*Ceramic Tile Flooring – A DIY Disaster Waiting to Happen

October 9, 2010
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Many homeowners tend to dive headlong into DIY flooring projects with the wrong idea in their mind: it may take longer but the huge amounts of money they will save on not hiring a professional to install their new flooring for them will be worth all the effort and inconvenience.

All they have to do is pop down to their local flooring showroom, put out the right materials, watch a couple of videos on YouTube and there they’ll have it, a nice new floor and more money in the bank.

Unfortunately in many cases, it is far from how the actual scenario plays out. Installing flooring of any kind is harder than it looks in those videos and on those TV home shows when the guy with the perfectly highlighted hair and the designer jeans lays an entire kitchen floor in an afternoon and still has time to throw a few kitchen cabinets together before the day is over.

One of the biggest potentials for disaster lies in trying to lay a ceramic tile floor by yourself (and/or a well meaning friend or relative. Even a sixteenth of an inch off can compound as you move along the floor, the result being a very uneven, unsightly look, requiring you to start over and effectively doubling your costs right there.

In addition, as tough and durable as ceramic tile is, if they are laid on a poorly prepared or damaged subfloor ceramic floor tiles can easily crack or buckle, either right after they are laid or even worse a few weeks or months down the line.

Again, the homeowner is back at square one and facing the expense of restarting the whole project from scratch including the trip to buy the tile at the flooring showroom, all the while trying to ignore the sympathetic “we did tell you so” look from the salesperson who did suggest a professional installer in the first place. At this point, the homeowner is wisest to listen and set up an appointment.

Not all DIYers are going to have a nightmare installing a ceramic tile floor. If you have the experience, it could be a rewarding way to spend a weekend or two. But if you are unsure of your experience level, don’t take the risk, call in a professional to lay the floor and just get ready to enjoy shopping for new accessories to match your brand new floor instead.

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