The Art of Tiling – Tips and Tricks to Help You Achieve a Beautiful Finish
If you are keen to tile your kitchen or bathroom and either cannot find a tiler with room in his schedule or are trying to save some money, then you may be considering taking on the job yourself. But how easy is it to tile? It looks easy, right? Well, the professionals certainly make it look easy, but unless you have some DIY know-how and the right tools, you may find yourself quickly getting frustrated – and even giving up. Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks of the trade that might help when it comes getting the job done.
Always Buy Extra Tiles
A rookie mistake when it comes to tiling is to measure the space to be tiled and then only buying enough tiles to cover that area. Professional tilers will always add a minimum of ten percent to the surface area measurement as they know mistakes can happen and that tiles will also need to be cut.
Do not be fooled into thinking that you can just head back to the store to buy more tiles if you need them. You might find that the store has run out of stock, or that a new batch of tiles is slightly different in terms of color. Using tiles from two different batches can spoil the overall finish.
Ensure You Have the Right Equipment
When carrying out any tiling job, you are going to need to cut some of the tiles to fit them into the space you have. The folk at Devour Tools say that it is especially important to have the tools that will cut your tiles with precision. They recommend a wet tile saw, fitted with the correct tile blades. A tabletop wet saw is easy to use and provides accurate, straight cuts. You will also need a measuring tape and a laser to ensure tiles are evenly spaced and level on the wall or floor.
Start in the Middle
Professional tilers recommend starting in the middle of a wall, rather than at one or other of the sides. The reason is that doing so ensures your grout lines will be even and that the pattern is symmetrical. Starting in the middle also means that the tiles on either end of the wall will be the same size when cut.
To ensure that the gaps between each tile are even, you should use spacers. Spacers can also help to keep the tiles straight. There are a number of sizes to choose from, depending on how much of a gap you prefer.
Take Care to Avoid Chipping
If you want to minimize waste and frustration, it is best to work slowly when cutting tile while making sure your blade is sharp. Cutting too quickly can result in chips, which can often render the entire tile useless. Wet cutting is recommended, and some experts say that making a shallow cut in the tile before cutting right through will help. You should also make sure that the glazed size of the tile is facing the blade.
Allow the Adhesive to Dry Before Grouting
Adhesive needs to be completely dry before you begin grouting. It is best to allow the last tile 24-hours to dry before you start grouting. Once you do start the grouting, aim to finish the entire surface in one go or you could end up with an uneven and unprofessional looking finish.
So, there you have it, some tips and tricks that may help to make your tiling job easier and look more professional.