A beginner’s guide to tiling your home
Re-doing your bathroom and want to try a bit of DIY? Tiling your own bathroom wall isn’t impossible, but it is tricky. In order to complete the job yourself, you’ll have to research the tricks of the trade prior to starting and make sure you’re well equipped to meet the task. Doing it yourself will be much cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you, though, so it’s definitely a skill that’s worth learning. Here are some tips to tiling:
1. Ensure your safety
The first thing you need to consider is the safety of yourself and others; if you only have one bathroom in your home, it’s likely that your bathroom will still be in use during your tiling operation. It’s therefore imperative that any broken tiles or sharp edges are kept out of people’s reach, particularly if there are children in the vicinity who may enter the bathroom. Keeping a tidy working area will also help to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
If you’re removing existing tiles, you will have to wear gloves to protect your hands from any fragments that may fall off, or any tiles that have become damaged and have sharp edges. A dust mask will help to keep any dust coming from the removal out of your airways.
2. Get your tools in order
There are a few things you’ll need to collect before you start tiling, the most obvious being your tiles (more on that in a second). You’ll have to think carefully about the kind of design you want and plan how you’ll tile if; if you want a border to break up a block colour, for example, you’ll have to work out where you want the border to start, and make sure it can be installed symmetrically around the whole room. Tiling grout and adhesives is another must-have, as are tile spacers, trowels, and a tile cutting tool.
3. Buy your tiles
Working out exactly how many tiles you need can be tricky, especially if you have a number of tricky corners that need to be tiled and filled. Most packs of tiles you can buy in shops are designed to cover one square metre, so expect to buy your tiles per square metre. Measure the width and height of the area you want to tile, then multiply the results to find out how many square metre packs you’ll need. It’s worth investing in a couple of additional packs, just in case there are some tricky edges or door frames that may need to be edged with cut tiles. If it’s your first time tiling, you’ll probably need a couple of extra tiles to make up for mistakes. There plenty of sites out there, like Better Bathrooms for example, that sell tiles in bulk at really competitive rate.
4. Plan your start area
The logical temptation is tot start tiling from a corner, but this isn’t a good idea; the wall may not be completely straight, and you may end up with a full tile at one end and a cut-off tile at the other end, which will ruin the symmetrical effect of the tiling. A better idea is to measure the wall, and start in the middle; that way, your tiles will be cut evenly at the edges, and your spacing will be symmetrical around the room.