May 302011

Wood look vinyl plank flooring is becoming one of the most popular floor coverings used today.  With the growing choices in quality and price you should not have a problem finding a luxury vinyl plank that fits your style and price range.  There are a couple of choices when it comes to installation and the style of vinyl wood plank you choose, such as

  • Self adhesive vinyl plank flooring
  • Glue down vinyl plank flooring
  • Floating vinyl plank flooring or glue-less vinyl plank flooring

How To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

In this DIY I will cover the most popular type of installation, the glue down of a luxury vinyl  plank flooring.  For the most part the same steps can be followed with a self adhesive vinyl plank floor just leave out the glue.  A couple days before you begin its alway important to have your vinyl plank flooring in the room so it can acclimate to the temperature.

  1. Clean Floor ready to install flooringFirst like with most any flooring projects you want to start with a clean structurally sound floor.  If your going over a concrete floor be sure to remove any old paint or Sheetrock dust that is commonly found under carpet.  If your going over plywood floors you want to check for any soft spots or peeling of the plywood layers.  I always recommend if possible to cover existing plywood floors with a 1/4 inch plywood underlayment.  This will give you a nice new smooth finish keeping your vinyl flooring looking good for years to come.
  2. Now that you have your floor nice and clean or your underlayment down you will want to use a good feather finish product and fill any holes, low spots or imperfections in floor.  I also like to skim coat the hole floor using a 16 inch trowel, this helps fill any low spots in the floor you may not be able to see and gives a nice clean surface for the glue to stick too.
  3. Once your floor patch or feather finish has dried its time to find your starting point.  First thing you need to decide is on the direction you want the wood look vinyl planks to run.  There are a couple of ways to do this and you cant really go wrong  whatever way you decide, but I normally will run the planks vertical with the length of the room or with the entry point or natural light source such as a window or door.  I like to take some planks out of the box and lay them out in the room to help you decide.  Once you decide take a measurement of some planks mark this measurement of the wall, its always good to make sure you will not end up with a small cuts on the other walls if possible.  If your starting in a small space such as a hallway I like to center the walkway giving you equal cuts on both sides.  Now using a chalk line you want to chalk a line on the floor that will be able to reach once the glue is down.
  4. In this glue down vinyl plank installation I will be using a spray glue called spray-lock 6500 but all the same steps can be followed with a trowel on glue.  Itsspray lock 6500 spray glueusing a shield with spray lock glue important with any glue down installation to have a very clean floor especially with a spray glue.  You will want to vacuum the floor using a shop vac and follow that with a damp mop.  If your using a spread on glue you can get away with only vacuuming but its never a bad idea to mop.
  5. Time to apply the glue you will want to start in the back of the room and work your way toward the door.  With the spray-lock spray glue I use a piece of cardboard as a shield to protect the walls and baseboards from over spray, its also helpful to mask of corners and other hard to shield areas with paper.  Spray using a back and forth motion making sure to get good coverage without overdoing it.  With both types of glues you will need to let them tack up this can take 10-45 min depending on the temperature and humidity, this is one advantage the spray-lock has on other glues, it has a very quick tack time.  The glue will begin to turn clear as it dries, you can check it by touching it and see if you get any transfer on your fingers.  Once there is little to no transfer you are ready to begin installing your wood grain vinyl flooring.starting vinyl plank installation
  6. With the glue dry and clear you should now be able to see your chalkline.  Start by laying your first plank making sure it is on your chalkline, you should be able to pullup and adjust the plank if needed but this glue can be sticky so try to get it right the first time.  Follow with a cut piece next to it to offset the planks, I do not like any patterns so I will use random sizes.  The general rule of thumb is to never have a seem closer than the width of a plank, so if your using 4 inch wide planks your end seems should never be closer than 4 inch’s.
  7. Once you get to a wall its time to make cuts, most vinyl planks or pvc plank flooring can be cut with a simplewood look vinyl plank installation razor blade knife.  This can be done by lining up a plank on top of the plank next to the wall take another plank and push it up against the wall and trace cut the underneath plank.  If your having problems making good cuts its never a bad idea to remove the base first or install a shoe mold when your done.
  8. Last thing you will need to do is roll your flooring with a hundred pound roller, I know most Diy folks are not going to have one of these but if possible you may want to look into renting one or at least using a small handheld roller as you go.rolling vinyl plank floor

