Replacing Carpet With Tile: What You Need To Know

Thinking of replacing your carpet with tile? Dr. Chem-Dry - Phoenix's carpet and tile cleaning experts - helps to show you how it's done.

Sometimes it’s time for a change. Maybe you’ve had carpet in your home for years and want to go with a different look. Perhaps you’re tired of having to clean your carpets? Or maybe it’s starting to affect your carpet: Carpet can trap dirt and allergens in its fibers that could be having a negative impact on your health. If any of these are true, you may want to consider switching your flooring over to tiles.

At Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning, we think that carpets and tiles can both make a house look great. But if you’re thinking of trading in carpet for tile, we can help you with that. Here’s what you need to know about replacing carpet with tile.

Related: 7 Benefits of Tile Flooring At Home

What You’ll Need

Replacing carpet with tile is not a simple process. It will require a large variety of tools to get the job done. Here’s what you should have on your shopping list the next time you hit the hardware store:

  • Razor knife
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Pry bar
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Undercut saw
  • Tile saw
  • Thin set mortar
  • Power saw with diamond blade
  • Tiles
  • Notched trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Back board
  • 1 ½ inch drywall screws
  • Screw gun

Removing Your Carpet

The first thing you’ll want to do is clear out all the furniture that’s on the carpet. Make sure that your work area doesn’t any obstructions. You’re going to be moving around a lot and don’t want to be tripping over anything. If you have pets, keep them in a separate room or crate them. At best they could be a distraction; at worst they could end up injuring themselves on your tools.

And to be on the safe side: Make sure you have a first aid kit. If you work slowly and carefully you shouldn’t injure yourself, but you will be working with sharp tools that could accidentally carve you up if your focus wavers.

The first step is to start cutting the carpet where the tile will meet the rest of the carpet. A good starting point is in the middle of a doorway. Use as straight an edge as possible to make the cut. If there’s any baseboard on or by the carpet you’ll want to remove that too. You can use the razor knife to chisel off the paint that’s on top of the baseboard. When the baseboard’s primed for removal, you can pull it off with a pry bar.

Once the baseboard’s been taken off you can get down to business.  Remove the carpet by pulling it loose from the tack strip along the walls. Larger pieces of carpet can be carved up into smaller sizes so they’ll be easier to handle. Roll up the carpet and throw it off. You’re now ready to lay down some tile.

Installing Tile

It’s time to put your measuring tape to good use. Measure the thickness of your tile and backer board. Add a ¼ inch to the thickness. Now you should measure up from the floor on both sides of the door jamb. Mark the spot by using the undercut saw to make the cut. You’ll then want to cut the door jamb, just enough that the tile and backer board will be able to slide under it.

Measure and cut your backer board. A diamond saw is the best tool for this job. Once it’s cut, you’ll be installing it with screws. After you finish with the backer boards you’ll lay down the pattern for the tiles. An easy way to do this is to mark the position of three tiles by tracing the outside of the tiles with a pencil. This will make it a lot easier to maintain the right spacing between tiles as you lay the pattern down. If you need to make space between the tiles for grout, you can purchase spacers that will make sure the gap between tiles is consistent throughout the entire floor.

Mix the thin set mortar. It should have the consistency of peanut butter or a really thick cake batter by the time you’ve finished mixing. Spread the thin set out with your notched trowel, then place your tile. Repeat this process until the entire floor is covered. Let it dry for 24 hours. Remove any grout spacers that you used while putting the tile down.

Once the mortar’s been dried you can start applying grout. Mix the grout and install it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as you do this to make sure you don’t make any mistake. You can remove excess grout by using a sponge. Let the grout dry for 24 hours. Congratulations: You now have a tile floor!

Related: 5 Reasons Carpet is Better Than Wood Flooring

Thinking of switching out your carpet for tile? Maybe a good cleaning is all they need to look just right for your home! Give Dr. Chem-Dry Carpet & Tile Cleaning a call at 602-243-6379.

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