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Showing posts with label tile installation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tile installation. Show all posts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tile Excellence How You Tile Around a Motor Panel Door in a Jacuzzi

How to Build Hot Tub, Jacuzzi Motor Access Panel-Door During Tile Installation

Hot tub- -jacuzzi access doors are essential to being able to get to your hot tub motor for replacement or repair as needed. I've been asked many times what is the best way to do this while still using being able to use tile on the front of the garden tub. On this post, I will go through a simple, inexpensive process, step by step with photos showing how to build an access panel door while being able to both tile and access the motor.

How to Build Easy Motor Access Door Panel Jacuzzi or Hot Tub during Tile Installation
Video Category: Home Style

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Do's and Dont's of Choosing a Tile Installer to do Work in your Home

Tile installation is a very specialized trade and most tile after installed is in effect a concrete like product and can't easily be changed. In most cases if change is needed then new material will have to be repurchased. So it is imperative to hire a qualified professional tile installer to do your work. But How do you know who to choose?

Here are some basic guide lines that can help you make an educated choice.

1. Its always nice to find someone one of your friends has had in their home and has had experience with the installer's work, so start with friends and family to see if any one knows a quality tile installer
2. If none of your friends or family knows of a good tile installer , then the newspaper or numerous internet classified sites are your best bet, the most known of course is craigslist.
3. Always get at least 3 quotes  and if they seem like high prices  they probably are and continue looking until you find something comfortable for you.  The most economical way to go is to find a labor only installer and supply the materials yourself.
4. ALWAYS  get and check as many references as possible  the best reference is a completed tile job somewhere in public  that you can go out on your own and see for yourself.

For instance,  I have 2 jobs in the public mall here in Boston on the North Shore that anyone can just go into the store and see the work.
5.  Longevity and durability of a job is very important  if you can talk to a customer of your installer who's job was done some years ago  you will know the job is still in tack and done in a quality manner and you will get a lasting installation
6.Ask questions of your prospective installer before committing to hiring him. NEVER let ANY installer tell you its ok to lay tile on top of a wood substructure, It will not last half the life of tile laid on Hardiboard or Durock your grout can crack and tile break  from wood movement and any water ever on your floor will cause failure . make sure any tile laid in a wet area such as shower or bathroom is installed with thin set concrete and NOT tile mastic as mastic does not do  well in a wet environment. Never install tile in a shower on Sheetrock  or green board use only Hardi board or durock.
7. Always insist your installer use spacers and if he tells you he doesn't need them he can do well without them  then  don't hire him  period. I've been installing tile for over 37 years  and can lay a floor without spacers  but the finished product is  NEVER  as clean and straight as the one done with spacers.
8. I personally would never want any bench in my shower built out of wood, wood in a wet area makes no sense. Cement blocks are much less costly and will last forever.  I would insist on a concrete block bench in my shower
9. Finally your installer  will be in your house for some  days make sure your choice for a installer is one you feel comfortable and at ease  with.

I hope this advice has given you some inside information and thoughts from a professional tile installer that will make your choice for a tile installer easier and less stressful   

Remember, tile installation is a very hard and physical trade right up there with stone masons, sheet rock hangers  and roofers many years of work can take a real toll on the body. I myself have had both my hips replaced,  my knees are sore, and my back hurts as i step out of the truck first thing in the morning. We deserve to make a good wage,  not outrageous , but fair and honest working pay. If you have any question about your job  as always I am here and accessible by phone to answer any questions from anyone who needs  guidance    chris lawson  Tile Excellence  978 471 9127

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Install Kitchen Tile Backsplash

How to Install a Kitchen Tile Backsplash : Rooms : Home & Garden Television -

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Hey. Here' s a description of a new tile product that seems kind of cool. I've attached the link to the site you'd need to register on to attend this meeting where the product is explained. I have no affiliation with this company or "meeting", but it came by my desk and thought it'd be helpful to tile installers and companies looking for innovative ideas in their industry. IF you attend, can you share what you learned with this community? We'd really appreciate it!

