Can You Install Tile Over Tile?

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Can you install new tile directly over older, possibly faded or discolored tile? The short answer is yes, you can! The long answer, however, is that it can be a bit of a complicated and work-intensive process that only produces quality results if certain conditions are met. Read on to learn more about how to install fresh tile over existing tile without needing to tear out the old tile.

Will Tile-on-Tile Work in Your Space?

First of all, you need to inspect the existing tile to figure out if the space is a good candidate for tile on tile installation. The first thing that should be considered is the strength of the bond between the existing tile and the subflooring. This is very important, as the new tile will be bonded to the old tile and poor adhesion to the subflooring could result in a real disaster.

Check the whole floor for broken, shifted, or missing tiles. Also, check for tiles that have come loose from the subflooring. If the vast majority are in solid condition and well-adhered to the subflooring, you can always re-attach the few that have come loose due to damage or age. You can also remove them and fill the space with mortar. If there seems to be a proliferation of loose tiles, this could be an indication of an issue with the subflooring. Instead of tiling over the old tile, the older tile should be removed and the subflooring replaced if needed.

If the tiling is well-attached, the second thing you’ll need to do is take a lot of measurements. Even though it’s likely only 1/10 to 1/4 of an inch thick, that new layer of tile is going to impact how well doors and cabinets open. You’re going to need to make sure there is adequate clearance for the full path of the open and close swings for any doors or cabinets in the space you’re considering tiling. Add a bit of a buffer for the grout that will attach the new layer of tile, too. The flange of the toilet should be even with or just above where the new flooring falls. Provided that you have the space (or the ability and willingness to adjust any doors and transitions that need corrections to work with the extra height), you should be ready to get to planning.

The Basic Process of Tile-on-Tile Installation

As with any construction process, always measure twice and cut once. Make sure that you have exact measurements or outlines for pieces of tile that have to be trimmed to accommodate the toilet, bathtub, or the island in the kitchen. Once all the pieces that have to be cut or trimmed are ready, you should sweep and mop the existing tile to have a clean starting point.

You’ll want to purchase and then prepare some thin set mortar, which will be applied in a skim coat over the old tile and grout. You want an even, smooth application to provide a smooth base. Once it has dried, you will make a line that will mark your starting place, so that the tile application is even. Following the line, apply freshly mixed thin set mortar to the old tile, using a notched trowel. Spread the mortar with the flat side of the trowel, and then drag the trowel back over the smooth patch of mortar, leaving notches. Carefully place individual tiles onto the fresh mortar, twisting or pressing them to achieve a strong bond. Repeat over a small area, until you have covered the floor with the new tile. Allow the mortar to set at least 24 hours.

Next, you will mix the grout as instructed by the packaging and apply it using a grout float. Force grout into all the joins between tiles and then wipe off the excess with the flat side of the grout float like a squeegee. Follow this with a damp sponge, to ensure all grout is removed from the surface of the fresh tile. When the grout has partially set (appears hazy), wash any tile surfaces with grout with fresh water. Allow the grout to dry before buffing any areas that need it with a clean, dry towel.

How Much Work Is Tile-on-Tile Installation?

While many people do try to install tile, on fresh subflooring or over old tile, on their own, tile installation can be an exhausting, exacting, back-breaking process. Many homeowners lack the manual skill and patience to install tiling in a manner that appears professional and attractive. Tile projects, especially installation of new tile over older tile, are home repair projects that are often best left to the experts. If you want that perfect finish in your kitchen, bathroom, pool house, or other tiled space, your best bet is the work of those with countless hours of experience, not your own untried DIY skills.

Can You Install Radiant Heating in a Tile Floor?

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Heating flooring is among the most sought-after features of new constructions and remodel projects thanks to the improved energy efficiency standards modern heating products provide, but one of the most frequent questions we’re asked is the following: Can you heat a tile floor?

The answer: Absolutely! In fact, thanks to modern radiant heating systems from NuHeat, the process is easier and more cost-effective than ever.

Installed beneath the tile as a distinct layer, NuHeat floor heating systems provide clean, soundless electric-powered heat generation to entire floor surfaces. Unlike baseboard heaters that leave cold, uneven spots across the span of a floor, NuHeat systems provide consistent, comfortable radiant heat from corner to corner.

Tile flooring in kitchens and bathrooms are notoriously cold to the touch, making winter mornings that much chillier without thick rugs or slippers, therefore negating the tactile, natural feeling that comes with a tile surface. Temperature is controlled by its own unit or integrated within an existing thermostat solution such as Nest, NuHeat heating mats can improve a home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and insulation without the need for extensive construction or remodeling. Plus, NuHeat systems are rated for use in shower floors and benches, helping keep a consistently warm feeling throughout every aspect of your home!

Strictly Tile recommends NuHeat for Seattle’s first choice in energy-efficient radiant floor heating without the need for additional pipes or heat sources. We’ve partnered with NuHeat to provide excellent installation services as part of our acclaimed tile work, offering the best of both worlds to our customers.

Don’t begrudge your home’s freezing floors another day! Contact Strictly Tile today to learn more about NuHeat floor heating systems and our expert tile installation and restoration services. Give us a call at 425.750.6433 or use the contact form to get in touch.

