Kitchen floor tile

What is the group wisdom on porcelain vs ceramic tile? Are there vendors to avoid? Is it better to buy tile and installation from the same company?
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The last question can make the other two moot. If you have a good local dealer with a good installer, he will sell you the best tile for your situation and install it professionally. For jobs like this, you look for the local pro, not Home Depot or Sears that will send out a low priced sub-contractor. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Doesnt matter..your choice, the installer is most important IMO.

If you dont have an installer with good references, then that will work. Check their refs too..maybe the BBB and of course, compare prices for installation.
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William W. Plummer wrote:

William, do save yourself a ton -o- money and install yourself.
It's really very simple and satisfying to see the great results of your own work and (free) labor.
1. ensure that you have the required thickness of plywood (support) on the floor 2. ensure that you mark out & start with absolute perfectly straight lines/angles/corner for your initial rows 3. employ patience and you'll have great results !
Ceramic is really very easy and very satisfying.
cheers "ole
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Stupid question from a neophyte - don't you end up covering up the lines when you apply whatever it is that bonds the tile to the substrate? How do you insure alignment?
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wrote:

you snap chalk lines. you use a notched trowel to spread thinset, and can see the lines through the notches. you don't have to see 100% of the lines, only a little bit.
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wrote:

lines,
btw: if you're asking questions like these, you should get a book on tiling which would answer this, and all of your other questions. you can find one at the library, or in the bookshelves at home depot.
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'Ole Curmudgeon wrote:

I have done tile in the past, but frankly, I wasn't entirely happy with it. A kitchen floor must be right for sales reasons. But worse, my back just won't take leaning over on all fours for more than 5 minutes.
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I think that depends on the size of the project. My husband and I put in our own ceramic tile, and it looks fantastic. However, we did two connecting rooms at once in the same tile; the kitchen and sunroom, for a total about about 330 sq ft. We had to pull up linoleum, subflooring, and carpets and install backerboard first. I was just about weeping in exhaustion by the time we finally finished the whole thing. If we had only done the kitchen, about 100 sq ft, it probably would have been a pleasure, and I wouldn't still be breaking out in hives every time someone says the word "grout". We both agree that if we ever have a tile project that size again, we will hire someone, regardless of the cost... or else live with linoleum.
It was, indeed, "easy" in the sense that getting it right was really not that challenging, but it was a LOT of work that seemed like it would never, ever end.
YMMV :)
-- Jennifer
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Jennifer wrote:

How long did it to take you do a 330 ft^2 ? I am considering doing 1400+ ft^2 basement with 12" ceramic tiles. The basement is slab so no subfloor is needed ...
Y.
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how long is a piece of string?
you can't really tell without looking at more than the square area. how much cutting do you have to do around the walls and obstacles, how level is the slab, how good is the chalkline layout, any patterns or mosaics you doing, borders, how much experience do you have, how meticulous you are, have a helper to mix thinset/grout, etc, all affect the time.
regards, charlie cave creek, az
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

1. The basement is pretty square. I'll buy a wet saw to cut them, so cutting is not a problem. It seems pretty level. But I did not measure it, so not quite sure.
2. I'll probably just draw 2 cross lines from centers of each area/room, and starts from there. If it did not align well, I don't care much - it is just a basement.
3. No fancy stuff (diagnal, border, or anything.
4. I have little experience laying floor tiles - though I did 100+ of wall tiles in the kitchen (splash). I might do the storage room first to gain experience - it will be over 200 tiles there.
5. I'll use a heavy duty hammer drill (Milwalkee) to mix the thinset and grout, not sure if I can do it alone.
I'll mostly do things alone, although wife might help a little. I'll try to avoid that as she is mostly a trouble maker rather than a helper, when comes to the hard works.
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Once we had the backerboard down and everything prepped (several weekends worth of work, that was), I think the rest took us about a month and a half: 2-3 weekends to layout, cut, space, mortar, and level all the tile, 1 weekend to grout and scrub, grout and scrub, 1 weekend to seal, caulk, and install new baseboards. Had a few weeknight sessions in there, as well.
That was two healthy but inexperienced people, and things did definitely get faster and go more smoothly, the more we did. We had a lot of cuts to make, but most of them were straight cuts. No border, no patterns.
HTH!
-- Jennifer
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