Tips About Tile Adhesives

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Home Improvements, Tiles

In addition to following the manufacturer’s direction for mixing and use, it is also important to select the correct adhesive for your tiling project.

Over time there is likely to be some expansion and maybe some shrinkage of the surface that is being tiled.  Certain types of masonry are more prone to such movement than others.  Before selecting an adhesive, check that it will retain enough flexibility, when cured, to suit the surface.

For small wall areas a premixed adhesive can be used.  These formulas are usually self priming which can save time and expense; once opened they can quickly lose their properties, so, for larger walls and floors, a powdered adhesive is recommended.

For tiling areas that are exposed to high humidity or running water, a water-proof adhesive should be used.

Floor tiles applied to a concrete floor may not need a flexible adhesive but tiles that are applied to other surfaces, especially wood, will definitely require an adhesive that is flexible when cured.

Some adhesives have a rapid set formula.  These are suitable when the area to be tiled is small.  They need to set for just a few hours before the grout can be applied.  Non rapid set formulas will need to be left 24 -48 hours before attempting to apply grout.

The quantity of adhesive required to finish a project will depend on how even the surface to be tiled is.  On average, it will require approximately 10kg of dry adhesive powder to tile five square metres of wall, and up to 20kg to cover five square metres of floor space.

Roofing Tiles Explained

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Home Improvements, Tiles

Plain clay tiles are a traditional roofing material.  Each of the tiles has a pair of projecting lugs called nibs on its rear surface, and the function of these is to hook over a batten in the roof and keep the tile in place.  In addition, some plain tiles are nailed into place as well as being secured by their nibs, and these are normally placed along the top and bottom edges of the roof and on every fourth row in between them.

Each plain tile overlaps the length of the tile beneath it by about two-thirds, so that only a third of the tile is exposed to the elements.

Plain clay tiles are suitable for roofs pitched at a minimum of 40 degrees, as opposed to slates that require an angle of 20 degrees.

Also available is the plain concrete tile that is held on the batten in the same way as clay tiles.

There are also interlocking concrete tiles which hook over the battens in the same way as plain tiles but they also lock with each other so that you need only one layer and little overlapping of the row below is necessary, which can make a saving in terms of material.

The minimum pitch needed for interlocking tiles is less than 20 degrees, but pitches up to 30 degrees can also take them.

Interlocking clay tiles are available as decorative pantiles, and with these the name and number of the tile is often stamped on the back so that it is easy to replace damaged ones.

Tools for tiling

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Home Improvements, How To Guides, Tiles

A proper selection of appropriate tools can make any tiling job feel less like hard work, and the end result will be more professional.

Smoothing cut edges can be best done using a tile file, while a tile saw is good for making cuts that will enable tiles to fit neatly around objects such as pipes in the bathroom.  Use coarse abrasive paper for rubbing down the paintwork.

One of the most useful tools for a beginner is a tile jig, otherwise known as an all-in-one tile cutter.  This incorporates a few useful tools such as a measuring device, snapping jaws and a tile trimmer in the one unit that can be carried easily between jobs.  More experienced workers generally use a stand-alone tile cutter, but this takes some practice to use effectively.

When you are laying standard field tiles, a set of tile spacers can be used for making the gaps, although many modern tiles have bevelled edges and these automatically create the necessary grouting gap when the tiles are pushed up against one another.

Mark glazed surfaces of tiles with a chinagraph pencil so you can get rid of the marks when the tiles have been laid.

To let the adhesive spread as you press the tiles home, use a notched adhesive spreader that will ensure an even thickness has been applied, and have a slender squeegee handy to press the grout in.

How to Set out Tiles Around Existing Features

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, How To Guides, Tiles

When it comes to tiling, the process can be relatively easy if simply fixing materials to a blank wall.  However, in most situations there will be existing features to take into consideration, whether these are sinks, baths, kitchen cupboards, or cookers.  Tiling is still simple as long as the time is taken to consider these features, making alterations as necessary.

