frames or leveling systems.

How to choose the right construction team and what to look for

Because laying floor and wall tiles can be a difficult task for an amateur, it is a good idea to outsource this work to a qualified person. An efficient and professional construction team can be a key element of the success of the entire renovation. What about the fact that we have the right project, bought tiles and everything planned when the whole project destroys a poorly made renovation, crooked tiles, untimely performed service or not done at all despite the contract and a thousand conversations and telephone reminders. This nightmare is known to almost all of us, if not from our own experiences, probably from friends' stories. It is best to choose the right company or installer on the recommendation of your friends, and it would be good if it was a proven command, documented by specific work and implementation. Even better when we can see such completed investment in someone and assess the quality of the work. Rather, I would not count on verbal assurances about reliability and certainly not on the timeliness of a professional. The basis here is the relevant contract. We always write down our findings and never leave any gaps to freely interpret the tasks and obligations arising from the contract. When writing the right agreement, I am thinking about the most important issues: the scope of work to be performed by the contractor, at what time it is to be performed and what will happen if it is not performed or after the deadline, under which conditions both parties may withdraw from the contract, work guarantees and payment dates for completing the work. I do not recommend paying for services in advance. A small down payment, usually 20-35%, is sufficient. The rest should be paid out only after the complete, repeated completion of the task. Do not fool yourself on "let us settle now completely and this one element I will do tomorrow or Monday". After paying all the money, the contractor usually falls like a stone in spite of previous assurances about reliability.

Completion of works, arranging and maintenance


Because we have employed a construction company to arrange the tiles, we do not have to deal with the entire covering associated with the tiles themselves, such as preparing the substrate, choosing the right adhesive, and leveling the tiles (clips and wedges). We do not have to lay tiles ourselves or deal with tile leveling systems and a whole lot of similar technologies. If the interior designer or our project was well thought out and well designed, and the contractors turned out to be professionals, they quickly and well performed the task entrusted to them and only remain happy with the results of our work. Here I would like to mention one more important thing, namely the maintenance of tiles. Some of them require maintenance, which usually consists in properly primed the tile, or properly impregnation, painting it with a suitable preparation. It's good to remember this and make sure that this is done right after placing the tiles. I suggest including this together with the location of the tiles at the discretion of the performer to leave nothing on his head. This is also important due to the guarantee that we get for the work done. This should briefly be followed by an efficient renovation and construction process in the field of tile laying in cooperation with an external contractor. If we decide to lay the tiles ourselves, we need to know a lot more details in this field, such as preparing the substrate, insulation, types of adhesives, tiles, auxiliary systems such as the Perfect Level Master leveling system. I will devote a separate article to this topic because it is very extensive knowledge and requires more discussion. I wish you excellent results and successful work.

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