BLOG - D.I.Y. or QUALIFIED TRADESMAN?
This is an extremely large consideration and is one decision that needs to be made early on in the selection process as tile selection may hinge on who the tiler is, even certain tilers may recommend only certain tiles for areas while others with a different approach may be more liberal in their recommendations. Therefore if you are using a trade qualified and licensed tiler select one early and utilize their skills and expertise to select the right tile for them and the site.
The benefits of using a trade qualified, licensed tiler are:
- 4 year apprenticeship provides skilled tuition from teachers and on the job experience,
- at least 4 years of experience,
- knowledge of and access to the right glues and grouts to complete a successful job,
- generally they will have ex-teachers and fellow tilers to call on for support,
- can be members of industry groups, providing a wealth of knowledge and support,
- will have seen many tile applications and will be able to provide layout and tile specification assistance,
- will generally get trade discount on products required for your job,
- rectification of problems, as well as insurance for job warranty and public and product liability,
- speed and accuracy of job completion (important if you need functional bathrooms!)
Of course this comes at a cost, but for most of us we cannot easily gain the experience and foresee the traps and potential problems, therefore we cannot plan the remedial action until too late, or we may never know the problems we have tiled over. YouTube is a very popular way of learning new skills these days and, although enlightening, is generally generic and simple in its tuition. It has been noted also, that many D.I.Y. shows and YouTube instructions do not comply with Australian Standards. It cannot replace a four year apprenticeship and on-the-job experience. Videos can also be made in other countries that are not subject to the same type of climatic stresses, and are therefore not appropriate for Australia.
It is also important to note that most tile shop staff DO NOT have trade qualifications. They are therefore not qualified to provide trade or regulatory advice to clients looking for DIY tips and advice. Any advice they did provide would be off-site, and not be site relevant, therefore not taking into account the specific nature, conditions and building codes relevant to you.
Do-It-Yourself is a great way of providing the satisfaction of a completed job, when the final lasting visual component of the build is completed by yourself, something to always remind you of the process and work required to achieve your desired finish. Tiling has been around for thousands of years, successfully completed by DIY'ers repeatedly and will continue to be a task often undertaken by those prepared to roll up their sleeves and see what happens. If doing DIY, ask as many questions as you can, buy the best glues and tools as trying to "make-do" will inevitably lead to problems. Start with small areas and "easier" tiles (e.g. Pressed edge and small to medium format), buy or hire the correct tools, allow a bit extra for cuts and waste, don't have unrealistic timeframes, and be prepared to bail out and call a professional (it's not a cop out to ensure the final job is both structurally sound and visually correct).
Each person's skill, and each particular site has its unique characteristics and we have been very general in our approach, it is therefore recommended that you speak to the experts on tile flooring at Complete Tiles & Stone to further confirm the appropriate product, finished look and suitable method for you.
And most of all...enjoy the whole experience!
Read the next blog article : Glues, grouts and use of trims