Whether you’re terrified of tiling, or think you’re the king of do it yourself, these basic tiling tips for beginners should help you get the job done well and avoid the common pitfalls of DIY tiling.
Basic Tiling Tips For Beginners
Many people fall into one of two opinions when it comes to DIY tiling. Some people are terrified of attempting the job, believing they need to pay a professional over the odds to get the job done right. Some people are over-confident and ignore common advice from professionals, unfortunately resulting in them having showers or bathrooms with poorly cut wall tiles, giant grout lines and a generally amateur looking finish.
Both attitudes can be settled by the person who needs tiling done in their home, gaining more information. The person who pays someone to do the job ends up paying over the odds for the job to be done but does ultimately end up with a lovely tiling job. The person who is over-confident is the person able to do the most damage to the home.
A horrific tiling job can truly ruin the look of expensive, brand new bathroom additions you have invested in like a bath or toilet. A great tiling job is meant to knit all the elements of your new bathroom together, creating a flawless finish, not let the whole room down. Redoing a bathroom is an investment, and if you want to see a return on that investment, it is important you spend a lot of time researching how to tile it properly. By taking the time to do the job right, you will get a beautiful bathroom, a great sense of achievement and you will also save money on future damage that could be caused by a bad tiling job (water damage in particular).
Here are some top bathroom tiling tips for beginners:
- Take the time to figure out how many tiles you need. Measure the area you are going to be applying floor tiles or wall tiles to and then figure out how many tiles are needed for every square metre. Don’t forget to allow for extra tiles ‘just in case’.
- Make sure you are buying boxes of tiles that are exactly the same. There can be very slight variations in the pattern, tone or texture even if the type of tile is the same.
- Ensure you use grout and Don’t attempt to use grout to apply your tiles to the surface. The type of grout and adhesive you need will differ depending on the tile you are laying, so be sure to research online and ask in store for a second opinion, just to make sure. For natural stone floor tiles or wall tiles, you will want to seal them before laying using a sealant.
- Take time to prepare your walls or floor properly. The surface needs to be completely flat, clean and free from any debris. It may be that you need to install new boards, in which case you will need to check they are water resistant if they are being placed in the shower or bath.
- Plan the job properly. Set out the tiles, consider visual impact, where your starting point should be, what objects you are working around and how many tiles you will need to cut.
- Use a level to pinpoint a level point which goes all the way around the room. This point should be roughly a tile apart from your baseboard. This line is where you will start from and will keep your tiles straight and any cut tiles near the floor or the sides of the floor.
- Identify an even line going up the wall as well to check that the tiles are straight going up as well as across.
- Work on small areas at a time when laying your adhesive, taking the time to press and shuffle the tile into place to get it fixed down well. Use your level to check the tile is evenly laid and keep checking this with every tile. Laying adhesive, laying a tile, checking the tile is even, using a spacer, then laying another tile. Ensure you remove any excess adhesive and consider adding the adhesive to the tile before sticking it down in tough spots like behind the toilet where you may not be able to apply the adhesive to the wall directly.
- Take care to use the right tile cutter for the tiles you are using. Seek advice from your local DIY store if you are unsure, as cutting tiles with the wrong tile cutter can be very dangerous.
- Take care to practice proper safety when using a tile cutter, using all recommended safety equipment. You should also take care to lay the cut side of the tile outwards towards the wall, or down towards the floor. Use sandpaper to smooth down sharp edges.
- Grout your tiles after you have left the adhesive to dry naturally for over 24 hours. Spread the grout and insert it into the gaps using your finger to neaten the grout line. Wash the tiles once the grout has hardened.