Tile flooring can be a daunting task for even an experienced DIY’er. In fact, many people avoid it because of the work involved, but there are some options that can make the job easier. First of all, you have to pick out the tile. There are all sorts of tile choices, from ceramic to natural stone, but you also have options of sizes as well. This is where you can save some trouble and a lot of work if you want to. By using a mosaic, mesh mounted tile you can avoid a lot of the labor involved in the process. Namely, you avoid most of the cutting that would be necessary and would require the use of a tile saw, which you would either have to buy or rent.
This isn’t a step-by-step guide on how to lay tile, but it is a guide for how mosaic tile is a good option for the project. There are some things to keep in mind when laying your new tile, and there is a process involved. But by using mosaic tile, you can save a lot of the labor that you would encounter when using lager sizes of tile. Of course, there is a trade-off in using the smaller tile. You will have more grout lines to fill in, but they will be narrower than when using larger sizes of tile. Mosaic tile is ideal for smaller spaces, such as a bathroom or a laundry room. You probably wouldn’t want to use it in a kitchen or a very large room.
- Assess the space. What kind of floor do you currently have, and what sort of subfloor is the tile going to cover? If you have a concrete floor, you are in luck because you just have to make sure it is level. If you have a plywood subfloor, you will need to install backer board to make the floor stiffer. If you have vinyl flooring right now, as long as it is over concrete and is not peeling up, you can install the new flooring right over it. If it is loose or crumbling, then you will have to remove it. Be sure to use the correct safety precautions in case it is old tile that may have asbestos in it. You will want to avoid breathing in the dust.
- Prepare the space. The easiest way to install tile is to have everything in the room removed. Chances are, if you are remodeling a bathroom and installing tile, you are probably replacing other components in the space. So, if you are able to, remove the toilet and the vanity. At the very least, remove the toilet, because it is difficult to lay tile around it without some intricate cuts. Also, remove the baseboards and trim around the perimeter of the floor.
- Install the tile. This is the great part about using the mosaic tile. You don’t have to worry about centering the tile and having even cuts around the perimeter of the space. The mosaic tile is a 12” square made of 1” squares. They are on a plastic mesh sheet, and to remove a square or line of squares, all you need is a razor knife. So the adjustments you would need to make to have even squares on either side of the room is very minimal because you only have an inch at the most to work around, and when you take into account the 1/8” – 3/16” grout line, you really will never have to worry about more than ¾” of an inch gap anywhere in the room. This is why you removed the baseboards, because you will have a little extra room to hide the edge of the tile. Any small gap will be covered with the baseboard once the work is complete.
Once you are done with the installation, all you have to do is finish whatever other changes you were going to make. The mosaic tile looks great and is very versatile. I like it because you can avoid almost all cutting of tiles for the entire job. In fact, I just used them to remodel my bathroom and laundry room and did not have to make one cut with a tile saw. Of course, if you do run into a bind and need to make a cut or two, you can take the pieces back to the local home improvement retailer that you purchased the tile from and they will be happy to help you make the cuts.