Tiling. It’s easy, right? All you have to do is slap some glue on the wall and stick the tiles to it. But hang on, what about corners, sockets, light switches and all of the other things you have to work around? These are the parts where amateur tilers can – if you’ll pardon the pun – come unstuck.
Here are some top tips to help ensure that your tiling job runs smoothly and you end up with a professional looking finish that you can be proud of.
Plan your work
Measure the width and height of the wall and mark the half-way points. Use a spirit level to mark vertical and horizontal lines at this point and plan your tiling from there. Use a piece of wood marked with the tile size. If you’re going to end up with thin slivers at the ends move your start point by half a tile to make the cuts easier.
Preparation is everything
As with many other DIY tasks, a big part of the job is preparation. You need to make sure that the surface you’re going to be tiling on is smooth and clean. If you’re replacing old tiles you need to ensure they’re completely removed along with all traces of their adhesive and sealant. You can use a silicone sealant remover from a company like http://www.ct1ltd.com or others to help do this.
Mix and match
Unpack your tiles and check them for chips and cracks. Due to the manufacturing process ceramic tiles can vary slightly in colour between batches. If you have several boxes mix them up so that any variation is less obvious. Always buy a few more tiles than you need to allow for breakages and so you have a few spares to repair any later damage.
Make sure the blade of your tile cutter is in good condition and replace it if it’s worn. A rail type cutter makes it easy to make straight cuts and snap the tile, but make sure you only score the surface once. If you have to make curved or shaped cuts to fit around pipes or other objects, use a tile saw. Cut a template out of card first and use this to mark the tile. Make sure the tile is properly supported when cutting so that it doesn’t crack.