Tiling is something that many people fear, believing that they need to leave it to the experts. However, if you are good at DIY then there is no reason you cannot try your hand at tiling – providing of course that you have the right tools. The experts at Devour Tools, who make high-performance power tools and metal blades, say that a tool like angle grinder equipped with a tile blade can make all the difference when it comes to a quality finish.
Gathering Your Equipment
Having the right equipment is always necessary when it comes to any DIY job as getting halfway through and realizing you are missing a vital tool can be a real pain. So, before you begin, make a list of what you will need and tick everything off as you acquire it.
For bathroom tiling, you are going to need the following equipment:
- Tape Measure
- Tile Cutter
- Tile Spacers
- Grout Float
- Mixing Paddle
- Grout Float
A wet tile saw or an angle grinder will help to make the job quicker and easier, but are not absolutely essential. You can cut the tiles with the tile cutter and nipper if you prefer. You will also need new tiles, tile adhesive or mortar, grout, and caulk.
Before You Start
It is best to plan before you begin placing the first tile. Think about whether you are going to incorporate a pattern or leave the walls all one plain tile. For beginners, plain tiles will almost certainly be easier. Choosing patterned tiles means having to match up tiles that are cut, which can be tricky.
You will have to work out how many tiles you need to cover the walls. There are tile calculators available online, but you can also ask for assistance at the store. You will require the measurements of the walls (length, width, and height). Once you have calculated the surface area of the walls, you should add between 10 and 15 percent and buy that amount of tile. This will ensure you have enough for cuts and wastage. Ask that all the boxes of tiles you buy come from the same batch as this will ensure they are the exact same color. Batch numbers are usually found on the exterior of the packaging.
Prepare the Walls
Before you begin, you need to prepare the walls. This means cleaning them with soapy water and sanding away any bumps. It is important that the walls are clean and flat. Sanding the walls will also help the tile adhesive to have more purchase on the wall.
Once the walls are prepared and you have all the equipment you need, you can begin tiling. To ensure the tiles are spaced evenly, you should use tile spacers. Place spacers at the bottom of the wall and then put the first tile in place, after using a notched trowel to smooth adhesive on the back of the tile. Press the tile firmly in place. Place spacers in between each tile and continue tiling the same way.
When you reach a part of the wall that will not accommodate a full tile, you will use the tile nipper or power cutter. Measure the available space and then cut the tile to size. Once you have tiled the full wall and allowed the adhesive to dry, you can remove the spacers and apply the grout. A grout float will help you fill the spaces, and you can use the sponge to remove the excess grout from the tiles. Once all the grout has dried, you can polish the tiles for an expert finish.