DIY How To

How to Tile a Wall Yourself

When you need to tile an area of wall in your home, there's no need to call in the professionals. Tiling is easy to learn and even a beginner can do a good job, as long as they follow the relevant instructions and remain safe and focussed.

Tiling a wall using the following steps


1. Measure Up
Start by measuring the length of the area you wish to tile, and dividing it by the length of the tile you intend to use. Measure the width of the area and divide by the width of your tiles. Once you have these two figures, you should multiply them together to find out how many tiles you'll need for the project. Make sure that you add an extra five per cent of tiles to allow for breakages or incorrect cuts.

2. Plan the Layout
Proper planning means that you'll avoid uneven spacing and poor alignment. Use a consistently sized spacer between the tiles, such as a matchstick or a plastic tool. Make sure that all the horizontal lines match up by creating a baseline running around all the walls. A tile gauge or rod will help you mark out the necessary vertical guidelines.

3. Cutting Tiles
Always wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting tiles, whether you're using an electric jigsaw or a tile cutter. It's not worth starting a tiling job with substandard or very cheap tiles, so make sure you buy high-quality ceramics from a retailer like tiles4all. Sturdy tiles will last longer and save you the hassle of a repeat job.

4. Prepare the Surface
The area that you're tiling should be clean and completely dry before you begin tiling. An uneven concrete surface should have a self-levelling compound applied to it and be left overnight to dry out.

5. Adhesives
If you're tiling around a shower or bath, you should use a waterproof adhesive. The adhesive should be spread with a small, ridged trowel or a notched spreader in a manageable square area. However, border tiles should have adhesive spread on their backs rather than on the surface they will be occupying.

6. Fixing Wall Tiles
Place the first tile against the bottom area and press it against the adhesive to make sure that it is completely flat and firmly fixed into place. When you fix the second tile, make sure that you leave a consistence space for grouting.

7. Grouting
Always ensure that you're using the right type of grout for the job and leave 24 hours for the tile adhesive to dry before starting to grout. Use a rubber-edged squeegee held at a 45 degree angle, and only work at a small area at a time, so that the grout doesn't dry before it's in place.

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