Top 10 tiling tips
Renovating your home with tiles will improve the look and add value as well
Tiling a room can be expensive if you get professionals to do it, but with a bit of planning and careful thought it can be one of the most satisfying DIY projects. We share our top 10 tips to make tiling a breeze.
1. Work in small amounts
When tiling, make sure you only work in small areas (up to one square metre). This will ensure that the cement does not set before you have laid the tiles.
2. Use grout wisely
The same applies if you are mixing up your own grout. Make it in small quantities so it is used up, rather than setting hard before you use it.
3. Do a test layout
If you are planning on using tiles of different colours, it is definitely worth while placing the tiles out to test the order in which you will finally fix them. This will ensure that the colours are evenly spaced and look great.
4. Work from multiple tile boxes
This applies if you have more than one box of the same colour. Make sure you use tiles from each box rather than one box at a time as there may be slight differences.
5. Get everything even with a spacer
Use a spacer (minimum 3mm) between each tile to allow an even space for the grout joint. If you don’t have spacers, use the same denomination coin or matchsticks to ensure even spacing. Carefully remove the spacers 12 hours after placement.
6. Keep the area clear for 24 hours afterwards
If tiling the floor, don’t walk on the floor for at least 24 hours when using a standard adhesive and 2-5 hours when using a quick setting adhesive. You don’t want to spoil all the hard work.
7. The smaller the area, the smaller the tile
Mosaic tiling is very useful, especially in the kitchen where there are lots of electric sockets to work around, but mosaic tiles can be pricey. Try and use them in areas where they would be most useful and then use standard tiles for the rest of the area.
8. Choose the right tile for the application
Tiles can retain moisture, especially if you use natural material tiles such as limestone. If you use them in the bathroom, try and limit their use to the key areas and seal them properly rather than tiling the entire room or you may have a problem with damp.
9. Tiles do break so do make allowances
Always allow a number for breakages. A good estimate is about 10-15% breakages. If you are lucky enough to not break any while tiling, make sure to keep them. This will mean that in future should a tile need replacing, you have spares.
10. Calculate what you need beforehand
Every successful tiling project starts with good planning. Calculating your tiling area is an important aspect of the process. Done properly it reduces unwanted waste and expense.
Calculate number of tiles per m2
1 ÷ width of tile ÷ length of tile = tiles per m2
Enter the tile’s dimensions in metres. For example, if the tiles are 200mm x 200mm you would calculate it 1÷ 0.2m ÷ 0.2m = 25. This means 25 of these tiles will fit in a square metre. If the space you need to tile is 10m2, you’ll need 250 tiles of this size.
Out Of Africa Magazine, www.outofafrica.co.zw