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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. 

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. 

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a tiler when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a tiler in your area, stay at least 6 feet away from worker(s), don’t shake hands, sanitize all involved surfaces and use digital payment platforms instead of cash or a check. During the consultation, put a plan together to help ensure everyone's safety.

Does a tiler need to enter my home?

If the tiling job is located in your house, the tiler will need access to your home. The exception to this would be if the job was taking place in an outdoor area like a backyard.

If a tiler does need to enter your home, take strong precautions. Sanitize all surfaces, avoid being in the same room and conduct payment using digital platforms. Discuss a safety strategy with tilers in your area beforehand.

Can I use digital payments to pay for tile installation, replacement or repairs?

Digital payment platforms are popular in a wide range of service industries, and many tile installment, replacement and repair professionals now accept them. Common platforms include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. 

Start with an online search for tile companies near you. Ask them if they accept digital payments and which types you can use. Then, put a strategy together to follow social distancing guidelines.

Do tilers offer remote or virtual services?

Because tiling is a manual, in-person job, it is not typically considered a remote project. But if you come across a profile that states the tile company is offering remote services, ask them what those services include.

Which is better: porcelain or ceramic tile?

Porcelain tiles are more durable and have a longer lifespan than ceramic tile. If you're installing flooring in an area with high traffic or lots of heavy furniture, porcelain tiles will look better for longer. They’re also very easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain is also very water-resistant and can hold up in places like bathrooms and rooms with jacuzzis, hot tubs, or swimming pools. 

But if the cost is your top priority, ceramic tiles are often more affordable. Ceramic tile prices start as low as $0.45 or $0.50 per square foot, and porcelain tile starts at $3 per square foot.

Does tile flooring increase home value?

Having a tile floor may increase your home’s value, but it might depend on the type of tile you install and the trends in the real estate market.

Chat with your realtor or a real estate expert to figure out what types of home repairs and remodeling projects you should tackle before you put your home on the market. It might make sense to add new tiles when renovating your kitchen or bathroom, for example. 

If you decide to include new tiling in your home remodeling project, contact the best tile installation pros near you to get free estimates.

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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