Changing the tiles of your bathroom can accentuate the appearance and further enhance your bathroom from its previous state. However, to get a professional finish while tiling a bathroom yourself can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Either you can employ a professional tiler or designer, who will guarantee a near perfect job in no time or you can take up the challenge and do it yourself. If you are tight on budget then the expensive labour charges of employing a designer might be off-putting. So if you are looking to rival the decorator in achieving a professional finish when tiling your bathroom, here are some tips.
In order to achieve a professional tiled finis, it is important to have a smooth, even and flat surface to begin with. If there is any plaster that has come undone where old tiles have been removed, it is crucial that you fill and sand them beforehand for a levelled wall. In case, you are tiling onto new plaster, it is best to score the wall with the edge of a trowel to help the tile adhesive to stick onto the wall. If you are replacing tiles in the shower area, then using a moisture resistant drywall or a vapour barrier will prevent dampness issues in the long run.
It is highly recommended to start with the longest wall. Commence by measuring the centre of the wall and mark it with a vertical chalk line. Once this is done, then begin with tiling outwards in either direction from the centre line and work your way up to the ceiling. To smooth out adhesive across the wall, use a tile adhesive comb. To make things easier and more manageable begin tiling row by row. Carefully press every tile into place and apply slight pressure so that it firmly sets. Although the adhesive dries out quickly try not to rush the job. If you are looking for a perfect finish, it is important that every tile is aligned carefully.
In areas such as corners you are less likely to use a full tile and will have to shape it according to the area. Measure the particular space on the wall from top and bottom and cut the tile using a tile cutter such as Plantool’s 600mm capacity manual tile cutter. When working around areas such as sinks and toilets, it is best to remove these fittings if you want to achieve a professional finish. This way you will be able to use a whole tile instead, of having to cut intricate shapes.
Once you have completed the task of tiling, it is best to leave it for 24 hours before beginning with grouting. If you want to finish the grouting job more quickly then consider using a grouting tool. Wipe off any excess grout residue and apply acrylic sealant around sinks, baths and showers to avoid any water from seeping into gaps causing leaks and the build up of mould.
You don’t need to be a tiling expert to achieve that professional look but you do need time and patience. Make sure you have all the necessary materials and equipment before you begin and perhaps most crucially someone to bring you regular cups of tea and biscuits.
Image credits: Melanie Moran & Ingrid Martinez