Carpets don't stay fresh and tight forever – their estimated life span is somewhere around a decade, varying slightly with the type of carpet and the amount of heavy traffic they endure – and while it's easy enough to get a new carpet to replace the old one, you may find yourself wishing for a flooring that doesn't require so much vacuuming and that's easier to clean when it gets wet. Enter tile. But how can you make the switch from carpeting to tile without having to hire a professional to complete the job for you? If you're looking for an easy guide to swapping out your carpet for tile, then here's what you need to know.
Remove All Traces of Carpet
The first thing to do is to make sure that all traces of your former floor covering are gone. Use a utility knife to cut through the carpet and pry it up, making sure that the carpet pad comes up with it. After that, check for any left over carpet tacks and vacuum to get rid of fabric, debris, and any staples that might have been left behind by the carpet. The point here is to give yourself a flat, clean surface to work with – to aid in that endeavor, you should lay a layer of backer board onto the clean floor (see below); this not only gives you a stable surface to work with, but it also prevents your tiles from cracking and breaking as your house settles over the years.
Lay the Floor
Once the floor is clean and flat (you'll have to use a thin layer of mortar down on the subfloor, let it dry, and screw in the backer on top of it). Spread a thin layer of mortar down on top of it. Next, take each one of your new tiles and put a thin layer of mortar on the back of it as well (this is generally called 'backbuttering' and is similar to spreading butter on bread). After this, you can lay the tile; make sure to put spacers in the corners by each piece to leave space for caulk (see below). A level (or a level app on your smartphone) will help ensure that each tile is nice and flat to prevent you tripping over them.
Fill In the Cracks
Once that's done, all that's left is to grout and caulk the tile. Grouting is easy; a rubber grout float will help you pack the grout into every nook and cranny, and a wet sponge can help remove all the excess grout from the tiles. Once that's dry, use the caulk wherever the tile hits the wall or any other fixtures around the area, and wipe down the tile to finish off the job
If this isn't a process you're comfortable doing on your own, reach out to a professional, such as Danny's Floor Coverings.