You will need
- Spirit level
- Notched trowel (6 or 8mm)
- Tile spacers
- Score and snap tile cutter
- Electric diamond wheel tile cutter (optional)
- Tile snipper (optional)
- Rubber grout float or squeegee
Step 1: prepare the wall
Prepare your wall for tiling by making sure it is clean, dry and free from dust and dirt. Tiles can be fixed to most substrates, including plasterboard, skimmed plaster and tile backer boards.
Step 2: set out your tiles
Mark a vertical and horizontal line on the centre of the wall being tiled using a spirit level. Dry lay your tiles starting from the middle and working your way out towards the edge of the wall. Your outside tiles should be approximately the same size so you may need to reposition your central vertical line to get the right position.
Step 3: fixing the tiles into position
Apply your tile adhesive onto the wall, starting from your central vertical line. Apply about one metre squared at a time using a notched trowel (6 or 8mm) at a 45 degree angle to the wall. Firmly press the tile into the adhesive using a slight twisting motion and position the tile spacer between each tile on all sides to give a consistent sized grout lines.
Step 4: cutting the tiles
Ceramic tiles can easily be cut with a score and snap tile cutter. For irregular cuts, such as around plug sockets, an electric diamond wheel tile cutter is beneficial, however the same type of cut can be achieved using a straight cutter for scoring and a pair of tile nippers. Tile nippers can be used to nip or nibble pieces from the tile until the desired shape is achieved.
Step 5: grouting
Allow 24 hours for the tile adhesive to dry before grouting. Mix the grout as per the intructions on the packet, forming an even paste. Apply the grout using a rubber grout float or squeegee at a 45 degree angle to the wall, making sure to press the grout firmly into the gaps.
Wipe away any excess grout from the tile face using a damp sponge, being careful not to remove grout from the grout line itself. After about 30 minutes, buff the tiles with a soft, dry cloth to remove any trace of grout. This can be repeated until the tile face is clean.
Step 6: finishing up
Internal corners both horizontal and vertical, such as along worktops, should have matching silicone applied to prevent any cracking from movement.
Tip: If you are removing old tiles to replace with new ones you can use old, smashed tiles as drainage crocks in potted plants.
Our thanks to Tile Mountain for providing these tips.
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