How easy is it to fix wall tiles myself?
- May 14, 2017
As with any job around the home, for the best result it’s always advisable to seek assistance from a professional. You may have spent a considerable amount of your hard earned cash on beautiful wall tiles, but not fixed correctly, the end result might not be pleasing, leaving you with extra expense in the long run.
Before starting the job, it’s important you make sure you have the right materials. Not taking the time on your preparation can cost can be a big mistake. If you work slowly and carefully, it can be simply to fix your tiles yourself, however, they are some common mistakes that should be avoided.
Choosing the right tiling adhesive can make all the difference. If you are fixing wall tiles around a bath or shower its essential you use a waterproof adhesive. Even tiles that have been professionally fitted will allow a small amount of water through and a non waterproof adhesive will decay in time, causing your tiles to fall off the wall.
When you are sure you have enough tiles and all the necessary items to complete your DIY tiling task, you can look to prepare your surface. All surfaces should be clean and smooth before laying any tiles, otherwise they may not lay evenly. Wall paper should be removed and the surface should be lightly sanded. If you are laying new tiles over old, clean and dry the old ones first. It’s also a good idea to scour them to provide better grip.
When you have decided on your pattern and you know where on the wall you need to start, attached your battens to the wall. A batten is a thin rod of wood, which will assist in laying your tiles in a straight line. By attaching one vertically and one horizontally, you will always have a guide. You can also make on the battens where each tiles should be, this will help ensure your spacing stays even as you move across the wall.
One of the most common errors in DIY tiling is to spread the adhesive too smoothly. When applying the adhesive make sure you add horizontal ridges with your trowel, or an old fork. This will help with grip and also allow you to level your surface by flattening the ridges.
Spacers are great for making sure your tiles are laid evenly. Plastic spacers are fairly cheap to buy, however a piece of cardboard or match sticks can work as well. An even finish will mean your tiles are less likely to loosen or break.
When you have finished laying all of your tiles yourself, leave 24 hours before grouting, as it’s important to make sure the adhesive is fully set. Spread your tile grout evenly by using a squeegee and work slowly covering a small area at a time. Remove any access grout before it dries to avoid a long clean up later.
If you are patient and have an eye for detail, then fixing wall tiles yourself is a challenge worth tackling.