Tiling a bathroom is a great way to give an often-neglected room a new look. This guide explains how to select, purchase, and apply bathroom tiles.
Choosing and Buying Bathroom Tiles
Bathroom tiles come in a wide range of colors, sizes, shapes, and styles. An easy way to compare bathroom tiles and generate tiling ideas is to browse tiles on eBay online and check all available options.
To determine how many tiles to buy, measure the dimensions of the bathroom walls and/or floor and divide each one by the length of one tile. Round this number up to the nearest whole number in order to account for tiles that will need to be cut and add ten more tiles to the final count to make sure that breakages won’t prevent completion of the tiling project.
Preparing for Tiling
The first step in tiling a bathroom is adding tile backing board to any surfaces that will be exposed to water, such as shower walls and the back splash areas of the bathtub and sink. Tiles can be laid directly onto a concrete floor, but timber floors often need some preparation.
Before starting to apply tiles to the walls or floor, carefully plan out where the tiles will go and take note of whether tiles will need to be cut to fit around the edges of the walls or floor. Also, don’t rely on the floor being level or the walls being perfectly vertical: use a spirit level to draw reference lines on the walls to make sure tiles are applied in perfectly horizontal rows and vertical columns.
Tiling the Walls and Floor
Start tiling by applying tile adhesive to a small area just beside the intersection of two reference lines. Press the wall or floor tile into this adhesive, gently wiggling it around to make sure there are no air bubbles behind the tile. When the tile sticks, apply tile spacers to the corners, taking care not to dislodge the tile. Place the next tile in the same way. Continue tiling, making sure that the edges of the tiles follow the straight reference lines.
At the edges of the room, as well as at points where the bath, sink, or toilet intersect with the wall, you will need to cut tiles to make them fit into small or irregularly shaped gaps. The easiest way to cut tiles is to use a tile cutter, which you can buy from a hardware store or online.
Tiled bathroom walls and floors need grouting. Mix up the grout and apply it to a small section of the tiled wall, making sure that all the gaps between the tiles are filled, then use a damp cloth to wipe grout off the surfaces of the tiles while it is still soft. Move to the next section of wall and do the same again. Grout comes in various colours, so choose one that blends well with other colours in the bathroom decor. Also, note that bathroom grout needs regular cleaning to keep it looking bright and beautiful.
Tiling a bathroom is a great DIY project for enthusiastic home improvers. To make the job easier, use large bathroom tiles rather than tiny mosaic tiles, which can be tricky or difficult to install. For a truly unique bathroom, use different types of tiles, such as border tiles or tiles in different colours, to create interesting patterns on the walls or floor.