Finishing your Basement Can be Very RewardingWritten by Mark Donovan
Transforming your home's basement into a finished space can prove to be very rewarding. Frequently additional living space is used for a variety of entertainment functions including: Recreation Rooms, Bars, Gyms, Billiard Rooms, Home Theatres and Family Rooms. In addition, Bedrooms and Bathrooms are also incorporated into floor space. Typically square foot cost of finishing a basement is significantly lower than other floors within home.
Planning is critical before starting a Finished Basement project. From a financial standpoint, first determine how big your budget is and how you will finance project. Will a mortgage be required or can you refinance or obtain a home equity loan?
From project standpoint, carefully consider what you want to use space for. As part of this consideration, consider ceiling heights, existing pipes, Oil Tanks, and Heating and Water systems. Also consider lighting. To make a Finished Basement cozy, warm and comfortable, number and kinds of lights to install is key. In addition, consider natural lighting. Can additional windows be installed and will they be appropriate for finished space?
Installing Ceramic TileWritten by Mark Donovan
Ceramic Tile brings a texture, richness and color to a room that Linoleum has yet to truly mimic. Tile floors can be installed in any room, however they are most frequently seen in Bathrooms and Kitchens. I particularly like them in entryways, where they serve as a transition point from outside to large carpeted or hardwood floored rooms. They make for easy clean up and are impervious to water damage.
Ceramic tiles come in two basic types. Glazed and Porcelain. Glazed holds up best for heavy traffic areas and porcelain works well in bathrooms. Porcelain is typically more expensive, so consider your budget and size of area you want to tile. Tiles also come in many shapes and sizes. For flooring, however, I would suggest using larger tiles up to 12 x 12.
For proper installation base foundation or underlayment is critical. Typically it consists of Ύ to 1 Ό of plywood. Tiling over Linoleum or existing tile is also feasible, as long as it is solid. I also recommend when Tiling over Linoleum that you first apply ring nails or screws 6 on center over entire area. Tiles can also be installed directly over Concrete. Make sure in all cases that floor is level and free of dust and debris prior to installation. There are leveling compounds that you can apply before applying tile if necessary.
Before actually installing tile, it is best to lay it out in room to see how it will look. Pay close attention to how it runs out toward walls, in corners and next to cabinets, tubs and toilets. The trick is to lay tile out such that stubby tiles do not show up in highly visible spots. Once you have completed this, make two marks with a pencil outlining most centered tile. These lines should be perpendicular to each other. Also take note of wall that is most visible from all others. Now remove tiles. Next draw or snap a line perpendicular to this wall that is in line with one of marks you made on floor. Then, draw a perpendicular line to this first line. This second line should be centered with first line and fairly in line with second mark you made on floor. Once you have completed this task, re-layout some of tiles along perpendicular lines and observe if they run out in a way that will limit cutting and stubbed tiles. Once this is completed, remove tiles and prepare for actual installation.
Again, make sure area is free of dirt and dust. Next apply ceramic adhesive or mastic to flooring, starting in center, where two perpendicular reference lines intersect. Apply enough material to cover 6-10 square feet, if no cuts are required. If cuts are required limit amount of mastic application to about 2-4 square feet. When applying mastic, first spread it with flat end of trowel. Lay it on relatively thick, approximately 1/8 to 3/16thick. Then turn trowel around and run notched edge over it. This creates ridges in mastic that helps to hold tile down more securely. The larger tile, larger notches should be. For example, I use a Ό notched trowel for 12 x 12 tiles.