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Find out how to tile anywhere in your house, from the kitchen, to the bathroom, and even adding tiles to the garden!

A modern kitchen with tiles

How to tile anywhere in your house

Tiles are an incredible addition to any home. They are hygienic, come in a wide range of colours and sizes, materials and finishes, and they can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be. In this guide, we will give you the ins and outs of tiles. We’ll tell you how to place them in different areas of the home effectively. By the end, you’re sure to be imagining exactly where you want to redecorate your home with tiles:

First Things First

Before we get onto the nitty gritty of tiling your home, it is important to have a basic understanding of tiles. Then you can make an informed decision about the home projects you undertake.

Where Can You Tile?

You can tile anywhere in the home that you want to. The most common areas are the kitchen, the bathroom and the conservatory. However, there is such a thing as a tiled headboard or rug where tiles make out the shape of those objects. You may want a mosaic feature in the garden, or a dining room to patio tile effect. The options are almost endless. The only restriction is your imagination.

What Different Types Of Tile Are Available?

Tile comes in all kinds of different materials such as: wood, marble, porcelain, ceramic, granite, cement and stone. Each material has a different cost and different properties that make it suitable for different projects. It is a good idea to research different tile materials to find out their benefits and costs. Then you will have an idea of which tile types will suit your project.

Prep Your Home Before You Tile

Before you tile you need to prepare the area. Cutting and handling tiles can create a lot of dust which finds its way in the home, even if you cut in the garden. Depending on the extent of your tiling project at the very least you should put dust sheets down, ventilate the area and cover ornaments and furniture. You may wish to use plastic sheeting to extensively protect surfaces and you may wish to place some belongings into self storage.

Safety First

Although tiling is generally a relatively risk-free job there are still some safety precautions you should follow. A face mask is important to protect your lungs from dust. This is especially important if you are cutting tiles. You should also wear any other safety gear that is necessary. Follow any manufacturers instructions for use of equipment and following general safety advice.

Should You Hire Somebody To Do It?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question because. It really depends on the question. However, you can ask yourself these questions to figure out whether or not your tiling project needs professional attention:

  • Do you want the satisfaction of completing a practical project like tiling yourself?
  • Do you have the budget to pay a professional to do the job?
  • Are you skilled enough to complete your project?
  • Do you have the time to watch the relevant DIY videos and complete the project?
  • Do you need the project completing quicker than you could finish it?
  • Can you do a good job?
  • Do you want to do the work?

Work Out Your Budget

It is important to have a budget for your entire project before you start it. This will help you with money for the materials, any equipment or safety gear you need, and if you need it, time off work to complete the project. Do allow a bottom end and a top end scale so that you have room for manoeuvre depending on the materials you find. When you start to shop around you may find savings in some areas, and more expense in others. So you should have the budget to allow for these price fluctuations.

Underfloor Heating

In some instances you may wish to consider underfloor heating before tiling. Underfloor heating is a really great option for more modern homes that don’t wish to utilise radiators. At the very least it does take the cold foot feel off ceramic tiled floors. Underfloor heating comes in different forms and you should consult a professional for a quote and to complete the project before you look into tiling. The type of underfloor heating you have may affect the type of tiling you are able to do.

Which Tile Design?

Some tile designs are easier to replace than others. So which design you choose depends on the project. For example: a small bathroom tile splashback can be replaced for a lot less money, time and effort than stone floor tiles in the kitchen. Try to choose the most timeless and classic tile designs possible for spaces you won’t be able to ‘do up’ for a long time. In spaces where you can be creative and where it will be easier to replace the tiles, you can be a little more experimental. You can try out vintage wall tiles and snazzy bright ombre floor tiles if you want to.

It is so important to prepare well for your tiling project so that the project is as successful as possible.

Tiling Your Whole House

Here are some resources for tiling the two main areas of your home:

Kitchen

There are various different areas of the kitchen you might wish to tile, including the floor and the walls. With the flooring, unless you are a professional it might be a good idea to get somebody to do the work for you as a good kitchen floor can be an investment that adds a lot of value to your home.

You may however, be able to do the splashbacks and walls yourself. Here is a basic step by step guide to tiling your kitchen wall:

  1. Wood Support

If there is a gap between the two areas you plan to tile you will want to place some wood in between for tile support. Use a spirit level or similar piece of equipment to line the piece of wood up properly. Then drill it in or attach it to the wall securely.

