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What Size Trowel For 6×36 Tile Installation? (Find Out Now!)
Tile flooring has become a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms across the country. Even a basic renovation of these rooms that includes tile flooring or walls can result in a homeowner recouping 50 percent or more of their renovation cost when their home goes up for sale. With the rise of do-it-yourself tutorials in the past several years, many homeowners choose to complete tile installations on their own rather than pay a higher price to have a professional do the job.
Plank tile flooring, which is typically sized at 6-by-36 inches, is a popular choice and can be a great upgrade in kitchens, bathrooms, and even living areas.
Do-it-yourself tile installations can be easy, provided you have the right tools at hand. The size of the trowel you use depends on a number of factors, including the size of the tile itself. The type of mortar or the method of mortar application may also play a role. For plank tile flooring in a 6-by-36 inch size, a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch square-notched trowel is best for proper mortar application.
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Choosing The Right Floor Tile for Your Project
The type of tile you choose for your project will depend on the look you want for your finished project, as well as your overall price point. Different tile material comes in different price ranges and has differing levels of durability.
In general ceramic tile flooring tends to be the most cost-effective option, with starting prices around 80 cents per square foot. Some higher-end ceramic tiles can cost close to $7.00 per square foot. Porcelain is more durable than ceramic and can start around $2.50 per square foot. Another affordable tile type is travertine, which starts around $1.80 per square foot.
Slate and cement are both quite durable, but are also more expensive with price points starting at $4.00 and $9.00 respectively. For a high-end renovation, homeowners may decide to go with marble, which can start at almost $19 per square foot.
Plank flooring comes in a variety of finishes, from matte colors to a wood-grain look that mimics the finish of various hardwoods or laminate flooring.
How is mortar applied to floor tile?
Regardless of what kind of tile you choose for your flooring project, you will need to apply an even layer of mortar. When it hardens, mortar basically turns into cement and firmly adheres to both the subfloor and the underside of your tile.
Use the flat side of a trowel to spread the mortar, then flip the trowel and go over the mortar with the notched side. This will create thick ridges in the mortar, allowing for some spreading and cupping when the weight of the tile is applied.
Some people also like to do something called “back buttering”, which is when a thin layer of mortar is spread on the underside of a piece of tile before it is set on the main mortar application.
For 6-by-36 inch plank tile flooring, use a trowel with square notches that measure 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. This size will allow for enough mortar to transfer to the underside of the tile to ensure proper adhesion.
Thinset mortar starts to dry in about twenty minutes, so only work in small sections at a time.
What other size and shape of trowel can I use with plank tile flooring?
Some floor installers prefer to use a trowel with U-shaped notches rather than square notches, feeling it results in a more even transfer of mortar across the underside of the tile.
If a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch trowel is not available, a 1/4 inch by 3/8 inch trowel may be used instead.
What time of year can I find good deals on tile flooring?
Many home improvement stores run sales on all types of flooring twice a year. In December and January, stores will put flooring, including tile, on sale or clearance to move out the previous year’s stock to make room for new options. Sales also pop up in late May and early June, after people have received tax refunds but before schools are out for summer vacation.
In what patterns can plank tile flooring be laid?
Because plank tile flooring is a similar size and shape to laminate and engineered hardwood flooring, it can be installed in similar patterns. Popular installation patterns include straight setting, staggered setting, or herringbone. Plank tile flooring can be set so it is parallel to the walls of the room or on the bias or diagonal. A diagonal or bias installation will be more challenging and labor-intensive, as it requires more cutting and careful measurement.
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