Installing Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

Ceramic and porcelain usually find their way into kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and mud rooms. When contemplating a tile installation, homeowners have numerous options available to them: everything from high-end, designer tiles to bargain-basement specials. Before hunting up the perfect style of tile, one must consider a few factors such as tile composition and strength. Experts recommend a clay-based tile for flooring projects where the hardness level matches its function.

For instance, a tile with a hardness rating of one should only be installed in light traffic areas like bathrooms while a tile with a hardness rating of five can be installed anywhere. Ceramic tiles are generally rated from one to three while porcelain tiles fit the description of group-five tiles. Ceramic tiles are softer and less durable than porcelain tiles, and they generally cost less than their porcelain counterparts. Although the average cost per square foot of tile varies by location, great deals can generally be found at hardware stores or tile discount centers.

Selecting A Tile Contractor

There are many tile installation companies to choose from. The internet has plenty of consumer review sites that give good indications on whether a contractor does acceptable work. However, one should learn a little about the tile installation process before sitting down with a contractor to talk about a new project. This is an important step because it allows the consumer to ask relevant questions and make informed decisions about their particular tile installation project.

Consumers should ask to see a portfolio of the tile installer’s work and ask for references from satisfied clients. While there are many talented tile installers who operate their own businesses, there are marked benefits for selecting a contractor associated with one of the big-box hardware stores. Because their reputations are on the line, these stores hire reputable subcontractors for residential tile installation jobs, so the consumer gets pre-screened labor whose work is backed by a large company with set labor rates. It is recommended that a homeowner get quotes from multiple contractors so that they can get a general idea of the going labor rates for their area.

Porcelain Tile

Installing Tile over Existing Flooring

The type of flooring foundation and the room configuration affect the price charged by contractors. For example, having ceramic tile installed on a cement floor will likely cost more than having the same tiles installed in a kitchen sitting on a wood foundational surface. The latter example requires fewer materials and less time to complete the installation.

The cost factors involved with installing tile over concrete flooring are the additional labor hours and materials needed to smooth and level the floor surface in preparation for laying the tile. For a cement floor, the tile installer must ensure that the floor is clean, smooth, dry and free of holes or divots. If there are surface cracks or small holes, the installer may use a product called Thin-Set to prepare the surface for tiling. After smoothing the surface, installers apply a latex primer to the flooring surface to prepare it for installation. The next step in the process is to determine if the surface is level, and if it is not, the installer must lay down a self-leveling compound.

Wood sub-flooring is a less-than-ideal foundation for ceramic tile because it naturally warps when exposed to high levels of moisture. When the wood loses its integrity, the tiles can pop off or break. The solution is to use a material called backer board to provide a level cement surface on which to lay the tile. Special screws are needed to secure the cement sheets in place.

Source: http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/flooring/install-ceramic-or-porcelain-tile/

How Much Does a Whole House Remodel Cost?

Remodeling your home can increase its value and improve comfort, style, and function for your family. The scope and features of your remodel will help determine the contractors, materials, skills, and equipment needed for the job, which will contribute to its overall cost. Consult with your designer or contractor to plan and budget for each phase and aspect of your renovation.

http://www.redbeacon.com/hg/how-much-does-whole-house-remodel-cost/

Ways to Save On Your Remodel

Busting the budget is everyone’s biggest fear when it comes to renovation. And with good reason. Even if you follow the essential advice we’ve been doling out for years—build in a 20 percent cushion to cover the nasty surprises, get contractor references and check them, banish the words “while you’re at it” from your vocabulary—it’s hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to, even if you want to pen a check for a million bucks.

House Remodel Cost

But why scale back a project or forgo that Viking range? No, what you need to do is get your dream at a price you can afford. And not by cheaping out, either. With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners. On the following pages, we’ll show you the ways, from the big (knock down the house and start over) to something as small as choosing a wall sconce over a recessed light. But another universal truth about renovations is that every little thing adds up. So save a little here, save a little there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1186851,00.html

The need to renovate the home is commonly realized by the changing demands of the family or individual who inhabits it. Some of these include: new family members which calls for the need to expand living spaces; a new style preference which leads to the desire to repaint or refurnish; or maybe life events that require new space functions which may lead to knocking down walls or raising the ceiling.

If you’re thinking of renovating your space, it’s helpful to know the basics. Here are some handy tidbits that you need to know when the time for an upgrade comes.

http://www.realliving.com.ph/tips-and-guides/renovation-101-getting-started