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Choosing the Right Tile for Your Home Application

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In the kitchen, we commonly use tile for countertops, backsplashes, and flooring. The applications for tile in the bathroom are the same, with the addition of the shower tiling. Tile is also commonly used for flooring elsewhere in the home, for decorative wall mosaics, and outside on the patio or walkway. With so many home applications for tile, and near-endless more choices in the variety of stone and tile available, choosing the right tile for your space may seem overwhelming.

Of course, your Strictly Tile representative will guide you through the selection process, comparing the different types of tile and their optimal uses. However, this summary may help give you a good place to start for choosing the right tile.

Narrow your choices by PEI Rating. The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has a rating system to help consumers determine the best kind of tile for their particular application, based on traffic and use to the desired area. Choose the tile that meets your needs for durability. Tile that falls into PEI Class 1 is recommended for wall use only (such as backsplashes or decorative wall mosaics), and Class 2 tile is good for walls and bathroom floors where there is minimal foot traffic. For countertops and floors where you expect normal foot traffic, tiles in the PEI’s Class 3 are recommended, and PEI Class 4 tile is good for any residential application as well as some commercial and institutional uses. Class 5 is for tile that can withstand heavy foot traffic in all applications.

Choose the stone based on the application. Not only do you need to choose tile that will remain durable throughout its life, but it needs to be the right stone for the application, whether that be flooring, countertops, or an artistic mural. Here is a handy chart to help you choose the right kind of stone:

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Select your stone for design. After you have narrowed down your choices to the stone that is appropriately durable and right for the application, the fun part begins! The final step in choosing the right tile is to select the natural pattern and color of the stone, to compliment the fixtures, colors, and style of the space where it will be installed. Click here to learn about some of the most popular types of stone tiles, to give you a better idea of what to expect. You will also need to choose a grout color to match or make the stone tiles pop, so be prepared to make that decision, as well.

Ready to get started on your project? Contact us to request a quote or discuss details.

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4 Quick Home Improvement Projects to Complete Before Spring

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Homeowners often think of home improvement projects as long-term, incredibly expensive endeavors that disrupt the flow of your home and take months to complete. However, there’s something to be said for the quick weekend DIY project that beautifies and restores your home to near-new condition. If you’re looking ahead to warmer weather and thinking of ideas for your home’s future, consider these quick home improvement projects that are perfect to complete before spring:

1. Upgrade Your Front Door

The first interaction a guest (or potential homebuyer) has with your home is with your front door, so putting your home’s best foot forward is a good strategy to leave your visitors with a positive experience. Plus, the energy-saving aspects of new doors and windows makes them an ideal investment for a homeowner looking to save money on their energy bills all year long.

2. Clean Up Your Fireplace

During your holidays and deep winter months, you’ve probably turned to your fireplace a few more times than you anticipated. Many homeowners neglect this central feature of their home, leaving it to fall into disrepair. Regular chimney sweeping is highly recommended to ensure safe operation, but don’t neglect your chimney’s surround. If you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of your existing surround, replacing it with a new brick, tile, or natural stone surround is a great project to complete before spring arrives.

3. Downsize Your Storage Areas

Everyone has areas of their home that are too cluttered or otherwise unsightly. Getting a head start on spring cleaning not only frees up cleaning time later in the year, it’ll help improve your home’s indoor air quality while the doors and windows are still shut tight.

4. Repair or Replace Molded Tile

At Strictly Tile, we specialize in new tile installations and grout rehab, meaning we understand the importance of clean and beautiful tile surfaces. Molded grout brings with it various health hazards, but fortunately, the issue can be corrected with the right tools and expertise at your side. If you need help completing your tile repair or maintenance project, contact Strictly Tile in the Puget Sound region today and begin 2016 on a productive note.

3 Incredible Advantages of Tile Flooring

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Tile flooring doesn’t just look and feel great – there are plenty of other benefits that many homeowners don’t realize when deciding between carpeting, tile, linoleum, or hardwood. Especially during home remodels and new constructions, selecting the right flooring material for your home could increase the value of your property and protect your construction materials for years to come.

1. Longer Lasting

Compared to hardwood or linoleum flooring materials, tile is much more durable and reliable material for use over a long period of time. Maintenance on tile is easier, as it doesn’t require sanding or replacement like hardwood. Both ceramic and porcelain tile are known for their durability and resilience, but without proper, professional installation, the material’s lifespan will be dramatically shortened.

2. Healthier for Your Family

Thanks to a high-temperature kiln used in the production of tile flooring panels, the end result contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have negative affects on your home’s indoor air quality. Many adhesives and grouts contain very low levels of VOCs, meaning the impact of your flooring materials on your indoor air quality could be next to zero. Try finding a carpet that can do that.

3. Responsible and Green

Many tile brands are offering recycled tile material, meaning either the ceramic or porcelain used in the product is manufactured with majority previously-used materials. Furthermore, many production facilities are closed loop, meaning they reuse water and materials, sending only a miniscule amount of waste to landfills.

If the cold weather is causing you to take a hard look at your flooring options, contact the tile installation experts at Strictly Tile today. We can plan and implement a beautiful, functional tile flooring, accent, or feature that increase the emotional and financial value of your home for years to come. Give us a call or use the contact form to learn more about our process today!

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