Too many homeowners dive headlong into do – it – yourself flooring projects with the mindset that yes, it is going to take a little longer, and require more effort, than had they hired a professional to do it for them but the money they save will make it all worthwhile.
In their minds all they have to do is make a quick trip to a nearby flooring store, pick out their ceramic tile, watch a couple of DIY home shows on cable and voila – soon they will have a nice new ceramic tile floor and extra money in the bank.
Unfortunately in many cases that 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 as well.
Failing to get measurements right is one of the biggest pitfall’s an amateur can face when installing a ceramic tile floor. Even one sixteenth of an inch off compounds as you move across the floor and the end result is often an unsightly and unstable floor that will have to be ripped up and started over.
Another consideration many DIYers overlook is the condition of the subfloor. Even the toughest ceramic tiles will crack and buckle if they are laid over a damaged or poorly prepared subfloor. Such damage may take weeks or months to develop but the end result will be the same, a bad floor.
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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