It is entirely possible to tile your own bathroom, not only is it a great way of saving expensive labour costs it is very satisfying if you are left pleased with the end result. As much as I often hear people telling me they are good at DIY and can turn their hand to anything, tiling is one profession where the professionals really do earn their money. If done well your bathroom tiles will look great, they will protect your walls and will last for years to come. Fixed badly on the other hand and you could be left with a less than perfect finish. Today, I thought it might be useful to share with you all the mistakes that I have heard have been made in the past by DIY’ers to help you to avoid them and hopefully achieve a better result.
1) Not ordering enough tiles for the job – this might seem really obvious but it is important to measure carefully and always leave extra to allow for cuts and damaged tiles. It might seem tempting to try to save money by ordering just what is needed but this can leave you with a major headache if you do not have enough tiles to complete the work. Bathroom tiles (well all tiles really) are made from natural materials so they can have a tendency to suffer shade and size variances. Because of the differences that can occur between production runs, tiles are batched up so if you need to obtain some extras and the batch you purchased from has sold out you could have a hard time finding tiles to match those that you have put onto the wall. When you buy your tiles always allow spares for cuts and aim to keep at least 10% extra back in case of issues in the future. By following this simple precaution you will not only ensure that you save yourself lot’s of hassle but it will also help to achieve the best possible finish.
2) Not fully preparing the walls – To improve the look of the end result and the longevity of the bathroom tiles it is important to spend lot’s of time preparing the substrate correctly. Tiling over existing wall tiles is not an ideal solution. You should remove the old tiles and check the condition of the plaster, if it is not in a good sound condition this will need to be addressed prior to tiling. If you are lucky then minimal “patch up” work will be required to fill in any dips to even out the substrate. Failure to make good the wall before tiling can lead to tiles not sitting or adhering to the wall properly which could allow water to seep in.
3) Not leaving enough time between fixed and grouting – As tile adhesive carries moisture it is important to leave sufficient time between fixing the tiles to the wall and grouting. If you are tempted to grout the tiles too soon the moisture get’s trapped behind the tiles and can cause discolouration and patches to appear behind the tile glaze ( as moisture gets absorbed by the porous tile biscuit). Leave the joints plenty of time before grouting to let the moisture evaporate. If you are unsure check the adhesive’s usage instructions carefully.
4) Not grouting fully – Many tiles are only glazed on the surface and not on the edges. If this is the case with the tiles you are fixing it is very important to grout right to the tile surface and not recess the grout down too far with your sponge or grout tool. This is especially important in the shower area as if there is even a couple of millimetre’s of tile biscuit exposed it can allow water to get into the tiles.
5) If you have a power shower use the correct products – Not all tile adhesives and grouts are suitable for power showers, if you have one, check carefully that the product’s you are using are correct. This simple step will help to prevent your adhesive or grout from failing and allowing water through.
I hope that these tips have been useful to you, if you are looking to tile your own bathroom for the first time good luck, I am sure with a little time and attention you will have a bathroom to be proud of in no time!