Bathroom Tiling Tips
Bathroom tiles come in a huge array of colors and designs, and have the added bonus of being not just decorative but extremely durable – if you tile your bathroom well, your tiles should last for many years to come. Tiles are ideal for decorating a bathroom as, unlike paint, they are mold-resistant, so any water spray or condensation won’t damage them. They are also easy to wipe clean and often have a sparkling finish so your bathroom always looks its best.
Tiles can be used on the floor as well as the walls, although if you’re tiling your bathroom floor it’s important to make sure you use proper floor tiles that are strong enough to bear weight. You may also need to shorten your door slightly to ensure it can open and shut still.
Tiling is a skill, but with practice and care it’s entirely possible to “do it yourself” – saving money and giving yourself the satisfaction of knowing it’s all your own handywork. Allow yourself at least 2 days – the weekend for example – as the tile adhesive needs time to dry before you can apply the grout. Before you start work you’ll need to buy your tiles of course. Before choosing your tiles, measure the area to be covered and work out how many boxes you’ll need (tiles usually come in 1m sq boxes). Get 10% more than you need to allow yourself spares to cover any breakages and for cutting to fill gaps. Remember, the larger the tiles, the quicker it is to do the job!
As with any home decorating task, preparation is key. Ensure the surface you’re tiling is as flat as possible, dry and free from dust or any flaxy debris. As long as you use the correct adhesive it’s possible to tile onto most types of surfaces, including existing tiles, metal and wood. If you’re tiling onto a painted wall, scratch the surface gently with sandpaper to help adhesion. Put masking tape around the edges of your bath, sink etc to protect from scratches.
Remember, the walls in most houses aren’t totally square, so rather than start tiling from one corner, use a pencil to make a vertical line in the exact center of your wall and then work outwards from this line towards the corners. Use a tile cutter to cut tiles to fill the gaps at each end. Save yourself headaches by unscrewing any fixtures and fittings such as your sink, light switches etc so you can tile behind. It’s much easier to do this than to try to cut loads of fiddly pieces!
Alternatively, if this all sounds like too much work for you, you could give your existing tiles a makeover. You’ll need to clean them thoroughly with white spirit and prime with a suitable primer before painting with a non water-based gloss paint. Many DIY stores also sell special tile paint that can be used without primer.