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General Home Improvement Ceramic Tile
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Ceramic tiling in homes has been popular for a long time but in the past 10 years, the popularity has exploded. People use ceramic tile in the bathroom, on kitchen countertops, on the floor, in the entryway to the home, and even used in artwork. While ceramic tile was at one time very expensive and considered a luxury but today, it is so affordable that anyone could use it.

For the kitchen, ceramic tile is especially nice. Since the tiling above, the countertop is such a visible spot but also hard to keep clean, creating a beautiful ceramic backsplash is an excellent idea. You will find that using ceramic tile will be easier to clean and depending on the design or color you choose, make a wonderful statement.

First, you need to decide what area you want covered with tile. In most cases, this would include the backsplash area, which is the three to four-inch section at the back of your kitchen countertop. Some people like to tile the entire area, which is completely up to you. Lay out the area on paper and be sure your measurements are accurate so you know the size of tile needed. The bottom edge will end up adjoining to the existing backsplash, keeping the top and side edges exposed. In this area, you might want to use decorative border tiles, also called ´┐ŻBullnose tiles´┐Ż. The perfectly rounded edge is what gives the tiles a look of being finished.

Now comes the fun part of choosing your tile. As you visit your local tile store, home improvement store, or shop online, you will be overwhelmed with the choices. Although you may have a theme in your kitchen, many times what people will do is work with neutral tile that can coordinate with any theme should they change their mind in the future but then use murals to create spots of color or design that match your theme. However, you can create the entire kitchen with one design or color, whatever you want to do. The only thing is that by using neutral ceramic tile and then adding in splashes of color, you have the opportunity to make changes in the future.

To lay out the ceramic tile, you want to take your time with this so you do not waste precious tile. Taking the tiles that you have chosen, lay them out in the space where they will go before you actually apply any adhesive. This will give you a good look at how the finished design will look to make sure they are right. You want to avoid putting cut tiles where they will be seen or leaving any small slivers of tile on the end rows. In other words, you want the finished, round edges to be showing instead of fill-in pieces that are not rounded. If you do not own a tile cutter, you can rent one from your local equipment rental company and it will save you tons of time and effort.

To install the tile, you want to use tile adhesive that is placed on the back. In addition to buying the adhesive, purchase a notched trowel that will be used to put the adhesive on and allows the adhesive to get into the grooves the tile so they stick better. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of a tile, almost as buttering a piece of bread. Kind of like drag and swirl it, so it covers the entire bottom. Just make sure the ridges of the adhesive are consistent so it looks uniform. Additionally, you want the ridges and corners to be covered. Use long, horizontal strokes for the best results. Start by placing the tiles at the bottom. The reason is that as you add tiles, not only will the adhesive stick but also, the bottom tiles will help support the next level. Press the tile into the wall giving it just a slight twist to ensure it sticks.

After all the tiles are up and they have dried according to the time shown on the type of adhesive purchased, you need to do the final step of grouting. Using a rubber float, apply the grout over the entire wall of tile, on top of the tile and into the spaces between the tiles. Swipe it on at a forty-five degree angle for the best coverage. Wait about five minutes and then using a wet sponge, wipe the grout off the surface of the tile only. You want to avoid wiping into the grooves since the grout needs to remain there. Once the grout has dried for a day, you can apply a sealant that will help keep the grout in tact and keep it from staining.
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