Thanks. Diana


Thin Tile’ describes a class of tiles that are designed to be much thinner than traditional tiles and much larger in length and width.  Thin tiles are typically either 1/8” or ¼” thick (traditional tiles start at 3/8” on up) and are available in sizes up to 5’x10’.  This makes the tiles lighter in weight and even somewhat flexible.  When these tiles first began appearing in the US market a few years ago, there was a great deal of apprehension about how and where they were to be installed.  Largely through the use of the Universal Floor Tester and the C627 test, systems of installation products and methods of application were developed that have allowed these tiles to be installed with a minimum of issues.  NTCA has also published guidelines for floor installations with thin tiles in conjunction with other industry groups.  This webinar will look at the tiles themselves, best practices for installing them, and discuss where (and where not) to use them.  It will also look into current efforts to develop standards both here and abroad.

(C) All Rights Reserved. Diana Smith SEO Powered Websites & Marketing for Business Member of the Making a Difference Network Content Writer and Google Author

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tile Materials Estimator App for Ceramic Tile Floor & Wall Installation

Cool Tile Design and Tile Materials Estimator App

It's a tile floor design tool. There are six simple steps to designing your ceramic tile floor, and when you are done, you get a report estimating your materials needed. For accuracy they suggest you carefully measure the area you want tiled first and make sure you account for any "non-tile" areas within the flooring design. It's really easy, and you can play with different sized tile, different patterns and even borders! 

I also wanted to let you folks know that Tile Excellence is actually running a special on summer back splashes for the next two weeks. You can email Chris @ or call him directly at  [978 471-9127] to book your backsplash!  Last time I ran this special he booked within a few days, so be quick! Oh-and he's still running a summer long special on pool tile repair.

If you read his testimonials page on Tile Excellence you'll see he's posted some of the actual backsplash prices with the finished pictures. He's also written a couple of posts here with costs of the backsplash included. He's very reasonable, and starting next week, he's even more reasonable (for a limited time only)! 

Now one last precautionary word before you start using this tool. I only tested it a few times, and I kept it simple so it seems easy. Your ceramic tile floor installation project may be more complicated, so take the design and the amount of materials you'll need with a grain of salt-this app only approximates the design and materials list.  This little app does come right from the NTCA, which is the National Tile Contractors Association, so it should be reliable. For another opinion, use the formulas Chris posted yesterday below. They're for flooring and wall tile installation. It's a step by step formula for figuring out how much tile you'll need for your project. He's pretty accurate-he does it every single day! 

So the first link below takes you to the app and it's instructions. The second link is to a cool site which also estimates tile installation costs, but it also shows you estimated prices on tons of other things aside from flooring, so check it out if you ever wondered how much a .........fill in the blank. Enjoy! Diana

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tile Experts, Small Contractors, Consumers:We Need You!

If you are a small business or a consumer who has experience with online reviews, ie: yelp, yahoo, thumtack, merchant circle, manta, etc., good or bad, please write up your experience,  pro/cons and especially businesses,  if you're received a bad review you thought unfair, please share how you handled it and what the outcome was.

Tile Excellence,  Inc.  (owner/operator of asktileexcellence-THIS BLOG) continues to encourage readers to contribute their experiences,  opinions, niches and stories relating to all things tile related as well as small business/contractors issues.

The goal is to continue to become a consumer,  DIY, small business and contractors resource for all. We offer honest, ethical tile businesses the opportunity to share their specialty or niche,  and to offer exposure by opening up discussions and encourage feedback on posts written by Chris Lawson, Owner of the Cape Ann, MA company, Tile Excellence,  (and part of Tile Excellence, Inc. -which is the "umbrella" company responsible for all content and all non-blog post data and related sites for tile contractors and other small businesses). and others - locally and even across the globe. Chris continues to provide his day-to-day experiences with pictures and DIY instruction plus answers to reader questions. Due to this exposure here and referrals/repeat clients, he is unable to write posts as often as he'd like, and has personally invited other tile related businesses to contribute to this blog to share other perspectives and niches.

We are still looking for guest bloggers who work in the tile installation/supplier/designer/contractor field. Please consider contributing to this valuable community resource.

Send any questions/concerns/suggestions/advertising and affiliates requests to:

To share any posts on items mentioned above, please feel free to post it here on asktileexcellence blog.

