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Our guide to fitting floor and wall tiles

If you love a challenge this one is for you!

Things you’ll need…

Don’t forget the tools you’ll need for the job are all available from our Thompson & Parkes store.

  • Tape measure

  • Spirit level

  • Claw hammer

  • Tile cutter

  • Tile adhesive trowel

  • Pipe detector

  • Tile edge nipper

  • Jigsaw

  • Tile file

  • Sealant gun

  • Grout spreader

  • Tile Spacer

Step 1 - Measure Up

You need to start measuring up, measure the length of the area you’re intending to tile, then divide it by the length of you’re going to use. Measure the width of the area, then divide that by the width of a tile. Round up the number of tiles for length and width, then multiply the two results to find out the number of tiles you’ll need. Repeat the process for any other areas, considering the spaces taken up by doors and windows.

Step 2 – Plan your tile layout first

Planning the layout of the area you’re tiling will help you avoid uneven spacing or poorly aligned rows or tiles. Use a consistently-sized spacer between your tiles to make sure they’re evenly arranged. You could use any object for a spacer – such as a matchstick or a plastic spacer – as long as it helps you create equal gaps for the grouting.

Step 3 – Preparing The Surface

Make sure that the area you’re intending to tile is both clean and dry, if necessary using a detergent. Allow it to dry completely before starting. Ceramic tiles can be laid on both concrete and timber flooring. Before laying them on floorboards, however you need to screw down a layer of exterior grade plywood to the floor. If the concrete surface is uneven, apply a self-levelling compound and leave to dry overnight. If you’re left with ridges on the floor, smooth them off with a medium-grade sandpaper block.

Step 4 – Laying and Fixing Your Tiles

Before you lay or fix any tiles, check that there aren’t any colour variations.

Fix your ceramic tiles into place in the adhesive covered area. Check that they’re equally arranged using your spacer. Check that the tiles are level using a spirit level, placing it diagonally across each row. If a tile is higher than the others, put a piece of wood over it and tap with a rubber hammer. If a tile is too low, lift and reapply adhesive. Using claw hammer, remove the piece of wood you’ve been using as a guide and fill in the space with your cut border tiles. Once you’re finished, leave the tile adhesive to set. Drying times may vary, depending on conditions and the thickness of the adhesive.

Step 5 – Grouting Your Tiles

Remember to pop into Thompson & Parkes for all your tiling needs.

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