In some cases, you may only be tiling half a wall.  In this case, it is important to consider how the ‘edge’ tiles will sit and, if tiling the bottom half of a wall, ensure that whole tiles are seen at the top edge.  Meanwhile, if you intend to tile around baths and worktops, the best look is have full tiles at both the bottom and top.  This will involve having a smaller strip of tiles within the design, and can be placed accordingly to make a feature.  You could even use a different colour tile to highlight and embrace the change.

Tiling around windows and doors can be one of the most challenging problems, with windowsills especially making it vitally important to consider spacing before starting the job.  Try to place tiles around this area so that whole tiles are flush with the features.  Thin strips are more obvious here and can cause distraction from the overall effect.  Meanwhile, whilst tiling windowsills, try to ensure that a whole tile is placed towards the room, with a thinner strip on the outside edge by the pane if needed.

Whilst tiling around existing room features can be more challenging, as long as the time is taken to carefully space materials, there is no reason for the finished job to look out of place.  In addition, by highlighting specific areas with other colours, you can make the differences part of the design scheme.

How to Fix Ceramic Tiles

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, How To Guides, Tiles

Fixing tiles can be easy as long as you know how, and with practice, it can be performed relatively quickly.  There are a number of different adhesives available for the job and you need to ensure you have the correct one for the project.  Waterproof adhesives should always be used in bathroom settings, whilst your wall material will also determine your adhesive selection.

Before starting to fix any tiles, make sure that you have cleaned the wall and marked out the exact points where tiles need to go.  Once this is completed, start with a small area of wall and spread adhesive thinly using a large filling knife or trowel.  Instead of smoothing the area, use the knife to create ridges to help tiles attach and provide a certain amount of space to level the tiles later.

When placing the first tile, start with the first whole tile and place at the bottom of the area, making sure it is carefully lined up with the measurement marks.  Using spacers or matchsticks if your tiles do not incorporate protrusions, place the second tile alongside the first, and make sure that it is level and flat before moving on.  Continue tiling in this way, ensuring that all measurements are kept to, spacers are used, and adhesive is applied in ridges to allow for levelling.

Once the area is complete, ensure that all tiles are securely fixed to the wall before moving onto the grouting process and finishing the project.

Bathrooms on a Budget

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Home Improvements, Tiles

Planning a bathroom on a budget is entirely do-able.   Even if you don’t have a lot of money to plunge into a remodel, there are many small details that you can change that will make a big impact on the overall look of the space.

Painting is one of the most cost-effective things you can do in home improvement, while still causing a big impact on the room.  It’s remarkable what a fresh coat of paint in the right colour selection can do to change the appearance of a space!

If you are installing new bathroom suites or fixtures, place them in the same spots as your old ones.  This alleviates the problem with moving plumbing and piping, saving you a load of money in the long run while still giving you options for an updated suite.

You can look into updating an existing toilet simply by finding new seats that fit your existing pottery and sanitary ware.  A new ceramic seat can give a whole new feel to the room without having to even remove the old toilet.

Purchase a bath/shower mixer that will install into the existing brassware. This way you don’t have to move anything or go through any demolition in the room.

If you are happy with your storage space, look into changing out the bathroom cabinet doors and countertops instead of replacing all of the bathroom furniture.

Bring in a dash of colour through the use of bathroom tiles.  Patterned tiling can be expensive but there are some budget-friendly choices if you look in the right places and do some research.

Adding your style with bathroom tiles

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathroom Flooring, Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Tiles

Tiles have become a popular product in our homes due to their durability and affordability.  With a multitude of choice in sizes, material, shapes and colours, there are endless possibilities as to where they can be used.  Bathroom tiles have, however, become particularly useful as part of the daily function of shower stalls and bathroom floors. 

When it comes to your next bathroom home improvement project, you may want to consider bathroom tiles as your next floor or wall covering.  Adding ceramic tiles does take time and patience along with tools and the skills to use them.  However if done properly, bathroom tiles can last many years and withstand the harshest of wear and tear conditions.