Time To Clean Up

I normally will keep a wet rag with me as I am installing the flooring to keep the clean up to a minimum at the end.  Depending on the glue you are using if its water based or solvent based you will want to check that out before hand.  The spay-lock glue I am using is water based so clean up is done using a wet rag.  If your using a solvent based glue you may need to use a little mineral spirits or goo gone.  Again keeping the work place clean as you go makes clean up in the end much easier.

I hope you enjoyed this write up if you have any question post them up and ill try to get to them as soon as possible.


Aug 112010

Recently the use of glass tiles and glass mosaics have been growing in popularity. With endless options of colors and designs available they make a great choice for decorating any area of your home. With all the styles and colors of glass it also has the ability to go along with almost any decor you have in your home from modern to traditional.  With the advancement in technology allowing the ability to manufacture glass mosaics for an affordable price is allowing for more people to fit  discount glass mosaic tile in there budget. There is a growing amount of discount glass tile suppliers available online or in your own town. Discount glass is not just for mosaics other styles such as discount glass subway tile and discount recycled glass tiles are also available.

Discount Glass tile now offers home owners endless ways to decorate there kitchen backsplash without breaking the bank.  A new discount glass tile backsplash can offer a great focal point to your kitchen and really make your kitchen stand out from the rest. Glass tile is also impervious to water allowing it to be installed in all wet areas of your kitchen and bathroom. If your searching for a way to go green or environment friendly discount recycled glass tile is another great option.Great Deals on Discount Glass Tile

Aug 072010

If your interested in installing travertine tiles in your home you are on the right track for a material with an endless style and rich look. Travertine floor tile is not as commonly used as other natural stones such as granite tile, marble tile or slate tiles But just like the other natural stones it has a beauty no ceramic or porcelain tile can copy. Travertine tiles can be used in most areas of the home, including the exterior such as patios or balcony’s and even pools.  Travertine is not just for floors it is also great for counter tops, backsplash, showers and fire place surrounds.  Travertine wall tiles come is lots of shapes and sizes, giving you a wide range of choices on design and patterns to choose from.  Travertine mosaic tiles can also be used along with other tiles or glass tile for unique patterns and designs.

Travertine mosaic tile is very popular and goes great on walls such as showers or as a travertine tile backsplash.  Some other options to look for are tumbled travertine tile and chiseled edge travertine these can add an even more unique look to your travertine floor or walls.  When choosing your travertine tile you will to find the shade that goes with your home decor.  For smaller rooms it can be good idea to go with a lighter shade of travertine to help making the room feel bigger and dark shades can add a rich look to the room along with a nice contrast against lighter colors of walls or fixtures.

The size is also an important decision to keep in mind.  Large format tiles are very popular now days, but to large of a tile in a small room can also make the room feel even smaller.  Try to keep the tile size in proportion to the room or area your installing it in.

Like other natural stones travertine is a porous material so it is a good idea to seal your travertine tile to keep it stain free.  There are different sheen’s of sealer to choose from depending on if you prefer a gloss or natural look.  Depending on traffic your floor gets you will need to reseal your travertine floor tiles every now and  then.

Aug 062010

Glass tile is a very popular choice for home owners now days. One reason is glass mosaic tile has the ability to go with classic or modern decor. Installing glass tile is not has hard as many think, with a little research and the right tools installing glass wall tiles can be done by the average home owner. Glass tiles are mainly used in kitchens such as a glass tile backsplash or sometimes used on counter tops. Also popular is using glass mosaic tiles in bathrooms such as glass tile showers and mosaic glass bathtub surrounds.

