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Ten tips to consider before tiling

The following tips are designed to make tiling that little bit easier. If you have some experience, and if you follow this guide in full before starting, you should be suitably prepared to take the next step and start tiling. If you don’t have experience, then we suggest you read this guide in full and then read a step by step guide on how to tile either a floor or wall.

1. Buy more tiles than you need.

Always purchase more tiles than you think you'll need. This will allow for any breakages or mistakes in cutting. Any spares can be kept for future use – either for another project or to replace cracked tiles. Some tile suppliers will take back any unused tiles - check the policy when you purchase the tiles.

2. Plan the layout.

Make sure you plan the design and layout on paper first. The reason you need to do this is because you must consider all the fittings and fixtures in the room you’re tiling to see if they fit in with the design you have decided to use. You must then recheck all your measurements, whether you've made any changes or not.

3. Prepare the surface

Once you have decided on your final design, you need to prepare the surface for tiling. Ensure all surfaces are fully cleaned of any dust, dirt and debris, and then dry all surfaces thoroughly before you start. Any moisture on the surface can affect the tile adhesive and grouting.

4. Plan the cutting to avoid small pieces

Try to avoid using less than a quarter of a tile at the edges of your flooring or wall, as small parts are difficult to cut accurately and you may end up wasting several tiles to get it right. If your plan shows a thin strip of tile at one end, try shifting your layout by half a tile, this may overcome the problem.

5. Avoid patterns in corners

Avoid using patterned tiles at corners, as they will have to be cut to fit your floor or wall size. This will unfortunately affect your design.

6. Always read the instructions

When it comes to the tile adhesive, grout and tools for cutting, make sure you read the manufacturers guides before using them. They may have some hints and tips on how to use their products.

7. Work in small areas

When you've read all the instructions you need to, you can start spreading your adhesive. When spreading, make sure you work in small areas of up to one square metre. This is so that the adhesive doesn't set before you have had time to lay the tiles.

8. Use spacers

The most conventional way to organise and space your tiles evenly is to use spacers between all the tiles. This will adequately regulate the distance between the tiles, so you produce consistently even grout lines.

9. Check the tiles are level and vertical

In order to avoid an uneven floor or wall, use a spirit level as you are laying the tiles to periodically check the tiles are level.

10. Work safely

Safety is paramount with any home improvement job, especially one that involves sharp tools, chemical substances and dust. Always use safety goggles and protective gloves when cutting, trimming and laying tiles.

The information in this article was kindly supplied by The Tile Depot, suppliers of natural looking stone tiles, ceramic tiles and wood flooring.