First choose your tiles
Are you thinking about tiling a room in your home? Then we think our tiling tips will provide you with valuable tips and advice for choosing the best tiles whether it’s a Bathroom wall or Kitchen floor that you are looking to tile.
Make sure your surface is up to the job
The importance of starting off with a perfectly flat surface cannot be overemphasised.
Make sure your surface is fit for purpose. Tile backer board is ideal for fixing tiles in most situations around the house but do make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Your surface should be smooth, clean and free from dust, dirt or grease. A long lasting installation needs good adhesion between the surface and the tile. With this in mind we recommend you remove any old wall coverings and flaking paint and fill in old cracks and gaps with a suitable filler.
Any new plaster should be left for a minimum of 4 weeks (brush down before tiling). Old plaster is also suitable as long as it is sound and you should check if your tile adhesive requires the surface to be primed before tiling.
The weight of tiling should not exceed 20 kg/m2 and our expert staff at Cosmo can help advise on your tiles suitability and any other practical information.
Or if you’re asking is plasterboard is suitable for walls? Then the answer is yes, provided it is well supported with the board being a minimum of 12.5mm. Tiles should be fixed directly on the paper facing, do not skim with finish plaster. The weight of tiling should not exceed 32 kg/m2 and, again, our expert staff at Cosmo can help keep you on track.
Not sure where to start? Well a good way to help you is always remember the importance of preparation and planning. The better you prepare and plan, the better and longer lasting end result you will achieve.
As a starting point cut a timber batten (or use the skirting board as your guide if this is straight, but check with a spirit level just to be sure). Then mark the tile widths to help you identify where the tile will start and finish, remembering to leave space between each for grouting (at least 2mm wide).
Set out horizontal position of the tiles so that the same size cuts are made either side of windows etc. Try to make the top and bottom tiles the same size and avoid small difficult cuts as they can spoil the appearance, especially if you are a beginner. Plan each wall carefully, remembering that any patterns/designs will need to be matched in the corners of the room.
- Find the lowest point of the base you are working to (skirting, bath top, work surface etc.) with a spirit level.
- Place a tile against the lowest point and draw a line on the wall along the top of the tile. The start point of the line will depend on the setting out of the tiles, as the tile against the floor may be a cut tile.
- Nail the batten along the wall to this line. Use the spirit level to ensure it is level. The first line of tiles will rest on this batten.
- Before you start draw a vertical (plumb) line at one end of the wall, one tile width away from the edge. Use this to check that the tiles are in line vertically.
Applying your tiles
Press and twist the wall tiles into the adhesive starting at the bottom and working upwards, one row of whole tiles at a time.
So, what about tile spacers? This is where tile spacers come into their own to ensure you maintain equal spacing between each tile and maintain uniformity for that perfect professional finish. Tile spacers come in three main types: cross (sitting between 4 tiles) and t-spacers or pegs for the edges of the tiled wall. They come in a variety of size depend on the size of the tiles and desired gap between tiles. Techniques vary with some preferring to use the spacers as “pegs” putting them in place and removing once the adhesive has set whilst others prefer to leave them in place and grout over the top.
Make sure you check the horizontal and vertical lines with the spirit level every few rows.
Remove surplus adhesive from joints to allow room for grouting and complete the tiling.
At Cosmo Tiles our knowledgeable staff can give you the best advice on the various cutters available for trimming tiles to size.
And don’t forget to use a plastic sealing strip or silicone sealant to ensure water-tight edges in wet areas and where tiles butt onto basins etc.
Good luck and we hope all of the above helps you with your tiling project!