This does not mean it cant be used in other areas of the home, it is also great around fireplaces, pools and used as wall art. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to all the possibility’s of using glass mosaic tile

in your home or office. There are many styles, patterns, colors and sizes to choose from, such as glass subway tile to glass mosaic tile that comes is many styles and colors. Updating your bathroom

or kitchen with glass tile can transform it from just a functional area to a visually

appealing room you will enjoy spending time in. Glass mosaic tiles can also be used along with other tiles such as natural stones like slate tiles, marble tile, travertine tiles,

granite tile or also porcelain tiles to make all kinds of patterns and designs.

Custom Black Glass Tile Bathroom

Glass is also a very durable finish.  It is easy to keep clean, impervious to water and can has very little maintenance to keep it looking beautiful for years to come.  Glass tiles will also never fade keeping the bright vibrant colors for the life of your home.

Glass tile is also becoming more affordable than it used to be with many discount glass tile locations to buy from. Also gaining in popularity is recycled glass tiles, these have a unique look and are great for using as a accent piece. Glass tile can range in price from $8 to over $300 per sq ft,  its always important to make sure you are staying in your budget when picking your new tiles. If your budget does not allow for a full glass tile bathroom or kitchen you may want to just use glass tile mosaics as a border or accent pieces to help keep cost down.  As always its important to shop around, there are  many online wholesale sites that offer cheap discount glass tile that can still be very budget friendly.


Jul 062010

Schluter Ditra –  Tile flooring installation can be a very strong, almost maintenance free and hygienic flooring for your home. Installing tile flooring correctly can be challenging in today’s homes with different substrates. Schluter Ditra is a underlayment that can take the guess work out of your tile floor installation. Ditra is a Polyethylene based membrane formed into a grid to aid in adhesion. The underside is laminated with a fleece material and is installed to the substrate using thinset. Schluter recommends using a 11/64″ x 11/64″ trowel for installing Schluter Ditra to the substrate.  The fleece bonds with the thinset allowing it to become firmly bonded to the floor.  Tile is then ready to be installed onto the Ditra installation using a thinset mortar. Schluter-Ditra may be used most for giving a wood sub-floor a proper substrate for tile installation but its is much more than that. A Ditra installation also provides a waterproofing, vapor and uncoupling surface  to your floor.

Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit

Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit Contents

Schluter Kerdi –       Kerdi is a crack prevention and water proofing membrane used mostly in showers and bathtub surrounds. Its constructed out of a polyethylene material with a fleece covering to help bond it to the substrate and flooring. This waterproofing material is used the Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit.  Schluter Kerdi is installed using an unmodified  thinset mortar with a trowel size of 1/8 x 1/8 notch.

May 012010

Vinyl plank flooring is rapidly growing to one of the most used floor coverings today. With the look and feel of real wood with out the cost many people are turning to vinyl plank as a great option. A couple reasons vinyl plank is gaining popularity is its advantages over hardwood floors, such as price and ease of install. Vinyl plank is also a very water resistant flooring. It is also possible to install vinyl flooring over other floor coverings as long as the surface is smooth, you may need to use leveling compounds to achieve an acceptable surface.

There are some vinyl planks available with a peel and stick backing. These can be used if your in a pinch but most are going to be a lower quality over regular plank flooring. I would recommend avoiding these if possible. Until recently vinyl plank flooring with a wood look has been unheard of by most. Some of the things that have made vinyl siding so popular are also making vinyl plank a much more accepted flooring.With installation being easier than wood flooring and a budget friendly option vinyl plank is a great option for any homeowner looking for new flooring. With hand scraped look vinyl planks available today it can be very hard for the average person to tell vinyl plank from real wood. There are many options in sizes and colors to match any decor and will give your room a durable and beautiful appearance.