To ask any tile related/contractor/DIY/consumer related questions or things you would like to see here, again, use this page here to enter your post here.

To be considered as a guest blogger please send Diana a brief note telling me a little bit about you, your company,  your niche, what you'd like to write about, etc. All considered will be contacted with further questions/information.

Finally, to book chris for a tile installation project in Cape Ann and North of Boston,  you can call him directly at 978 471-9127 or email him at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thanks for coments and questions about custom tile installations from around the world

 I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you out there for your questions and coments making what I do that much more enjoyable and challenging
Its a honor to answer questions and help those out there make educated and well informed
choices when it comes to renovating and improving thier homes. And I want to send out a huge THANKs to our international readers,My web master informs me we have a huge international following from all over the world. Russia,Australia.France,Germany, Brazil, just to name a few.
This blog Is being translated into many languages and we are recieving lots of international readers.
So keep the questions and coments comming  And THANKS SO MUCH I will do all I can to continue to produce quality custom work here in Boston as well as answer any questions for our followers here on the blog.And as always I am always available for inquiries about do it yourself installations . regards   chris lawson

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recent Custom Installation Slate, Round Glass Tile Floor, Natural Stone Fireplace


Sorry not a lot of time lately to write here on the blog, but I haven't gotten any questions here either! Come on, guys! Thanks for the emails and calls though, keep them up, but if you write here, I get a notice from my site and it helps remind me to write!! I've just been so busy, I could use the break. I'll be posting some shower pics I did on a handicap accessible shower a couple of weeks ago. Thanks.



Pictures from tile installation jobs of Chris Lawson, Tile Excellence August 2012 

  Natural Slate Tile Installation


Two Bathroom Showesr, Floors  & Wall and Customized Tile Installation including custom made soap and wall inserts

  Natural Marble Bathroom Floor Tile






Round glass mosaic tile installed on bathroom floor


Sunday, April 8, 2012

backsplashes,tile installers and timelines

 Just the other day I had the experience of meeting someone who had a local tile man(to remain unnamed Who I know personally) replace 6 tiles in their kitchen. The homeowner  had already removed the old tile, then supplied the new tile. And even then this tile guy charged them $500 for the repair. Now I hear this all the time and understand that all folks value their time differently. But fair is fair and real is real And in my real world If I charged this kind of price for what I could do in one hour I really would have a hard time sleeping at night. Now I know that in this economy some guys need to get as much as they can for their work and it works for them
  In another instance  a customer from Peabody called me about his 30 sq ft glass back splash , I asked him a few questions gave him a list of materials and a $350 labor quote  right on the phone. He was immediately skeptical asked about my experience and checked my web site as we spoke. He booked the job with me on the spot after we agreed on the price and the day I could get there.After we had made the deal he shared with me the following;      The cheapest price he had gotten so far was $750
and everyone had said it would take 3 days. I had already committed to a day to complete his job and
to the $350 price and was very happy with the terms. When the day came to do his job the actual job took me the day to complete and now his customer referral is on my web site and a picture of his backslash as well.The short time it took me to do the job was in some ways due to 34 years of  tile experience  and also the quotes he received were based on time lines of  the installers involved. The value and time lines of all installers vary and they all have different ideas of how to do business. So your best bet when looking to get tile installed is to shop installers carefully and consider all factors before making a commitment .

Monday, January 24, 2011

durock vs hardyboard? for best wet area tile installations

For hundreds mabye thousands of years tile was installed on concrete and concrete only. Here in New England we still have a lot of homes where the tile is laid upon concrete with wire nailed right to the wood studs,I tear them out all the time.In the 80's maybe earlier Durock(durable nailable concrete board reinforced with fiberglass for strength)  came out and the job became much easier and more precise.You just nail or screw your durock to your floor or wall and boom Lay tile right down, a wondrous thing  I used for about 15 years.But one time while in the tile store in Atlanta , I saw a new product Hardy board.

Now durock is great , but has one big weakness water gets through it its not a WATER BARRIER .Durock is not effected by water but it doesn't stop it either. Hardy board on the other hand is a actual barrier that stops ANY water penetration when properly sealed upon installation.Silicone II 50 year calk used to seal the hardy board joints will insure a waterproof installation and total protection of the wood wall studs underneath.Given the choice because both products cost the same I prefer to use hardy board in all my tile and marble installations, and most definitely  in all wet areas.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Building Community Resource Based on Sharing Tile Experience

Hi Everyone!

