Tiles are an essential part of the interior design and architectures of a house, especially when it comes to spaces like bathrooms & kitchen. Not only do they add an aesthetic value to space but also protect the walls and floor from water and moisture.
Installing tiles on the walls/floor of your bathroom or kitchen may be hard work, but it is no “Rocket Science”. It is something that you can do yourself and is rather a lot of fun if your family or friends get involved.
With a little bit of planning and careful implementation, you can have your kitchen or bathroom floor & walls looking like you want them.
Here are a few simple DIY tips & Hacks that can help you install tiles without the help of a professional:
1. Create A Tile Layout
If you are a beginner, a simple way to create a tile layout is to draw grid lines on the surface using a measuring tape and chalk and then establishing the center point of that surface.
Using the grid lines as a reference, you can then carry out a dry-fitting (i.e. Placing the tiles on the grid without mortar/adhesive) starting from the center and working your way outwards. Doing this will give you a perfect map for the tile installation.
If, however, the dimensions of the room are complex you may have to take professional help for developing a layout.
2. Figure Out How Much Tiles You Need
Before you being the tiling work you first need to figure out the aesthetics (Colour, design & dimensions) and the quantity of the tiles that you need.
To find out the number of tiles required, you simply need to measure the surface area of the room against the size of the tile. It is advisable at this stage to buy at ten percent more tiles than required, just to prepare for contingencies.
It is always wiser to go for tiles that are bigger, as they make the room look orderly and larger.
3. Prepare Walls & Floor For The Tiles
For a tile installation to be successful, good preparation of the floor or wall surface is a must. A well-prepared surface ensures that you have an even canvas on which you can install the tiles.
To begin with, clean the surface and smooth it out, and make sure that there a no damp spots. Fill all the cracks and even out all the inconsistencies on the walls or the floor. Once you are done preparing the surface, give it at least 24 hours to dry and settle down.
4. Gather The Tools & Supplies
Most of the tools that are used for tiling are quite basic and can be found in a regular toolkit, and the supplies required for tiling are also easily available in the market.
Here is a quick checklist of tools & supplies that are essential for tiling:
- Tile Sealer
- Surface adhesive
- Tile spacer
- Measuring Tape
- Sponge & cloth for polishing
- Chalk / Marker
- Tile Cutter
5. Cut Tiles As Required
From the layout, you’ll be able to figure out the areas in which the tiles have to be calibrated. Once you identified the areas where the cut-tiles have to be installed, draw the required cuts on the face of the tiles using a felt tip pencil or marker. You can then use a tile-cutter to cut through straight lines or a nipper to cut curves.
It is advisable, however, to install as many full tiles as possible and minimize the use of cut-tiles. Full-tiles add symmetry the surface and give a neat look to space.
6. Mix & Apply The Mortar/Adhesive
Add enough water to the mortar/adhesive to give it a creamy texture, and, once the mortar mixture is ready, apply an even layer using a trowel.
The mortar mix tends to dry quickly, so it is best to make small batches of the mixture and work in small sections so that the mixture doesn’t dry before the tile is mounted over it.
7. Set the Tiles
When you finally start installing the tiles, being from the center of the space and complete one section at a time. Make sure that you use tile-spacer so that the space between all the tiles is equal, and the symmetry of the tiles does not get disturbed.
Install the cut-tiles and corner tiles only when the rest for the tiling work is complete. If there is any excess adhesive/mortar coming out from the sides or smeared on the tile, remove it using a putty knife and clean cloth.
Grout is the paste used for filling the joints and crevices between the tiles. It should be applied only once the adhesive under the tiles has dried.
Use a grout float to fill the joints and remove all the excess grout using a damp sponge. Avoid heavy use of the space for at least 2 days, so that the grout gets enough time to set.
Grout tends to lose it sheen quite quickly, and often dirt settles over it. But by putting a layer of sealant over it you have it looking fresh for a longer period.
After waiting for a few weeks you can apply a sealer on the settled grout. The sealer protects the grout from dirt, mold and makes it a lot easier to clean the grout.
Here are a few simple precautions for beginners:
- Waterproof the wet areas like the shower, before you being to tile them.
- Clean the tiles properly and remove all the dust particles before installation.
- Don’t ignore your safety, use rubber gloves, safety glasses and face masks, etc.
At the onset, Designer Tiles may seem like something that requires professional intervention, but with a little planning and with help of the tips & hacks mentioned above you can easily tile the walls and floor of your home by yourself.