5 DIY Tiling Tips for the First-Timer
If you go to sites like Pinterest or any home decorating and improvement sites, you’ll notice one thing right away – people love tile. It shows up in bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, terraces and patios, and almost everywhere else in the home. Tile is durable, good looking, and low maintenance. However, it does take some skill to install correctly. So, if you have decided you want to get in on the tile bandwagon, we have a few tips for the DIY tiling “first-timer.”
Don’t Be Overly Ambitious
While you might want to see new tile on the bathroom floor, shower and surround, don’t dive in too quickly. Tiling is not rocket science, but it can be quite easy to mess up, and you don’t want to find yourself rushing to find help because your bathroom is unusable without tile.
A small backsplash, a simple DIY side table project, or another small scale project is a great place to start. Once you have the general hang of it, you can move on to more serious stuff.
Do the Prep
One of the steps that is altogether too easy to skip in your eagerness to get to the business of tiling is the preparation. Proper preparation includes selecting the tile you want, measuring carefully to calculate the quantity of tile needed, and investing in the right tools.
Then, do as most experts suggest and do a “dry run.” Doing a dry run means laying the materials out ahead of time to get a sense of what it will look like when complete. As one DIY enthusiast explained, “if you start tiling your floor from the back wall of the room, in 12″ x 12″ tile, you may find that you have slivers of 2″ near the door, which doesn’t look right. In that case, you may choose to trim the tile at the back to 8″ x 12″ so your front wall tiles have a width of 6″. You can do the layout as many times as you want with dry tile until you are happy with the placement of the tiles at both ends of the room.”
Don’t Fear Your Tools
Many people hesitate to use things like tile cutters and saws because they are a bit intimidating (let’s face it, they are!). However, ask someone with experience to teach you how to use these tools safely and accurately, and you’ll soon find yourself working like a pro. Almost every tile project will require some tile cutting and trimming for perfect fits, so equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge are essential to any DIY tile job.
Learn the Lessons
Don’t think that a few episodes of your favorite home improvement show are enough to teach you how to tile correctly. For example, many people think you would begin tiling a wall from the floor and working upward when it is the opposite! Why? Floors are rarely level, and so you must start along the wall where YOU make the level from which to begin.
Expect Tears with Grout
One of the toughest parts of tiling is grouting, which takes some practice to get good at. First, getting the right consistency with the grout is essential to get right. Each bag of grout will have instructions on the side of the bag; be sure to follow them correctly, or you will find your grout too liquid or too thick to spread.
Once your grout is mixed, the clock starts ticking, so it is vital to work with it quickly. Once it is applied you need to watch the clock and make sure you wipe off any excess at the right time. Otherwise, it will set up and be very difficult to clean up. Applying grout is not easy, and it is one of the most time-sensitive things you’ll ever have to master, but if you take the time to learn your DIY tile job will come out looking like a Pro did it.
However, if you don’t feel up to it, though, you can get real tiling pros to do it for you through ServiceLive.