And yes, I said welcome to OUR blog because that's what I hope this becomes.-a shared community resource.   I hope to share experiences and opinions based on my 30+ years experience as a tile guy, to hopefully help consumers from expensive or disastrous mistakes. I'll answer some tile questions from yahoo, like this one on installing tile over linoleum, or a customer looking to find the average cost of tile installation in the North East. I'll try and keep a running list of topics answered. If I run across a good tip or resource for other hard-working small business owners, I'll post it here.

But mostly, I am hoping to here from you people-the potential tile installation or bathroom remodeling customers who need honest, free, no-strings attached, professional advice to their upcoming projects.  And hopefully, we'll build a useful database for others to search for answers. I am open to suggestions or feedback on this site too. I can use the help!

Oh, I did want to mention, anything I say here is intended as an opinion only. I suggest you get lots of opinions, then come to your own conclusion.  I do not endorse or recommend YOU do anything...I am just sharing what I would do.


UPDATED MESSAGE: November 30, 2014

This was the first blog entry from Chris back in Dec. of 2010. I thought it appropriate to re post this initial entry as a reminder of the intention of this DIY and Consumer Tile Help Blog. Chris shares his 30+ years experience as a tile installer. He tries to do so honestly and without selfish motivation, and as he is a passionate southern, he sometimes says what he thinks without concern for ruffled feathers. That's how he rolls, and so he makes it clear, His is but ONE opinion, one perspective, one tile installer's experience. He doesn't claim to know it all, and we have made this blog open to other's feedback and perspectives. Sometimes people disagree, and that's fine. We invite respectful feedback, even invite it sometimes, and we even like a little controversy-shaking it up a bit. 

I put one of Chris's recent posts on hold after initially publishing it and getting responses pointing out some potential misinformation on our part. I take the blame for that because I had not done my research before Chris posted it. I came a little late on the scene, so I do apologize to everyone, especially Chris, and I thank the tile guys that kindly pointed things out so we could catch ourselves just in case. I will have Chris go through it when he has a minute, and I will do what I should have done prior to posting. We'll keep you posted.  Thank you. Again, my mistake; I apologize. Diana

Tile Installation- Time Vs. Price


First of all, let me apologize. I'm new to all this technology stuff, but I guess my "Welcome to Our Blog" post was supposed to come before I shared stories. However, I thought the following information might be helpful, and save some people some money, so it took priority. I'll try and post the first entry, but we'll see. Hang in there with me folks!

So, onto the information I wanted to share. I wanted to share some insight with people out there that need tile work done. Unfortunately, many people within the industry are out to get as much as they can for installation jobs. One of the most common ways to increase the charges for the installation is to drag the job out. Here's a good example I recently came across.

I recently installed a kitchen backsplash where the customer had gotten several estimates and done his research. Quotes were anywhere from $500-$750.00. Time frames varied from 2-4 days. As soon as I talked to him on the phone, I knew this was an installation that would take me a matter of hours. So, I priced the installation accordingly, which happened to be considerably lower than the above mentioned estimates because I knew through my 30+ years experience, that the job would take only half a day-and it would be flawless.

After our phone conversation, the potential customer checked out pictures of my work and references on my website,  and quickly  scheduled the job. The bottom line here is, there are installers out there who will drag out the job to justify the price or are too inexperienced to do the job in a reasonable time frame, thus charging more. To save yourself from this situation, be sure to get three or more quotes for any installation and get references.  Check out their work if you can.

Tile Excellence, Inc. did the job in about 1/2 a day, and it costs the customer only $350.00 in labor. To see this project, before and after, and/or to see what Scott from Wakefield had to say about his new backsplash and the quality of the work, click here to visit our customer testimonial page.

Next blog post, I'll talk about hardyboard vs. durock. Stay tuned, and send me your questions or share your experience. Thanks.

Owner, Operator
Tile Excellence, Inc.
Gloucester, MA
(978) 471-9127

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