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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a tiler during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up an appointment or consultation with a tiler during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by conducting an online search for tilers in your area. Ask if the tiler can conduct a consultation through a video call instead of a traditional site visit to limit exposure. It’s also wise to confer about the current state of the pandemic and ensure that it’s safe to complete the project now. If not, discuss postponing for another time. 

What do you need to lay tile?

If you’re laying a new tile floor, you’ll likely need an assortment of tools and supplies, including (but not limited to):

  • Tile
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tile trim
  • Tile spacers
  • Underlayment
  • Sealer
  • Caulk
  • Level
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Trowel
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Tape measure
  • Etc.

If you don’t have all of the tools, equipment and skills necessary to lay tile in your home, consider hiring one of the best tile contractors in your area.

How long does it take to install backsplash?

The time it takes to install backsplash depends on the size of the area and the type of materials you’re using. But generally, it’ll take a few days to finish the project. Porcelain or ceramic tile may take less time than that, while very small glass tiles or complicated designs are likely to add time. 

Chat with the best tile specialists to find out how long it will take to install a backsplash in your home.

How can I find out if a tiler is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To identify essential service providers during the pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website to find a list of recommendations.

A list of national recommendations can be found at CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. This service lists 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that are approved to continue operation during the pandemic. But note not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

What’s the difference between porcelain and ceramic tile?

Ceramic and porcelain are some of the more popular types of tile, but there are a few differences: 

Porcelain Tile

Ceramic Tile

More durable, have a longer lifespan

Cheaper, easier to install

Better for high-traffic areas

Recommended for interior floors, walls

Slightly more water-resistant

Softer, easier to cut

Consult with a top tile contractor near you and get free estimates on how much installing tile will cost you. 

What is the best tile?

There are many different types of tile to choose from, and they all have unique benefits when it comes to aesthetics, longevity, durability and safety.

Porcelain and ceramic tile are often popular in kitchens and bathrooms because they are water-resistant, making them a go-to choice for floors and backsplashes. Marble tile is also a great choice for kitchen and bathroom floors, and granite tiles are popular for countertops. 

Consult with a tile installation professional to figure out what type of tile you should install in your home.

What is the easiest backsplash to install?

Peel-and-stick tiles are the easiest backsplash to install, as they don’t require any materials or preparation work besides measuring. 

Ceramic tile, a popular choice for many homeowners, is a fairly simple installation choice for backsplash, and it comes in almost any color and pattern.

Glass tile is a bit more difficult to install than ceramic, while stone or marble tile tends to be the most expensive. 

Contact the best tiling contractors near you to determine the best type of backsplash to install in your home.

Can you tile over tile floors?

Yes, you can lay tile over existing tile floors (or a backsplash). Although it’s generally best to pull up your old flooring, you can simply place tiles on top if your existing floor is in good condition.

Before you start, examine your tiles carefully for mold, cracks or unevenness. Provided none of these is an issue, you can begin laying your new tiles. 

But if this is your first time laying tile — or if you want to ensure that the job is done right — save time by hiring a tiling professional near you

Can you tile over drywall?

Yes, it is possible to lay tile over drywall. If you’re looking to lay a tile backsplash in your kitchen, you can certainly do it yourself — but hiring a professional may save time. 

Before you tile over your drywall, make sure the wall has a smooth surface with no bumps or cracks. Start by using a compound to seal up any crevices, then sand the drywall and clean up the dust. Then, lay a coat of primer on the drywall to get it ready for your tile. 

How long does it take to lay tile?

Depending on the pro’s expertise, the size of the project and its complexity, the time it takes to lay the tile will vary. For some projects, it may take a few hours to lay tile while others will require several days of work. 

When planning a tiling project for your home, get free estimates from the best tile contractors near you and ask them how long it would take them to complete your job.  

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