We help you every step of the way after you’ve selected your new floor: professional on-site measurement, removal of old flooring, and skilled installation that includes moving your furniture and replacing trim. We do it all expertly, so your floor will look amazing and give lasting satisfaction.
What to think about before installation of Tile & Stone:
- Tile setting has remained the same over the years. Preparation of the tile foundation, called the substrate, is the beginning of this process. Some tile substrates include plywood, concrete, and drywall. Each substrate is very different and is prepared consistent with industry and manufacturer standards.
- First, the substrate needs to be cleaned. Moisture, dirt, and oil can interfere with the bond of the tile, so any debris is removed before installation starts. Then, the surface of the substrate needs to be leveled. This step is very necessary to provide a sturdy support base for the tile, and so the individual tiles will look flat when they are installed. Tiles will not set properly if the substrate is not level, and then when weight is added it can cause cracking or chipping.
- Next, a waterproofing layer is applied to the leveled substrate. This is extremely important in installations where the tile is often exposed to moisture (bathrooms, kitchens, and exteriors)
Create a layout plan
- After the substrate has been prepared, you need to create a layout plan. It will show the room measurements and help determine the amount of tile and additional materials needed. This will also help the installer plan how much product they need and plan for any architectural features like cabinetsThe installer will use this plan to estimate the amount of product needed, and to anticipate any installation issues that may be caused by architectural features like stairs, transitions, and cabinets. The installers will also use the layout plan to determine the pattern and orientation of the installed tile.
- After the tile is set in place, the floor is left to cure for about 12-24 hours, and then the grout is applied. Grout comes in a large variety of colors, and also in sanded and un-sanded forms.
- Sanded grout: typically used for grout joints that are wider than 1/8th of an inch, usually floor tile, because it helps strengthen tile joint and it will not sag after being cured.
- Un-sanded grout: typically used with narrow grout joints which are usually found with wall tile and natural stone installations.
- Grout and mortar need to be cured for 24 hours before you can walk on it. This way you can make certain that the tiles won’t move or loosen before the grout and adhesive thin-set mortar have a chance to set. Some tile installations may be mopped daily for several days in order to keep the grout from curing unevenly, cracking, or pulling moisture from the mortar underneath.
Before Installation Day of Tile & Stone
- Furniture is the first step. All furniture and other objects need to be removed from the installation areas. Our installers can remove your furniture, but there may be an additional charge. If we do remove your furniture, you will need to empty any contents of the furniture or closets. We also do not disconnect or reconnect electronics such as TVs, computers, etc.
- The area of installation must be climate controlled (heated or air conditioned). Indoor humidity needs to stay between 45-65%.
- Take into consideration how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of. This can be time consuming and we recommend checking with us about the cost and the method of disposal. If you prefer to remove your current flooring, please do this at least one full day before the installation day to allow time for cleanup and floor preparation. When removing old carpet, please leave tack strips in place and pull the staples out of the floor from the original pad.
- Have a plan for your doors. It is very possible that the interior doors (bedroom, closet, basement) the ceramic flooring is installed under may not swing freely because of the new flooring’s thickness. Some installers will remove the doors to install the ceramic and then, if possible, rehang them after the installation is complete. If the doors do not clear the new flooring after the installation, you may need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to cut down the doors. Please discuss this with your salesperson.
- What to do concerning your trim. Most baseboards and moldings will need to be removed for installation. Your installer can do this but at an additional charge and they will not be responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood. Paint on walls, baseboards and woodwork may also need touch-ups after installation is complete. If this is happens, it is your responsibility.
- What to do concerning subflooring. Either existing subflooring may need to be prepared to welcome the ceramic tile or new subflooring may be needed. We recommend discussing this with us and having qualified professionals do the subflooring work if necessary, as it is important that the subfloor be as clean and level as possible.
- Make sure your clean-up plan is clearly discussed with installers. New hardwood installation will produce waste. These materials are usually collected by your installer and left at your trash site. Check with your retailer before the day of installation so you’re clear about the clean-up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for any extra materials to be left for you to be used for future repairs if necessary.
- Make sure your clean-up plan is clearly discussed with installers. New flooring installation will produce waste. These materials are usually collected by your installer and left at your trash site. Check with your retailer before the day of installation so you’re clear about the clean-up, if there are added costs to do so, and ask about the plan for any extra materials to be left for you to be used for future repairs if necessary.
During Installation Day of Tile & Stone Floors
- Your presence is essential on installation day. You should be prepared to be at home and available for any questions the installers may have. You being there will insure that the appropriate ceramic gets installed in the correct areas. Since it is difficult to estimate the length and circumstances of each job, installers may not always be able to give you an exact time of arrival. Our suggestion is to be flexible and stay in contact with your retail salesperson and installers.
- Family safety is another very important part of the installation day. Make sure to keep your children and pets out of the work area on the installation day because it can be a hazardous area.
- Before the job is complete, we recommend you do a walk-through. Have the chief installer walk you through the whole job. This will provide a chance to ask any questions you may have.
After installation Day
Make sure the rooms have good ventilation, especially if you are sensitive to odors or dust. Good ventilation should be instituted for 48-72 hours after installation.