Today we are talking tiling. Last week saw the completion of the tiling in the downstairs bathroom and toilet. The single most important part of tiling in a wet area is set out and preparation.
Preparation should ensure that your substrate (what you are sticking it to) is free of oil, dirt and dust. This will ensure your tiles are laid on a solid foundation. This is best done by a thorough sweep or vacuum of the space, if there is any oil of residue on the surface to be tiled, and solvent such as penetrol or thinners will need to be used to clean the floor down.
Set out, in setting out tiles, they should ideally be symmetrical in the room. Set out starts in the middle of the room and working out from there. It is important to have a full tile at the door, you do not want a cut tile at the door if you can possible help it. A cut tile at the door, appears messy, and as it is often the first tile seen, will create an unpolished look.
Ideally you should use a rubber modified adhesive on the floor to allow for usual minor movement in the substrate. This will ensure your tiles will not crack from minimal movement. Beware of purchasing cheap tiles, as they can be of different sizing which makes laying them a nightmare.
Once tiles have been laid, and at least a day allowed for them to set, it is time to grout. Grouting is a messy but fun job. There are many types of grout, depending on the look you require. The darker colours of grout are generally more difficult to apply as they require more regular cleaning of the tiles during the grouting process. Grout needs to be mixed with water only, to a smooth consistency, most importantly not to running as this will lead to slumping in the tile joints. You can apply the grout either by hand or with a grouting boat (firm sponge trowel). Ensure you have plenty of clean water and soft sponge to clean off the excess. Be cautious of the grout drying on the tiles, as this will require lots of scraping, rubbing and heartache to remove.
After the grouting is completed it is time to silicone the joins where there is a change in direction of the tiling. For wet areas you will need a mould resistant silicone. Ensure all joints are full with silicone to prevent holes in the joint. *Trick* to stop the silicone from getting all over your tiles when wiping the excess off, use a spray bottle of water with a squirt of dishwashing liquid in it. Spray the area after applying the silicone, and before wiping the excess off. The soapy water will ensure the excess silicone will not stick to the tiles and will come off easily on your finger.
Once the grout and silicone are all dry, you can simply wipe the dusty residue off the tiles with a dry cloth and you are finished!
Have you ever tried tiling? Is there an area in your home you would like to change the tiles in?