Showing posts with label durock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label durock. Show all posts

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

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Tile Installation Formulas for Floors and Walls


Tile Installation Formulas

[for installing tile flooring and tile walls)



  1. How to Figure Out Square Footage
  2. How to Know How Much Tile to Purchase (once you have sq. ft.)
  3. How to Figure Out How Much Thin-set and Grout [setting materials] You'll Need
  4. How to Know How Much Hardi Board or Durock to order


Unknowingly experienced tile installers use formulas every day.Through experience  we just automatically figure in our thinking of jobs using unnoticed formulas every day.It just dawned on me the other day on the job   that I could share-some of these formulas to readers and it would help them understand more about what it takes to install tile and how to understand more about how to find a reasonable installer for their job.

1 .the first and foremost formula  is the figuring of  square footage 
  • the ft of the length multiplied by the ft of the width determines the total sq ft.
    •  for instance  a 5 ft room length  by 5 foot width = 25 total sq ft
  • a 10 ft wide room by 20 ft long = 200 total sq ft room

2. After you know you sq ft of tile to be installed .you need to know  how much tile to order.Generally you need 10%more tile than the actual area to be tiled to account for cuts and waste when installing straight line tile .If you are going to lay tile in a diagonal pattern you will need to add 15% more tile than actual area to be tiled because with a diagonal installation there will be more cuts and waste

3.The formula to figure setting materials grout and thin setis pretty straight forward. For every 100 sq ft of tile you will need 50 lbs of thin set mortar  and 25 lbs of grout

4 .Hardi Board and Durock is generally sold in 3ft by 5 ft sheets= 15 sq ft per board. So you need 1 board of Hardi Board or Durock for every 15 sq ft of tile to be laid.It takes one half pound of nails to nail each board. So 1 lb of 2 inch roof nails for each 2 boards of 3 ft by 5 ft Hardi Board or Durock boards to be installed.

These are some  formulas needed to understand basic tileinstallation . All tile installers even if unknowingly use these formulas every day when pricing and preparing for tile installation. Tile jobs are priced upon the sq ft of tile to be installed the sq ft of the Hardi board or Durock and the shape of the area to be installed in.

Other factors include:

  • the materials to be installed , mosaic tile , marble or slate
  • tiles are more labor intensive and cost more per sq ft to install than ceramic or porcelain tiles. Every tile installer has a different cost base according to their expertise,
  • overhead,and how busy they are. Shop around, get references
  • be comfortable with whomever you hire to install tile in your home.
  • But most important remember tile in your home when installed correctly will be there for many many years so make sure from the beginning it is exactly the look you want!

Hope this info has been helpful and as always If you have specific questions we are always here at Tile Excellence  to answerany questions you may have about your tile installation project
thanks again

Chris & Diana
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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.
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Tile Installation Guest Bloggers

It is so nice hearing about other tile professional's experiences and seeing materials and how-to instruction; very enlightening. That's what this blog is all about; sharing experiences, ideas and advise for consumers and DIY project enthusiasts. Thanks!

Guest Bloggers
Tile Installation Excellence Consumer Help Blog

Trugard Direct
Contact: Jake Kriser
Email: jake@trugarddirect.com


Contact: Tile Gal
Phone Number: 1-866-695-8992

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