10 Mistakes People Make When Tiling
When you are tiling your bathroom, kitchen, or any other room in the house, it is important to take steps to get it right. Choosing the wrong tiles can end up costing you more money and time than it would have if you had just done some research beforehand. We want to help make sure that doesn't happen.
In this article, we'll go over 10 common mistakes people often make when they tile their home and how to avoid them.
Not preparing the surface well
Not preparing the surface to be tiled well can lead to a poor finish. Surface preparation is a key step of the tiling process and consists of:
Choosing the wrong tiles
Choosing the wrong tiles is a common mistake that can be avoided by doing some research beforehand or asking for advice from your tile supplier or a tile contractor. It's also important that you choose an adhesive suitable for your type of substrate so that they don't ruin each other.
There are various types of adhesives out there. For example, you could use a cement adhesive, which is designed to be used with porous surfaces.
Before you embark on your tiling project, it is advisable to speak to at least 3 qualified and professional tiling contractors for advice and guidance. They should provide some insight into the type of tiles suitable for your project, as well as guidance on where to start.
Choosing the wrong adhesive for tiling
When it comes to selecting an appropriate adhesive, there are several things you'll want to take into account including whether the tile is vitreous or non-vitreous, hard and dense or soft and porous and what type of surface needs fixing (are you using gaps between floorboards?).
It's also worth considering which size tile will be most suitable - some adhesives won't work with smaller tiles due to their thickness so check this first. If in doubt about your requirements, consult a specialist who can advise on what would be best suited for your project.
Having enough adhesive
When tiling, it's important that you use enough adhesive. If not, there could be spaces between your tiles and they may end up coming loose over time. The same goes for grouting - if this isn't done properly then areas of your floor might look like they're crumbling or flaking away, which is not what you want.
Choosing the right adhesive
It's important when choosing an adhesive for tiling to consider the weight of the tiles as well as their size. It's also worth bearing in mind that once set, the adhesive is permanent and will not be replaced.
For this reason, it should always be chosen with care because if a mistake is made there will be no way to fix it without ripping up all your work - or worse still breaking through into hidden electrical cables below.
Choosing the right type of grout
Choosing the right type of grout for your project can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your tiled area. Grout comes in different colours, with some being more resistant to staining than others or having a particular strength (so if you want outdoor grouting that won't wear away as quickly for example).
There are also specialist grouts that can be used on kitchen surfaces where food is likely to get spilt onto them - these have been specially designed so they don’t absorb moisture from spills, making it easier for any liquid spillages to be cleaned up straight away.
Working on a floor that is already tiled
If you're working on a floor that is already tiled, it's important to give yourself enough space between the tiles so that after everything has dried and set completely you can cut around them with your wet saw without risking cutting into neighbouring tiles or breaking any of the joints between two different layers.
If you do have to go over an existing tile job, cover as large an area as possible at one time by using battens/markers (which will be covered in plaster) then take care when removing these later on not to damage either layer - if this happens just add another layer of adhesive underneath and let it dry before continuing.
Finding and dealing with mistakes later in the project
It's very easy to overlook mistakes when plastering as you go along but these can still show through after everything has dried. When laying out workspaces before starting on an area of the tile job, take care to fill in any gaps around pipes/taps etc so that any problems will become apparent before too much work has been done.
Choosing tiles wisely means ensuring there's enough of each type needed for the project and then double-check before starting work that all joints between two rows go in the same direction/are mirror images- this will make it easier to keep the tiles in line when you're laying them.
Undoing mistakes can be difficult and time-consuming. If there are tiles that need cutting down they will have to be set in place individually which means not only drawing out new plans from scratch but also making sure all joints between rows remain the same as before.
If mistakes involve an entire row it is best just to replace them with one single piece of moulded rubber instead - this may sound like overkill but unfortunately, once loose edges are allowed they often make their way into other rows where they're almost impossible to remove without destroying most of the surface below.
To avoid mistakes when tiling, you need enough materials on hand before starting: battens (for marking out), high-quality waterproof tile adhesive and thin-set mortar mix, spacers (to help keep everything straight), plenty of tile spacers (these are little plastic cylinders which sit between each row so that spaces don't end up uneven) and appropriate types of grout.
Poor or uneven grouting or grouting too quickly
Grouting is a critical part of tiling any surface and you must take care when applying it because if done incorrectly then this can lead to cracks in the flooring much later. You also want to make sure there are enough tiles before starting work so that mistakes don't hurt other areas in the room.
Grout should be ready for at least 24 hours before it's applied and professionally tiled floors need an extra 48 hours drying time after application so that tiles can dry out completely before any traffic is put on them. Grouting too soon will lead to more damage over time as well as potential discolouration in your flooring.
In most cases, grouting should happen at least 24 hours after installation but if you're in a rush this rule doesn't apply to all tiles/types of grout mixture. The best thing to do would be to check with our experts about how long it takes when using different materials to avoid mistakes during this process.
Not having enough tiles for your project
The most common mistake people make during tiling is not taking into account all possible complications beforehand such as what will happen if they end up with more brown tiles than blue ones? One way around this could be to lay out some sample sections first (this is also a good way to make sure the tiles are level with one another).
Before starting any tile work make sure you have all of the necessary supplies needed including sufficient quantities of tiles, appropriate adhesives, spacers and tools including a good quality wet saw or angle grinder if you need to cut tiles.
Working without battens and markers
If you're working on tiling without battens and markers then getting an accurate layout of where each tile needs to go can become more complicated. While some people use string lines others choose instead the pencil marks method (which is worth bearing in mind if you're choosing between these two methods). Some people find this technique to be more accurate as it's much harder to 'lose' a piece of string that has been stretched across the floor.
In conclusion, this article is written to help people avoid mistakes that can occur when tiling by highlighting what can go wrong and how to fix it if that happens.
Much like any DIY project, a lot depends on the preparation stage - but this doesn't just include preparing your surface before you start laying tiles, there's also choosing the correct tile for each area which means not only understanding how many of the tiles as well as their size.
It's also worth bearing in mind that once set, the adhesive is permanent and will not be replaced.
For this reason, it should always be chosen with care because if a mistake has been made there will be no way to fix it without ripping up all your work - or worse still breaking through to the floor underneath.