Floor Tile Installation | Wood-Look Porcelain Tile 

This floor tile installation project has the 6" by 39" wood-look porcelain tile and Mobe Pearl stain resistant grout that never needs to be sealed, per manufacturer's instructions.

This picture shows just a small area of this 2,750 square foot (SF) concrete floor that takes you out on a nice patio and within yards of the forest's edge for a relaxing atmosphere.

Floor tile installation, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Tempe, Peoria, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde. Wood Look Porcelain Tile Installer.6x39 in. Capella Ash Porcelain Tile - Floor Tile Installation

Another area of this wood-look porcelain floor tile.

66x39 in. Capella Ash Porcelain Tile

This floor tile installation was an upgrade from carpet to porcelain tile that imitates the look of old wood boards.

Even though more tile kinds imitate the brown-ish wood look found inside many homes, there's also the gray-ish wood look seen mostly on the outside of very old wooden structures like barns, some fences, etc.

That's the look this homeowner wanted to go for and it led him to choose the gray old wood look variety found in Capella Ash porcelain tile.

The carpet was already removed and the baseboards were 'saved' in a big pile in the middle of the floor. The plan was to restore and reinstall them after the floor tile installation is done.

Plastic sheets covering couches/furniture and other objects to protect from dust.Plastic Sheets Covering Couches/Furniture

We carefully placed all the furniture and other objects together in 2 areas and covered everything with plastic sheets. Whoever removed the carpet may have caused way more dust just by pulling the carpet and padding out, compared to our floor tile installation work which is virtually dust free.

The delivery of heavy boxes of tile to the work area was quite a challenge.

240 lbs. heavy tile carried in cart with shock absorbing wheels over very rough stone stairs.Rough Stone Steps Out There

After delivering all 4 pallets of tile and one pallet of 48 thinset bags, all in one day, we were ready to begin planning for the right floor tile installation. 

After the homeowner's decision to have the tile run east-west, we started planning how and where to best begin the tile installation.

Besides the huge L-shaped main area of the floor, we had these other areas:

  • long walk/in closet
  • storage room
  • electrical panel closet
  • sump pump closet
  • stair landing 1
  • stair landing 2
  • closet 1
  • closet 2
  • hallway
  • furnace room
  • bedroom/office plus closet

Other areas not included in this project were: the travertine bathroom and a 300 SF storage room with a second furnace.

Floor tile installation, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Tempe, Peoria, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde. Wood Look Porcelain Tile Installer.Bare Concrete Floor Before Porcelain Plank Tile Installation

Floor tile installation, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Tempe, Peoria, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde. Wood Look Porcelain Tile Installer.Hallway Floor Before Porcelain Tile Installation

Wood-Look Porcelain Tile Installation On Concrete Floor

Well, there's actually more decision making involving the homeowner. After narrowing down their grout color to 2 choices from our grout samples, they wanted to see the samples more like the final look of installed tile would be.

We did just that for them... and more! Getting some tile leveling pieces to hold 2 tile together, we did a sample of 2 grouts at a 1/8 in. width and the same thing for a 3/16 in. wide grout. The grey tape separates the light grout from the darker one so they dry separately and don't mix while wet.

Besides seeing the 2 grout color samples, they got to see 2 grout line widths. The winner was the narrower 1/8 wide light colored grout (seen at top left).

Tile leveling system holding sample porcelain tile for grout color and width: 1/8 vs. 3/16 in.Samples: 2 Grout Colors & 2 Grout Widths

Installation Begins: 6" x 39" Wood-Look Porcelain Tile

After a combination of laser lines, measuring and calculations, a straight line was marked on the floor. This line runs parallel with the main outside wall that has the best chances of being straight. And that's the line where the first tiles are placed down and installed being perfectly aligned with it.

Plank tile installation, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Tempe, Peoria, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde. Wood Look Porcelain Tile Installer.Porcelain Wood-Look Tile Installation In Progress

The red & white plastic on the tile is a 2-piece Raimondi Tile Leveling System that is strongly recommended to be used with long format tile or large tile. It came along on the market with the advent of the (very) long format tiles.

This tile leveling system makes sure your tile will dry perfectly level and avoids tile lippage - a tile edge being higher than the next one causing visual imperfections or even a tripping hazard.

Some tile installers may tell you they don't need to use it (being as good as they are) but that statement doesn't hold water when tiles are (very) long on one side or even both, and the tile can be curved/bent by default. Even with the 'smaller' 12x24 inch tile, the leveling system gives you peace of mind.

