"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom

Flooring Purchase Tips
This website will talk about installing clay tile (ceramic, porcelain, quarry, etc.).  We do not talk about installing sheetgoods, wood floors, natural stone or self-adhesive tile squares.

There is an enormous amount of colors, sizes and style choices in clay tile. 
When installed properly, it will be beautiful for decades and is extremely easy to clean.  Most tiles can be cleaned using only vinegar and water.

This type of flooring requires grout (the material between the tiles).  Grout is available in a wide variety of colors.  Always use "fresh" grout - not grout that has been sitting in a garage or basement.  Old grout will not set up properly and will have the potential to crumble when dry.  Note that sanded grout is normally used when tile joints are wide and unsanded grout is used with narrow joints.  Note that sanded grout MUST NEVER be used with tiles that have a high gloss finish since the sand will scratch the tiles.  Also, tile spacers are available to help keep the grout width consistent on the project (which gives a professional look).  Always remember to remove the spacers before grouting.    

We suggest tiles that are not porous - they need to be soaked in water prior to installation, the floor may have to be water-misted during installation and would have to be sealed periodically after installation.

When installing clay tiles, you can also install heating elements underneath the floor - giving you a heated floor.  The temperature of the floor is controlled by a programmable thermostat.  Installing heated floors requires care - we recommend it not be done by a do-it-yourselfer.  If improperly installed, safety issues may arise and the system may not function properly.  By the time you realize it's not functioning properly, the floor has been laid and may have to be removed to fix it (a lot of work and expense).

Our experience with floors in bathrooms is that insulation properly installed in the floor joists below may provide sufficient "warmth" for the user.  Concrete floors may not lend themselves to this approach.

Also, when purchasing your materials, always keep quality in mind since it will be cheaper in the long run.  If improperly installed, good quality materials will be just as bad as cheaply made materials.