I’m writing this blog to share with you my top tips and knowledge I have gained in the last 19 years I have been tiling.
Let’s start with the prep......... Before you even think about putting any tiles on your bathroom, ensure that your walls are in the best possible state, if this means plastering the walls then do so, it will make a huge difference to the outcome of your job. Where possible the trim should be totally stripped out (no toilet, sink, radiator or any accessories) the only thing you should have in is either your bath, if it is being fitted to your wall or your shower tray (or both if your room is being fitted with a bath and shower). Next step, prime the walls. DO NOT USE PVA!!! Most tiling shops will sell the correct primer. When priming the walls I find it easiest to use a paint pad for the primer and a roller to apply it. Once applied allow an hour or two to dry.
Setting out........setting out your bathroom for the tiles is very important, so take time to make sure you’re happy with all of the cut sizes at the ceiling, floor and in the corners of each wall. If the bathroom has a bath in then I would normally try starting from a full tile at the bath. If the bathroom just has a shower in and you can get the tray close to the floor, then try a full tile from the floor, this is to always try and make sure you have the biggest cut possible at either your shower tray or your bath. The reason for this is to give yourself the best seal to avoid any unwanted leaks. Once you have decided on a starting point, you need to put a level line all the way round the room (preferably starting at the lowest pulling and working your way up), ideally this will be done with a laser level, if you don’t have a laser level a standard spirt level will do.
Tiling..... there are two ways to tile your bathroom. The first is to use a notched trowel to apply your adhesive, be mindful when doing it this way not to get carried away and spread the adhesive to far. This will only result in you not being able to keep up and the adhesive will “skin” meaning it will not get good grip onto the tile. The second is to “dot and dab” each tile, if you choose this way please make sure you still have a good covering over the tile without applying too much meaning the tile sits too far off the wall. When going round windows or any boxing’s you will probably want to use tile trims. Trims will come either in plastic or metal form. I find it best to use a mitre block and hacksaw to cut these.
Grouting........ when mixing your grout colour of choice, it should be of a similar consistency to that of a cake mix. Not too stiff yet not too runny. To apply the grout you should use a squeegee, this will save your fingers and a lot of pain :) you will probably be able to grout about 4m at a time before you need to wash it off. Before washing it off try to remove as much of the excess grout from the tiles as you can. For the washing off you will need a clean bucket of water and a sponge. Wash across the tiles in a diagonal fashion until the grout joints are smooth and the tiles are free from grout.
Polishing off....... once you have grouted your bathroom it will need to be left to dry for about an hour or two. Once the tiles and grout joints have dried you will need to polish off the excess dust. For this I always find I get the best results using a micro fibre cloth. Again do one wall at a time until you’re happy you have removed all the grout dust. Polishing the tiles is always easier if you’ve used a glazed tile or a tile with a polished face.
Silicone........ at this point your tiles will be on and grouted looking all clean and dust free. You will now need to silicone around your bath and shower area. This helps to prevent any cracking in the grout around your bath and shower, helping you maintain the best possible seal.
My favourite products......
Adhesives..... my favourite adhesive for bathroom walls is Weber slow set white.
Grout....... I’ve used lots of different grouts in my time tiling but always come back to the Bal range. There is a good selection of colours and I always feel it leaves the best finish.
Spacers....... I always use 2mm spacers. Any bigger and I think the joints look too wide and unsightly, and any smaller you’ve got no room for any discrepancies on the walls or the tiles.
Floor tiling...... not everyone decides to tile their bathroom floor, however if you do the only advice I would give you is to make sure the base is solid and free from any dust. If your bathroom floor is on wayrock or floorboards then make sure you cover it with plywood. I would suggest minimum of 6mm. Also make sure you use the flexible adhesive for the wood floors. If the floor is concrete then make sure is had a scrape to get rid of any loose debris and give it a prime, the same as you did with your walls.
Safety....... very important to make sure when cutting tiles you always wear the appropriate PPE. Stay safe when working.
Your bathroom should now be ready for the second fix 😍😍😍. Well done. I hope this blog has helped and made the experience a more enjoyable project. Good luck, be sure to tag us in your projects.
Daryll - Director: Blue Sky Bathrooms