how to tile

How To Tile Your Bathroom

Tiling your bathroom can be a long process especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. But DIYing your bathroom is a great option if you’re on a budget! So, how do you start? One of the hardest parts is choosing a design, but if you're in need of some beautiful tiles, look no further! Take a look at our Pinterest or Instagram if you’re in need of any inspiration!

If you are on a budget calculating the number of tiles you need is also a great way to make sure you’re not wasting any money. Making sure you plan out the job in-hand will make the experience easier and cost-effective. Having all the tools and add-ons is also an essential part of this exercise. Having a flat, dry and strong surface is the main element of implementing tiles. There is a long list of materials needed for a complete restoration of a bathroom. So here we go…

 

  • Floor and Wall spacers, for even tile spacing
  • Marker pens and pencils
  • Tape measure
  • Tile trowel, for scooping, spreading, levelling, combing and finishing adhesives and mortar
  • Tile Cutter
  • Spirit level
  • Pipe and Cable detector
  • Mixing paddle
  • Tile Saw
  • Tile Nippers
  • Goggles, protective gloves and masks
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Cloth
  • Grout Finishing Tool
  • Decorators sponge
  • Grout Float

And that’s only the Tools. Materials will include Tiles, Tile Adhesive, Tile grout, Wooden Battens, Tile Primer, Nails, Screws and Tile trim.

Safety always comes first. Using eye protection, masks and gloves will stop flying fragments and sharp edges from causing you issues.

So, once you’ve got that all together we can start tiling!

We are going to start with the Wall tiling. Spread some adhesive onto the trowel and press it into the wall creating a lined pattern. (Our adhesive and grout can be calculated on site!). Start this from the corner at a 45 degrees angle, which has been established through the timber battens. Make sure you place the battens based on the tile size and spacing between tiles.  Having these implemented from the start and allows you to position the tiles. Work away from the batten with horizontal strokes, thus creating a lined effect. The ridges in the adhesive will make sure that there is an equal amount for each tile. If you can, try to avoid doing more than one square meter at once, as the adhesive could start to harden. With fresh adhesive laid, place your tile into the corner next to the wood batten and push it firmly against the wall. Having the wooden battens set up will allow perfect spacing and symmetry between the tiles. Carry on this process with the next tile and repeat this placing exercise. Wipe any left-over adhesive with a wet sponge, if you let it dry it will become more and more difficult to remove.

Now add tile spacers between tiles, which will help adjust positions and create a smooth finish. Make sure these are lined up correctly and give the desired finish. This will now make them suitable for grouting.

Now build the Wall with another tile above the last one you placed and the one beside it. Continue this process until the whole wall of adhesive is covered. Carry on this process with another square meter, until all tiles are positioned correctly. Quicker pointer! For edges, put one leg of the spacer between the tiles and leave the rest sticking out. This will be removed later before the grouting.

Now for the easy part, leave it to dry and put your feet up. Leave for as long as the adhesive product instructs you too (This will also depend on the amount).

The vertical timber battens that were placed previously need to be removed by prising out the nails with a hammer. Once all tiles have been fixed and have dried out, also remove the horizontal battens.

Now all tiles have been placed down, you can apply the cut tiles at the edges. Cut tiles and tiling corners requires careful preparation and consideration.

Firstly, there are two types of corners, both external and internal. Internal corner: The corner joins between two walls, for example, the corner of a room, or the corner created by a door frame. A shower cubicle also features internal corners. External corner: An Outward-facing corner that protrudes into the room, for example, the corner of a feature wall or the edge of a window recess.

Press a small amount of grout onto the face of the tiles with a trowel. Use the grout float the evenly distribute the grout on the tiles. Use a technique that includes long upward diagonal strokes whilst also working it into the joint between the spaces in the corner tiles. Continue this process throughout the surface area. If you have too, grout segments separately if the area is large. Corners take delicate care and filing if tiles are slightly too large. Make sure to mark out the amount needed on the tiles and carefully construct the tiles around that measurement.

For external corners, use tile trim to get a neat finish. Make sure to measure the edge accurately to measure the edge of the tile trim. Add a thin line of tile adhesive to the wall using the notched trowel and press it firmly into the trim. Line the trim up with the tiles of the wall its next too. Put two spacers between the tile and the trim to allow room for grouting.

Internal corners follow the same process but the tiles will need to be cut perfectly to fit in the gap. A tile file could prevent issues if cut to big. Use the notched spreader to put adhesive on the back of the tile and then press it into place. Don’t be afraid to use spacers if you need them!

Grouting and adding finishing touches should be easy if you’ve followed the process correctly. Only start this process when tiles are fixed and the adhesive is dried. Start by removing all tile spacers at the edges of walls and corners

After finishing, go over the tiles with a sponge to remove the left-over excess. Take a care not to drag grout from the joints.

When the grout has hardened, use a grout finisher to give the joints a straight and symmetrical finish. Leave the grout to dry and you’ll notice a film appear on the tiles appearing. Wipe this off with a clean cloth and ta-dah! You have a perfect wall of tiles.

But we aren’t done there! Floor tiling is a different exercise but involves similar processes. Check to make sure all boards are in place and screwed down. The base of the floor needs to be structurally flat and smooth. Select the best position for your centreline to tile from and mark the floor. Use a gauging staff made with your floor tiles to check the tile cuts are even. Lay the adhesive down and tile as normally with tile spacers.

Use the floor trowel to spread out the adhesive and press each tile in firmly with a slight twisting motion. Remember to push a full tile spacer between the tiles as you go. But you already knew that!

When grouting floor tiles use a grout float and apply it to the tile joints with the mixture, working in diagonal sweeping motions. After it has set slightly, use a damp sponge to clean the surface.

Tiling your bathroom will take time and patience,  depending on your situation and experience. With there being a wide range of unique bathrooms, everyone’s tiling experience will be different. But now you’re fully equipped with the knowledge to get started in DIYing your Bathroom!

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