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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Walls Category: Interior Walls: Ceramic Tile Walls

Improvement Project:

How to properly plan for the installation of ceramic tiles, some things to consider.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):


In properly planning for the installation of ceramic tile walls, there are many things to consider, and they include the following:

  • Cleverly utilizing tiles to maximize room size in addition to aesthetics. Aesthetic improvement of your kitchen or bathroom might be the motivating reason for the installation of ceramic tiles, but what should also come to be another reason for such an installation is its ability, if done right, to make a small room appear much larger than it actually is.  Small tiles are tiles that can facilitate this much larger room appearance.  So, you may consider purchasing small tiles as opposed to large tiles.

  • Conveniently using tiles that "work for you" in providing a tidy appearance without much work on your part.  The color type of your tiles may very well set the tone of how your kitchen or bathroom looks:  Dust and dirt tend to be dramatically more visible on very light-colored or very dark-colored tiles.  Alternatively, tiles bearing patterns--natural and artificial--like granite and stone or mildly colored tiles tend to better camouflage dust and dirt, and such tiles may be your best bet in helping maintain a clean appearance without much more work than would be the case with light-colored or dark-colored tiles.

  • Choosing textured over smooth. Simply, for safety reasons, textured tiles are better to have installed in your kitchen or bathroom because such tiles are notably slip-resistant in comparison to smooth tiles.  Though, some are hesitant to buy and install textured tiles simply because such are relatively harder to clean than smooth tiles, but a bit harder cleaning is really a small sacrifice for the inherent safety effect of slip-resistance offered by textured tiles.  In this light, you may decide to side on the side of caution in buying and installing textured tiles over smooth tiles.

  • Opting for glazed rather than unglazed tiles. Initially, you may find that unglazed tiles are the better buy for the installation of your ceramic tile wall or floor, but ultimately such may turn out to be an unwise tile choice:  After installing unglazed tiles, you'll be required to seal such tiles with a sealer, and reseal such tiles year after year thereafter.  This can amount to hefty monetary and opportunity costs.  Comparatively, glazed tiles will not require as much work and, thus, may be considered a better, wiser tile choice.

  • Seeking the least porosity. You'll want to install tiles that are manufactured to most resist water seepage to the underlying wall behind such tiles as a result of water splashes, etc.  Obviously, the tiles that are most resistant to such water splashes are those that have the least porosity, and such tiles are typically known as vitreous tiles.  Other tiles that are progressively more porous, and should consequently be avoided, are the semi-vitreous (mildly porous) tiles and non-vitreous (highly porous) tiles.


    Making a calculated, thoughtful layout. Tiles may not always "stack up to be" or otherwise look as good in your intended room of tile installation as they do in a store showroom.  This is why it may be a good idea to take a few square feet of the particular type of tile that captures your interest home with you--either as take-home samples or alternatively, if necessary, a purchase--to lay them out in the intended room of installation for you and your family to come to appreciate the exact effect such tiles will have on the room.  That way, if you find that the tile type you have selected is the one that best complements your room, you can just easily purchase an adequate amount of such tiles for the purpose of installation, or, alternatively, if you hate the tile effect, you can return the few square feet of tiles back without much of a loss if you originally purchased them (if free sampling was not available).

These are some things you should consider in planning for the installation of ceramic tiles.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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