Although a little more challenging than the average do-it-yourself job, tiling the bathroom is a task that can be accomplished with relative ease if certain steps are followed correctly. As with any home improvement project, tiling the bathroom requires the correct tools, adequate preparation and effective techniques in order to ensure professional-looking results. The steps outlined below are intended to provide help to those who wish to tile their own bathrooms.
1. Tools for Bathroom Tiling.
At this point, it is worth noting that many people prefer to leave bathroom tiling to the professionals because the task requires an assortment of tools, many of which are not readily available to the average person. All the tools necessary for bathroom tiling, however, can be purchased from most good hardware stores and comprise the following items: tile cutter, tile saw, tile nibblers, tile cutting jig, spirit level, sandpaper, adhesive spreader, grout spreader, plastic spacers and a gauge stick.
A large wheel cutter like the one above is only necessary if you are cutting thick tiles. Smaller thinner tiles can be easily cust with a metal ruler and a cheap tile cutting wheel.
2. Preparation for Bathroom Tiling.
Before work commences on a bathroom tiling project, it is essential that any surface intended to be tiled is made clean, dry, flat and smooth. The importance of ensuring that walls and floors are adequately prepared cannot be understated. All wallpaper and flaking paint must be scraped off the walls, which ought to then be made smooth using sandpaper. Dust should be wiped off walls using a damp cloth but, as mentioned above, surfaces must be dry before tiles are applied.
Once all the necessary surfaces have been prepared, it is necessary to plot the position of the tiles. To achieve this, a gauge stick can be made by obtaining a piece of wood, the length of which is equivalent to three tiles with spacers positioned between each tile. The position of each tile should be marked on the gauge stick, which can be used to ascertain the correct position on the wall (the gauge stick is not necessary for tiling bathroom floors).
3. Arranging the Bathroom Tiles.
Setting out the tiles on a bathroom wall can be a little tricky. It is first necessary to mark the bottom edge of the lowest row of tiles (those nearest the floor or skirting board) at the bottom centre of the wall. A thin batten can then be nailed or tacked to the wall in alignment with the mark, which should be precisely horizontal (a spirit level is used to ensure this).
The gauge stick can then be used to plot the positions of the tiles either side of the batten. The outlined row of tiles ought to leave space on either side (along the borders) no less than half a tile in width. A batten is then positioned vertically along each edge using a spirit level. If tiles must be placed around an object such as a window, the obstacle itself becomes the starting point, with cut tiles being positioned at the rear of the window’s reveal.
4. Applying the Bathroom Tile Adhesive.
A waterproof adhesive should always be used for bathroom tiling projects. After the adhesive is applied to the wall, the adhesive spreader’s toothed edge ought to be used to create horizontal lines or ridges in the adhesive. The tiles can then be secured in position (starting in a bottom corner) against the temporary battens and using lugs or plastic spacers to leave room for the grouting. A damp cloth is used to wipe away excess adhesive. A spirit level can be used throughout this process in order to ensure that rows are perfectly horizontal.
5. Cutting and Grouting.
To complete the borders, it is necessary to cut the remaining bathroom tiles. A snug fit can be achieved by holding each tile face down over the positions in which they are to be installed. A line should be marked on the back of each tile to measure where to cut – a task that is most easily achieved using a purpose-built tile cutting jig. Alternatively, a tile cutter can be used to score each tile manually, with a length of fine wire used to slice through the scored sections.
After allowing the adhesive to set for approximately 24 hours (or whatever time is specified on the adhesive), a grout spreader (preferably one comprising a rubber blade) can be used to apply grout between the tiles. A blunt-edged tool can be used to smooth over the grout and any excess can be wiped off the tiles using a damp cloth or sponge before the grout has had a chance to dry. The bathroom tiles should not be exposed to moisture or direct use for up to a week after the job has been completed.
This article has been provided by The Tile Depot, a UK supplier of quality floor and wall tiles. No bathroom project is complete without The Tile Depot bathroom wall tiles.