Most bathroom renovation projects require you to hire professionals, so it can be great to find one which you can complete yourself. Installing tiles – as long as they aren’t made of stone – is one task which DIY-ers can sink their teeth into, but there are still a few tips they’ll need to know in order to get it right.
Don’t Go Cheap
Before you start laying your tiles, you’ll need to pick the right ones. Low-cost options can be extremely tempting, especially since they might not look noticeably different to more expensive varieties, but it’s worth remembering that well-made tiles will last much longer.
Even if you’re lucky enough to find economy-priced tiles which prove to be acceptably durable, you’ll soon find that their inferior density makes them susceptible to both aging and staining – not a good look for tiles which you’ll be looking at for years to come.
Don’t Grout on Movement Planes
If you take one lesson away from this article, make it this one: use grout on the regular tiles by all means but on points where the tiled planes intersect (e.g. room corners) or the tiles meet another material (e.g. window ledge, door frame, bath etc.) use caulk instead. People are making this mistake far less frequently, but it still occurs, and will result in an join which is susceptible to cracking and often less attractive. Avoid this at all costs.
Pick up an appropriate caulk that matches the colour of your grout and that is suitable for the surface and moisture levels. Acrylic, silicone, latex and hybrid formulas usually work well. Using these also makes replacing the bathroom equipment, window ledges, sills and door frames into a far easier job than it used to be.
Don’t Start at the Edge
Laying out your tiles before installation can be tricky business, but you can reduce the likelihood of things going wrong by planning ahead. One mistake which is frequently made by first time DIY-ers involves starting at the edge of a wall, then working back towards the middle.
Unfortunately, this can produce an asymmetrical effect - one which is particularly visible in a smaller room. Instead, find the centre-point of your wall or floor, lay the first tile in the middle or have the first joint on the centre line, and then work your way outwards. This produces a more natural look in which all tiles seem to flow from the centre.
Now you know the basic tricks of installing tiles, you’re ready to get going. Follow these tips, and you won’t be able to convince anyone that it wasn’t a professional job.