Take the above picture for example... the tile length is 39+ inches and they can be slightly bent from the manufacturer. Add to that the randomness of each next row where tiles are offset by a few or more inches, similar to the randomness of hardwood floor (the lines must not align from one row to the next).

The leveling system holds tile edges level overnight or 24 hours until the thin-set dries and takes over in 'holding' the tile level for good.

36High-End Tile Cutter Showing a 39 in. Long Cut

A wet saw is an electrical tile cutting machine that is definitely needed for most tile jobs and uses a diamond blade to cut tiles. A 'dry' tile cutter is a score-and-snap tool that is used for straight cuts, especially cuts that go against walls. 

This tool is needed in addition to a wet saw and has some advantages. Take the above picture for example: The tile that's just been cut is 39+ inches long.

It takes a few seconds to cut it and there's very little noise and no water involved. If the same tile was cut with a wet saw, it would take a longer time and cause very loud and useless noise in your house/garage, not to mention useless blade wear. The fact is, most tile cutters handle tiles up to 24 in. long and few tile installers invest in more expensive longer ones.

Continuing Floor Tile Installation With 6x39 in. Wood-Look Porcelain

Save 20% on your tile, grout, etc. at The Tile Shop

As tiles are being installed, they cannot be stepped on until the next day or 24 hours later, per thin-set manufacturer's instructions.

This brings up the fact that at the end of each day, the installer(s) must not 'paint themselves in a corner' behind freshly installed tiles with no way to get out without stepping on tile. This fact also limits in some cases how much tile can be installed in one area in one day and good planning is extremely useful for best results.

Long Format Tile Installation In Bedroom/Office

For example as soon as the floor tile installation reached this office/bedroom door towards the end of a workday, 2 rows of tile were installed all the way to the wall (by the white bag). You can easily spot the 2 tile rows as the ones not having red/white leveling system on them. 

Basement/office tile being installed on concrete floor - Burr Ridge, IL 60527Floor Tile Installation Goes On

The picture was taken the second day when the 2 tile rows were dry and the leveling system was removed. This allowed the tile installer to install a few tile rows on the left side getting within less than 2 ft. from the wall, which is the least amount of space he needs to stand/kneel and work.

He then steps/jumps over the rows he's just installed onto the 2 rows dried from yesterday and continues installing more rows on the right side (as seen) making sure he doesn't lock himself in, but has enough room to get out the door without stepping on the freshly installed tile. He can move to another area now and continue installing there following the same general rules.

The next (3rd) day when all these tiles in the picture are dry, he can stand on them and work on the left side finishing the area by the wall. He them moves to the right side and installs as many tile rows as possible, making sure he can either jump over them or use a 'bridge' made of strong enough wood (2x6 or so) to get out.
On the 4th day he'll be able to finish installing the last few tile rows by the wall.

Another area about to get the last few rows of porcelain tile installation by the wall.

Capella Ash porcelain tile installation almost done - few rows left by basement wall.Tile Installation Almost Done

Things are being set up for the installation of the last few tile rows by this 50 FT long wall. As you can see, there's a closet 'in the way' and the same visible concrete floor continues on the other side.

Another detail seen in this picture is a small part of the the plastic sheet covered furniture and other things that are now all placed on top of tile after being moved from the concrete area where they were set in the first place. It was a move needed to be done in order to tile that initial area covered by furniture and by the way, the same was done to another 'gathering' of furniture in a different area.

The closet seen in the above picture is actually the sump pump area which by the way, got the same tile like the rest of the concrete floor.

Unfinished closet/sump pump area and concrete floor before tile installation.Sump Pump Area Before Tile Installation

Unfinished closet/sump pump area and after porcelain tile installation.Sump Pump Area After Tile Installation

Porcelain tile were installed all the way around the round cover of the sump pump area to match the rest of the floor, even though the builders usually don't finish these kind of places with drywall and not even wood trim around doors.

But when you open the door and look, it feels and looks much better with tile surrounding the sump pump cover and matching the whole floor tile installation, compared to bare concrete.

Grouting The New Porcelain Tile Floor

After all the areas were tiled, it was time to start grouting. This picture was taken shortly after spreading the grout on this hallway, but before washing it away. That's why you see the white grout streaks which is the normal look after spreading the grout with a grout float but before washing/cleaning the tile.

The door on the left side is the bathroom which already had 18x18 in. travertine tile installed on the floor including 4 inch travertine baseboards.