Wood look vinyl plank pattern

Wood plank with dolphins inset

With the cost being half of real wood flooring and installation time being much quicker you will have your new floor installed and your home back to normal with very little inconvenience to you.Wood vinyl plank also gives you the ability to install all kinds of patterns and designs that would normally be very time consuming or impossible with real hard wood floors. Wood look vinyl plank can truly enhance your living space and is a option you should consider if your looking for new flooring.

If you have any question feel free to leave a comment I will do my best to answer

Apr 082010

Slate tile seems to be one of the most popular choices in natural stones used today.  Slate is a combination of volcanic ash along with mud and clay that give it the unique mix of colors, ranging from blues and blacks to reds and copper tones.  Slate is a great tile to install interior or exterior that has a look and feel no other natural stone can give.Slate will also stand up to high traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.  It is also stain and slip resistant and also bacteria resistant making  it  a very user friendly tile for keeping clean.  Slate is also a very affordable over other natural stones and a great bargain for the natural beauty it can add to your home.

Slate Tile Porch

When picking your slate floor tile it is important to see as many tiles from the lot as possible.  Every slate tile is unique and trying to choose your tile from just one sample can lead to a false idea of  how the over all look of the floor will turn out.  I would advise to open up a whole box and lay them out to get a feel of the dominant color for that slate.  Slate tile will also come in different thicknesses depending on if you pick a gauged or ungauged tile.  A ungauged slate will vary in thickness and will have a lot more textured feel to it.  Most of your gauged slates are going to be much more uniformed in thickness and can come with a much smoother finish.

No matter which natural slate tile flooring you choose its a good idea to seal the tile.  The sealer can really help to bring out the natural colors in the tile giving it a deep rich look.  There are a couple different sealers to choose from such as natural look, gloss and low sheen.  Its always a good idea to test out the sealer on some spare tiles before doing the whole floor to make sure your going to be happy with the final product.

You cant go wrong with slate whether you are installing slate floors, slate counters, slate back splash or slate showers.  No matter where you install slate tile it will last a life time and add value to any home.

Custom Slate Tile Shower

Installing Slate Tile

First thing I like to do is remove as much of the slate from the boxes and lay them out to see all the shades of color and thickness difference in the tiles. This is also a good time to check for damaged tiles.  I like to try and mix the different shades  and set aside some of the more unique looking tiles for areas that will show them off.  I also set some of the thicker tiles aside and I like to start with them and bring the thinner tiles up to that level.  Like most other natural stones you will need a wet saw to cut the slate tiles to the proper size, these are available at most home centers to rent.  Its a good idea to remove any mortar from the surface of the tile as you install it using a wet sponge. More info on how to install slate tile can be found here – how to install tile

Sealing Slate Tile

After you are done grouting your slate its a good idea to let the slate tile and grout fully cure before sealing.  You will want to check the specifications on the products you use for proper cure times before sealing slate tiles. / CC BY 2.0

Sealing your slate is a great way to enhance the natural colors and give it a long lasting finish.  Start by making sure your floor is nice and clean, its a good idea to use a shop vac if you have one to remove any loose dirt.  Apply the sealer using a paint brush, sponge or applicator pad in thin coats.  Allow the first coat to dry depending on the product your using this can be a couple hours or days.  Once dry then apply a second coat and again let fully cure before there is any traffic on the slate floor.

If you have any question on how to install slate tile or how to seal slate tile feel free to leave a comment I will do my best to answer

Apr 072010

Saltillo tile comes from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.  They range in colors from orange to reds and some yellow shades, the color range of the tile comes from its placement during the firing process.  The variety of colors make it a great choice for almost any style of decor.  Saltillo floor tile comes in lots of different shapes and sizes giving endless options for a custom design installation.  The tile is hand formed in wooden frames from clay that is dug right from the ground and set outside to dry.  It is common for dogs or other animals to walk on the tiles as they bake in the sun leaving foot prints in the tile.  These foot print tiles are popular, many people will set these in high traffic areas to make sure they are visible.

