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Bathroom Tiling – detailed instructions on how to tile a bathroom, grouting, cutting tiles, fitting tiles and sealing around bath.


Bathroom Tiles 

The 7 Steps To Tiling Your Bathroom Like A Pro 

 Reproduced by kind permission of www.bathrooms-vanities.com 

an almost unlimited choice of patterns, textures and colours to please
even the most fastidious tastes, bathroom tiles are the obvious choice
for lining your bathroom or shower area. Although some people consider
leaving it to the professionals, most bathrooms can be tiled in a
weekend, even if you have had no previous tiling experience.

Before you begin, here are the essential tools you’ll need for the

· Tile Cutter

· Tile Saw

· Grout Spreader

· Spirit Level

· Tile Nibblers

· Adhesive Spreader

· Tile-Cutting Jig

· Homemade Gauge Stick



Before you begin, it is imperative that the walls are clean, sound
and dry. The surface should be as flat as possible
and therefore you will need to remove any wallpapering and coat any
flaking paint with a stabilizing primer. Now would be a good time to
make your very own gauge stick, which will help you plot the position of
the tiles on the wall. Find a piece of softwood and lay several tiles
next to it (adding spacers if the tiles are square edged or butting
together those with lugs) and mark off the
position of each tile along the stick.

Setting Out The Tiles

The size and shape of your bathroom ultimately decides on how you set
out the walls. Mark the bottom of the lowest row of tiles and
temporarily nail a thin guide batten to the wall, aligned with the mark.
Use the spirit level to ensure that this is perfectly horizontal.
Marking the centre of the wall, use the gauge stick to set out the rows
of tiles on each side of it. If the border tiles measure less than half
the width of a tile, reposition the rows sideways by half a tile. Use
the spirit level to place a guide batten against the last vertical line
and nail it to the wall. If you have to tile around an object such as a
window, use that as your starting point so that the surrounding tiles
are of equal size. Cut tiles should be placed at the back of the window
reveal. Again, use a temporary guide batten above the window to position
the row of tiles above it.

Applying The Adhesive

It’s important to always use a waterproof tile adhesive for areas
that will come into contact with water. Most tile adhesives are sold
ready-mixed, although some will require you to add water yourself. Apply
the adhesive to the wall so that it covers about 1 metre square.

Using the toothed edge of the spreader, form horizontal ridges in the
adhesive. Take the first tile and position it in the right angle formed
by the setting out battens at the skirting level. If the tiles do not
have lugs, place plastic spacers between them to ensure that there is
enough space for the grouting.

Using a damp sponge, wipe away any adhesive from the surface of the
tiles. Tile along the batten until the first rows are complete, ensuring
that each tile is perfectly horizontal. When you are complete, allow the
tiles to set before removing the battens.

Cutting The Border Tiles

Once you have completed the main area, the border tiles will need to
be cut to fit the gap between the adjacent walls. Placing the border
tile face down and with one edge next to the wall, mark where it is to
be cut taking into consideration normal spacing between the tiles. Use a
felt tip pen to transfer the mark to the face of the tile. Take the tile
cutter and holding it against a straightedge, score across the face in
one firm stroke. Stretching a length of thin wire across a panel of
chipboard, place the scored line over the wire and press down on both
sides to snap the tile. Alternatively, you can use a purpose-made
tile-cutting jig. Using a tile sander, smooth over the cut edges of the

Fitting Around Appliances


When fitting tiles around a pipe, it’s best to try and set them out
so that you can cut a semi circle from the edges of two adjacent tiles.
If this is not possible, mark the centre of the pipe on the top and side
edges of the tile and draw lines across from these points. Using a coin,
or something slightly larger than the diameter of the pipe, draw around
where the two lines cross. Make a cut straight through the centre of the
circle and then use a tile saw to cut out the remaining circle. To fit a
tile against a curved shape, it’s best to use a piece of thin card and
draw a template of the exact size of the tile. Cut small, evenly spaced
slits along one edge of the tile and press them against a curve
replicate the shape. Transfer the gradient of the curve on to the face
of the tile and then cut using a tile saw.

Grouting And Sealing

It is essential to use waterproof grout for any bath or shower
surrounds. Grout comes in a pre-mixed paste grey, white or brown paste,
although it is also possible these days to source coloured grouts that
will blend in with your choice of tiles. Allow the tile adhesive to
harden for 24 hours before applying the grout using a rubber-bladed
spreader, ensuring that are the joints are filled. Using a sponge, wipe
the grout from the surface of the tiles before it sets and smooth the
joints with a blunt-ended stick. When it has dried, use a dry cloth to
polish the face of the tiles and leave for about a week before using.

Sealing Bathroom Fittings

You should not use grout to seal the gap between the shower tray or
bathtub and the wall, since it can crack and lose its waterproof seal.
It’s best to use a silicon sealant compound, which you can buy in
cartridges. The sealants are again available in a choice of colours to
match your choice of tile. Trim the end off the nozzle and press the tip
into the joint at an angle of 45 degrees. When applying the sealant to
bathtubs, it’s best to stand in the bath* since the join will accommodate
your body weight. When you have finished, smooth over any ripples with a
wetted teaspoon handle.


* I have received the following
useful observation from a visitor:-

May I make a suggestion to the
item on tiling .Sub heading Sealing I go along with everything until
it comes to the part about standing in the bath. when one

gets out of the bath however the
bath tub will rise slightly due to the weight being taken of the
floor, then the silicone is squeezed out of the joints. What I do is
fill the bath full of water. then silicone the joint, leave for 24
hours then let the water go, when the bath rises this time it
compresses the dried silicone, whereas the other way every time the
bath is filled the dried silicone is stretched leaving a damaged
seal . I have done this for over 15 years and believe me it works
the best of all.

Contributed by
Alan Farrell

Good advice but there is a
sealing strip you can buy to fit to the wall before you finish off
around the bath, the same procedure with water in the bath and fit
the seal in the adhesive of the row next to the bath for a water
tight seal.