Grout application on hallway porcelain tile seen after spreading but before washing/cleaning the extra grout.Floor Tile View DURING Grouting

A grout cleaning machine was used to clean most areas except the very small closets or other narrow spaces where the machine doesn't fit and the traditional hand-sponge-water method works best.

Grout applied on basement storage porcelain floor seen before washing/cleaning the extra grout.Grout View Before Washing

This next picture shows the same messy area as above but now the grout excess has been removed and the porcelain tiles are clean. The grout needs to dry overnight so the best way to avoid anyone stepping inside by accident is to close off the area with yellow caution tape and even add a written sign that says: Wet grout. Do not step on tile.

Grout perfectly cleaned off the tile surface and yellow caution tape visible to prevent people from stepping inside while grout is drying.Clean Tile After Grouting

Close-up on Wood Look 6x39 Porcelain Tile & Mobe Pearl Grout

Close-up on Capella Ash porcelain tile to reveal the rustic/antique wood look particularities imitating old barn wood.Floor Tile Installation - 6x39 in. Capella Ash Porcelain Tile Close-up

Get Your Tile From The Tile Shop at a
20% Discount

This picture is a close up of an area about 3.5 by 6.5 feet of this freshly grouted floor tile. You can clearly see that each piece of tile is more or less different than the next and all of them resemble the look of rustic wood boards seen in an old barn.

Besides differences in color, shade and other details, some parallel lines can be seen running on the width of some tiles, imitating marks left by old wood tools when shaving/cutting boards to have the same thickness.

Another unique feature of this floor is that each row of tile is placed in a random position, meaning it's not brick style or third pattern.

Wood Baseboard Restoration, Reinstallation + Base Shoe (quarter round)

The baseboard that was removed prior to our starting this project, was placed in a big pile with nails sticking out from all boards and other things hanging like paint peeled off the walls, white silicone/caulk end even door stops that were still attached to the wood.

Given that the baseboards were fairly new, made from real wood and all together were many hundreds of feet long, the homeowner wanted to restore them and have them reinstalled and painted.

It was the best decision as nothing was wrong with them and the only negative factor was the view before restoration as seen below on the front and then back of the end foot of a long piece of baseboard.

Front of wood baseboard before restoration (shows peeled wall paint, etc).Baseboard Before Restoration - Front

Back of wood baseboard before restoration (shows white silicone/chaulk, cardboard 'spacer', finish nails, etc).Baseboard Before Restoration - Back

Peeling paint had to be removed, finish nails had to be taken out, old silicone caulk scraped away including any other loose part that didn't belong there. There was also a little bit of a puzzle trying to figure out which piece went where, and then install them all back in place.

Painters' tape was applied to floor and wall and the baseboard and base shoe were painted together as one complete wood piece running all around the bottom of all walls.

You can see the baseboard installed and painted after all floor tile were grouted. Basically, the following pictures show this floor tile installation project coming to a completion.

Floor Project: 6 x 39 inch Porcelain Tile Installation 

Part of main basement floor area finished in porcelain tile.

There also was a 9 FT tall floor-to-ceiling fireplace that we installed stone tile on.

Beautiful Burr Ridge walk-out basement tiled with 6x39 porcelain tile and stone on 9 ft. high fireplace.

Differences in shade/color between pictures are due to lighting conditions and other factors.

Porcelain tile installed perpendicularly with this basement hallway.

The above and below pictures clearly show the wise decision of restoring the baseboard and reinstalling them as they were in perfect condition and already cut to size. Some prep work and a new coat of paint made everything brand new.

Restored baseboard and new quarter round (base shoe) installed on porcelain floor tile throughout the whole basement.

If you're looking for the right tile installation company for your high-end home in Phoenix, AZ and suburbs, feel free to call or text Mark at 480-630-0102

If you want to visit and/or even purchase a huge variety of home improvement products directly from a showroom that most people don't know about, click here to choose a showroom. The completed fireplace you see below was actually our next project immediately after the porcelain floor was done.

It has stone on three walls from floor to ceiling and white marble around the opening of the fireplace. White pencil tile was chosen to finish the left side (as you look at the picture) because the stone ends there and the homeowner wanted pencil tile to cover the stone edges.

9 ft. high ceilings in a beautifully tiled basement with stone fireplace - Burr Ridge, IL 60527.

Capella Ash Floor Tile Installation, by Major Makeovers LLC

Basement porcelain tile and fireplace stone installation by Major Makeovers in Burr Ridge, IL 60527.

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