Saltillo Tile Designs

The two basic shapes are super and regular, super saltillo is going to have a round edge and rounded corners and regular saltillo has square edges and corners.  Saltillo Mexican tile does not have a glazed finish making it avery porous tile, because of this it is a good idea to seal the floor tile and grout after installation.  There are a couple of different types and sheen of sealers to choose from oil based sealers and water based sealers.  I would recommend only using the water based sealer indoors and using the oil based outdoors or indoors.

Installing saltillo tile is different from other ceramic tiles, because it is hand made they can be different sizes, colors, not square, not all flat, chipped edges and occasional cracksand these are not defects this is what makes it unique.  These unique properties can make it difficult to maintain straight grout lines during your saltillo tile floor installation.  To help offset the different sizes you normally want to install saltillo tile with a half inch grout lines, this will give you some play to make adjustments if needed.  The bigger grout lines also means you will need a special grout that’s made for saltillo tile, its made with larger sand  particles than regular grout.

I also recommend getting an extra 10% of tile for waste and 18% if your installing at a diagonal or other patterns.

You will want to start out like any other tile install with good floor prep and lay out the tiles to find the best place to start.  I use a 1/2 x 1/2 trowel  and even with the bigger trowel some saltillo tiles will be cupped and you may still have to back butter some as you install them.  Its always a good idea to pull up a couple tiles as so go to make sure your getting proper coverage on the back, the national standard is 80 to 95 percent of coverage with a minimum of 3/32-inch thick of thinset  on the back of the tile.

To make your cuts you will need to use a wet saw with a diamond blade, they are available to rent at most local rental stores.

Sealing Saltillo tile you can seal your tile before installation or after, but I would recommend sealing it first.  When you  are 

Mexican Tile Stairway

installing unsealed saltillo there is a chance you could stain the tiles during installation.  Grouting the tiles is also much easier when sealed, if you decide to install and grout first you will have to wait a couple days for the tile to dry out before you can seal it.  Another thing to think about is if your using oil based sealer it is very flammable when wet and has a very strong smell so special care must be used if sealing indoors.  Sealers can be sprayed but that takes special equipment most home owners don’t have, so most will use a 3/8 inch nap roller to apply the sealer.  The first coat will absorb very quickly, you will want to do a minimum of two or three coats.  Its a good idea to try not to get sealer on the sides of the tile when sealing this can affect the grout from sticking to the tile grout joint making a week joint.

If you have any question feel free to leave a comment I will do my best to answer

Mar 282010

Looking to save money? Installing tile is a easy project that can be accomplished in a weekend and with a little knowledge you can install tile like a pro in no time.

Tile floors are a great alternative to other floor finishes that cant take the abuse of every day living.  Tile flooring comes in a wide rage of sizes and colors to match the decor of any room in the house.  Ceramic tile has a expected life span of 50 years compared to carpet at 6 years and sheet vinyl at 10 years.  They can provide years of maintenance free use and add value and character to your home.

Choosing your Floor Tile can be the hardest part of the job, there are thousands of styles, sizes, and shapes to choose from. You also need to decide if you want to use ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile, quarry tile and natural materials such as travertine tiles slate tiles, saltillo tiles, marble tiles, granite tiles and

Custom Black Glass Tile Bathroom

limestone tiles. Each one has its pro’s and con’s that we will cover to help you choose the tile flooring that’s right for you.  Next you will need to decide on a size and pattern for your installation.  The patterns are as endless as your choice in tiles, some of the popular choices include straight lay, diagonal, brick, basket weave and pin wheel just to name a few.  This is something you will want to keep in mind when looking for your new flooring  since some patterns will use different size and shape tiles.

One of the most important parts of a long lasting installation is the prep work, this will change depending on what substrate you will be going over.  It may seem overwhelming but a successful  tile floor installation can be done by most home owners saving you money and giving you a feeling of accomplishment.

If you have any question feel free to leave a comment I will do my best to answer