Tiling your bathroom, kitchen or utility room walls can seem like a daunting DIY disaster waiting to happen. In reality, it’s nothing that should give you bathroom-themed nightmares. All that’s required for a truly professional finish is a bit of patience and these essential tips.
1. Check Your Tiles
Rule number one – always order more tiles than you think you need. Buying 10% extra is usually a good guide as it gives you enough spare tiles for cutting, allows you to account for shade variations and gives you spare tiles for the future.
2. Mix Your Adhesive Well
Make sure you add your adhesive powder to the water and not the other way round so as to avoid lumps, and to maintain your ideal consistency. When mixing, always ensure you use clean cold water as dirty or warm water can affect setting times.
3. Dry The Wall
Your freshly-mixed adhesive will struggle to work on a wet or damp wall, so make sure it’s well and truly dry before you start applying the adhesive. If your walls are made of porous materials, such as plasterboard, then you’ll need to apply a sealant before.
4. Measure Your Wall Space
A seemingly obvious tip, and something you should have done before you ordered your tiles, but preparation is absolutely paramount to that perfect job that you’ll be happy with. You should measure your wall space once more before starting.
5. Ensure Tiles Are Straight
To ensure that your tiles are applied evenly and straight, you’ll need to use wooden battens as a guide. Starting from the centre of the wall, and one tile from the floor, fix your battens to the wall and use a spirit level to ensure they are straight.
6. Start Tiling
Apply your mixed adhesive to the wall to the thickness detailed on the packaging using a notched spreader, covering an area of no bigger than 1m2 at any one time. Apply your tiles with a firm, twisting motion to ensure full and even contact with the adhesive on the wall.
7. Clean Tools & Tiles
While you tend to leave at least 24 hours for your adhesive to dry before applying grouting and sealer, it starts to dry a lot quicker than that and tiling a wall is not something that you’ll breeze through in a couple of hours.
8. Shaped Tiles Last
Shaped tiles can be one of the more complicated aspects of tiling your wall, so it’s best to leave it until last. Whether you need straight cuts for simple corner pieces or more complicated shapes, such as working around pipe work, care needs to be taken so you don’t crack or shatter tiles when cutting them.
9. Wait 24 Hours Before Grouting
Some surfaces may take closer for 36 hours for the adhesive to dry, but allowing 24 hours is a good guide minimum before grouting.
10. Regularly Apply Sealer
Applying a waterproof sealer to your grouting every six months, starting from when your grouting is dry, is vital for avoiding any damp issues and extending the life of your tiling and grout.
***This guest article was written by Tom McShane on behalf of Crown Tiles ***