Our plumber informed us he can’t complete the bathrooms until all the tiling is done and the floor surfaces are down.
Tip: If you can possibly afford it use the services of a professional as this is a specialist job and they can do it in half the time it will take you … and probably produce a better job in the end.
We decided to give it go ourselves and having done our research and tried out a few samples we headed down to KDP Tiles and bought pretty much everything we’d need for the job.
For the walls we decided on a larger tile … for two reasons really.
Small tiles tend to make the bathroom feel smaller.
- Large tiles mean less to put up. (Given we have the main bathroom and 2 en-suites to do time was going to be at a premium)
- For the floors we went with a regular square tile as the total floor area in each space is quite small and felt they wouldn’t look out of place.
KPD were really helpful and had a huge selection of tiles on show to choose from. What’s more they gave us a healthy discount which enabled us to complete all 3 rooms.
Now, having almost completed the job, we’ve amassed a fair few tips along the way, most of which are listed below.
Use a Marker Stick.
Planning is everything in tiling and a key planning tool is a simple marker stick used to mark out the exact position of the tiles thereby avoiding any small cut tiles at the end of a run and reducing the risk of unsightly errors.
Take a piece of half decent timber (2” x 2” should do it) and put a series of marks exactly the same width of a tile, plus the width of your grout line.
Decide on your datum point
If you don’t want the room to feel out of balance try to maintain a level grout line all the way around the perimeter. This will often be dictated by either your shower tray and/or bath. In our case it’s determined by the position of our bath.
Essentially this means wherever you start with your first tile will determine the datum level. From the top of the bath we marked a line using a spirit level all the way round the perimeter of the room. It’s imperative the line is level all the way round the room if the tiles are to line up back at the begining.
Then we took a piece of 2” x 1”, lined up the top with the datum line and temporarily fixed to all 4 walls. This provided support for the first row of tiles and stopped any likelihood of them slipping. Providing both the line and timber are level your tiles will always line up and you’ll end up with a reasonable looking job.
Buy your materials from a specialist tile company
You can ask them for advice on any aspect of the job and usually they’re happy to provide it if you position appropriately.
Always check for level
One issue we encountered was occasionally a tile didn’t sit absolutely flat against those immediately adjacent to it. We managed to overcome this little problem by taking a straight and true piece of 4″ x 2″ and placing it flat against the tiles … any discrepancy were spotted thereafter and corrected by applying a little pressure on the timber.
When tiling the floor make sure it’s completely clean.
If there are bits on the floor it can be a nightmare especially when you come to put the adhesive down as it gets all over your trowel. If it’s possible run the Hoover over the floor just before you start to tile.
Always use a spirit level or a flat piece of timber to check your tiles are going down level. What you want to avoid is a tile that is slightly proud of the others. May not look much when you’re laying it but by the time you add the grout it sticks out a mile!
Keep a bucket of water and a sponge handy.
However much you try adhesive will get everywhere, certainly on your hands and very likely on the tiles. Keep your hands and work area clean and you’ll lessen the chances of the getting in a muddle.
Take your time.
Doesn’t seem to matter how well prepared you are you can’t rush this job. Every tile you put on the wall or lay on the floor needs to be checked against those around it and above all the spacing needs to be consistent. If you need to remove a tile because it doesn’t sit right then take it out, clean it off and start again. Remember, you’ll be living with that tile a long time.
Invest in a tile cutter.
As we had a lot of tiling to be done we bit the bullet and invested in an electric tile cutter. We didn’t spend a great deal of money on it but it has proved invaluable and saved us hours of scoring and cutting by hand.
Try to enjoy it.
There is a great deal of satisfaction in what you’re doing notwithstanding the money you’re saving! so stand back occasionally and admire what you’ve achieved.