If you are considering exchanging your current flooring for ceramic bathroom tiles and are contemplating the heavy workload ceramic brings with it, there is a new product called snapceramic.  It is made of ceramic material just as the normal ceramic tiles are, but these come complete with interlocking snaps that help guide with installation, making the job considerably easier and quicker.  These tiles need to be fitted and cut with a tile cutter just as you would normally do.  This product works best on solid concrete floors.

For those wanting the ceramic bathroom tile look without all the work, there are options available in this area as well.  Many hardware shops carry the ceramic looking peel-and-stick vinyl tiles that offer the ceramic bathroom tile look and feel, at a fraction of the cost and workload. 

Bathroom Carpeting

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Home Improvements, Tiles

While the floor of the bathroom is usually not an area most people would consider putting a carpet – with bathroom tiles being the most common choice of flooring – there does nonetheless exist various types of carpeting that exists for just such a purpose.

Obviously, some people may prefer the warmer feel of a carpet than the cooler feel of bathroom tiles, yet equally obvious that the carpet would have to be a particularly resilient and different kind in order to be suitable and durable for the bathroom environment. It would have to be particularly resistant to water and heat, as well as being rather harder to stain than the ‘normal’ carpet.

Fortunately, options exist for this requirement, with carpets made out of polyprophene being ideal for the purpose, polyprophene being resistant to water and therefore being more suited than most for the bathroom setting. Also useful are polyprophene carpet’s skidding resistant quality, which again makes it ideal for a room in which mats and towels are more likely to be frequently in use than other rooms of the house. Carpets made from olefin (a type similar to polyprophene) are also good bathroom choices, with a similar skid resistant quality. Such carpeting is best used in smaller bathrooms, while larger bathrooms are better suited to tiling. If a warmer feel is still desired, however, large rugs made from olefin or even nylon (which is also water resistant) can be used to achieve this effect, with such items usually available from the same stores that sell bathroom tiles.

How to Have an Inviting Bathroom

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Small Bathroom Design, Tiles

Just because your bathroom may be small and slightly on the dingy side does not mean it has to be uninviting. On the other hand, if you have a massive bathroom you don’t have to make it cold and uninviting either. The goal should be to have a bathroom that is warm and calming regardless of the size.

This does not have to be an expensive or complicated process. There are a few efficient and effective changes and additions you can make to your bathroom that will make an amazing difference.

If you have a drafty house and a bathroom with cold floors one option to consider is a bathroom radiator. Some of these designer radiators even come with a towel rack attachment to keep your towels nice and warm regardless of the outside temperatures. Overall the radiator’s benefit is the same – a nice, warm bathroom that invites you inside and tempts you to never leave.

Another option is to examine your bathroom colour scheme. A bright, colourful bathroom accessory such as a new set of towels or a colourful rug may be all that your bathroom is missing. You can also add a new set of bathroom tiles in a new colour scheme to add some warmth to your bathroom. Be careful not to make the colour scheme too loud and outrageous. You don’t need to redo all the colours; just focus on one aspect.

Under tile heating – warming even the coldest floors!

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathroom Flooring, DIY Tips, Heating, Tiles

The most common type of underfloor heating system on the market today are those that are used for heating beneath tiled surfaces. This is because of the fact that tiled floors are notorious for being exceptionally cold during the winter months, no matter how high a homeowner might have the central heating thermostat set. 

Because warm air rises and radiators are installed above the actual surface of the floor, there is no chance for the floor itself to get warm.  The heat just rises from the radiator to the ceiling where it simply circulates, and while that can help warm the interior of the home it does no good for the actual floor itself, or indeed the lower levels of the space.

Under tile heating systems have begun to become even more popular in recent years as technological advances have allowed a variety of underfloor heating kits to become available on the DIY market for consumers. These range from water underfloor heating systems that rely on heated water piped through tubes, to systems which are basically underfloor electric heating which uses heat mats that are installed underneath the actual surface of the tile.  This provides an under tile heating system that creates a warm floor that is perfect for those moments such as when stepping out of the shower on a frigid December morning. Instead of being greeted with a cold floor that will have you wincing, there is instead a cosy and warm tile floor.

For all available DIY underfloor heating systems simply visit your nearest home improvement store.