  1. Protect Your Kitchen

Place protection over the kitchen worktops before you tile to protect the kitchen. You may also want to do this with any other part of your kitchen you want to protect. Dust and other debris can easily damage your kitchen if you’re not careful. So the more protection you can place in the beginning, the better.

  1. Make Up Your Mastic

Mastic is the material that sticks your tiles to the wall. Wearing a dust mask you should mix your mastic according to the instructions on the packet. Usually you just need to mix it until it is like a toothpaste consistency. But it may vary depending on the brand. Do be careful not to mix too much at once as it may set before you are able to use it all up.

  1. Place The Mastic On The Wall

Once the mastic is prepared you can place it on the wall according to the pre-lined markings you have already set out so you know where to tile. The wall should be clean and dry before you apply any mastic.

  1. Lay Your First Row

Laying your first row of tiles is the most important part of tiling your kitchen because it sets the foundation for all the other tiles. It should be completely even and spaced properly. Starting from the area furthest away from the wall you should lay the first tile, leaving about a millimetre between the tile and the worktop. Once you have placed six, check they are all straight before you lay any more. It is a good idea to check continually throughout the process to ensure you’re sticking to a straight line.

  1. Continue To Lay

Continue to place mastic down from the same end you started laying the tiles and continue to use spacers and check that the tiles are level. Check your work when it is finished, take out the spacers and use a scraper to clean any extra mastic away. You can then leave your mastic to set, which will need between 12 and 24 hours depending on the brand you use.

  1. Grout

Make the grout in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, it needs to be the consistency of toothpaste, just like the mastic. Using a trowel, apply the grout to fill the gaps between the tiles taking away as much extra grout as you can as you move along.

  1. Cleanup

When the grout has dried (check the packet to see how long this takes) you can clean your tiles. Using a wet (but not dripping wet) sponge you can wipe the tiles, cleaning the sponge at regular intervals.

  1. Apply Silicone

At this point you can remove the supporting wood you placed in the beginning and scrape off any mastic that has been in that area between the wood and the tiles. You can then apply kitchen grade silicone in all the appropriate areas.

Bathroom

There are lots of areas to tile in a bathroom. It is very important that you use materials that are suitable for use in a wet environment like a bathroom. Here are some basic instructions to tile a bathroom wall:

  1. Start With The Datum

You first need to draw what is called a datum line, which is 20mm below the lowest tile height. This is done to allow for flooring. Draw the line all the way around the room, on whichever walls you plan to tile.

  1. Place Wood On The Datum line

Use wood to form a temporary shelf along the datum line to provide some tile support. Place the wood along the line ensuring it is straight and secure it using screws.

  1. Check Your Materials One Last Time

You should have a waterproof lining installed on the wall already but it is a good idea just to check one last time. You also need to check the tile mastic you are using is safe to use with the waterproofing wall, and in this environment.

  1. Check The Last Tile Width

Figure out the width of the last tile in a row by placing out each tile with placers in between until you get the last tile which may need trimming to be a correct width. Once you know its width you can cut tiles for each row in advance, saving you time.

  1. Mix The Mastic

At this point you can make the mastic up based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful not to make too much up so that you don’t end up with excess firming up before you have chance to use it up.

  1. Lay Your First Row

Place some mastic on the back of your tile and place it cleaning off any excess mastic and continuing with a spacer and then the next tile. After first six tiles you should check that the tiles are level.

  1. Continue To Lay

Once you are happy to with your first row you can continue to lay the rest of the rows. Do take care to continue to check the tiles are even as you go so you don’t end up with a big correction job by the end.

  1. Clean And Wait

You’ll want to gently scrape any excess glue and then leave the tiles to set overnight.

  1. Apply Grout

It is now time to apply the grout to your tiles. Make it up according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fill the gaps between the tiles removing excess grout as you go.

  1. Clean Your Tiles

Using a wet but not dripping wet sponge remove excess grout from the tiles ensuring that you do not soak the wall. Dab away any excess moisture as soon as you see it.

  1. Place Silicone

If applicable you will need to place silicone around the tiles. This is usually the case around a bath. Make sure you use bathroom grade silicone and be careful to keep it neat to create a great finish.

If you do plan to tile any area of your home yourself do be safe and do your research to ensure that it is a good decision for your project. If you use a professional, shop around for a skilled workman who offers you the best result for a good price.

With the right research, planning and preparation, you can add floor tiles and wall tiles to your home to create seamless, classic, hygienic and beautiful surfaces that enhance the aesthetics and practicality of your home.

 

 

 

 

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