While at Meraki Ceramics we do not provide installation services for our tiles, we have worked alongside numerous installation experts, and have also borne witness to the pitfalls of working with poorly trained installers. For our latest blog, we spoke to the best tile installation experts we know to bring you our top tile installation tips.
Purchase more tiles than you require
The general recommendation for tiling is to purchase 10% more tiles than you anticipate needing. This extra sum covers any minor errors in judgement and breakages (particularly useful for beginners). It is important to determine the number of tiles needed for each job prior to ordering.
If you subsequently have to order additional tiles due to breakage or error, the risk is that the new tiles will be from a different batch and there’s a chance there might be a minor change in the colour match. It’s not a good idea to merely buy enough tiles thinking that you’ll go into the showroom to get more if you need them. If you’re unlucky, you can discover that the tiles you wanted are no longer available since they were discontinued.
Begin in the middle
Always place the first tile in the centre and work your way outward when tiling, whether it’s walls or floors. Take the time to carefully prepare to get it perfect, and remember if you start from the edge, you’re likely to have uneven grout lines, messy edges, etc.
Before you start, practise your layout
Lay out your tiles before tiling the floor to ensure that the cuts are all the same size. If not, move the tiles to make the edges as even as possible. Use a pencil to mark the locations of the tiles on walls so that you can quickly determine whether the margins will be symmetrical. Never forget to account for grouting spaces; otherwise, your calculations will be off.
Always maintain levels
As you continue to tile, it’s crucial that all of the tiles remain level. You must eliminate “lippage” which in turn will shorten installation times. The correct technique aids in height adjustment as well as maintaining tile edges evenly in place while the adhesive dries.
Keep the gaps uniform
To assist you to maintain uniform spaces between the tiles, use tile spacers. It is important to know which size is best for the tiles you’ll be using. Spacers come as standard in 2mm, 3mm, or 5mm increments.
Measure once, cut twice
It’s a well-known proverb, but it’s true, which is why it’s so popular! When it comes to cutting tiles or measuring around fixtures and fittings, you can never be too careful to ensure that your tiling job looks amazing. Therefore, double check everything. Additionally, it’s better to err on the side of caution and remove less material than too much because you can always remove a little more if you make a mistake, but if you remove too much material, you’ll need to use another tile and re-start the process.
Before grouting, make sure your tile glue is dry
Before adding the grout, the glue must be totally dry; thus, wait at least 24 hours before beginning. Applying grout while the adhesive is still wet runs the danger of shifting the tiles.
Another piece of advice is to use slow setting adhesive when tiling for the first time rather than rapid set adhesive, which only provides a maximum of 45 minutes of working time.