Getting the right amount of tiles is key to successfully tiling a bathroom. It’s really important that you measure the bathroom properly before you begin. It may seem obvious, but always double check what measurements the tiles come in. If you’re measuring your bathroom in centimetres or inches, make sure that the tiles you choose correspond with your own measurements.
There are several calculators online that can help you to work out exactly how many tiles you will need to cover your bathroom. Just always bear in mind that you need to make sure that your measurements are accurate.
Always buy at least 10% more tiles than you think you will need. Wastage and breakage will inevitably happen when you are tiling a bathroom. Having spare tiles on hand will be very useful as you won’t need to waste time and money on buying extra tiles when you’re in middle of your project.
Step 1. Cleaning and Preparation
Before you can start tiling a bathroom wall, you need to make sure that your surface is properly prepared. It’s vital that you are working with a smooth, freshly prepared wall. Otherwise, you won’t get professional looking results once you have finished. Fixing any mistakes after tiling a bathroom can also be very expensive. So, it’s better to invest some time in this part of the project.
If you are tiling a bathroom, you will need to make sure that your bathroom wall is waterproof, stable and smooth. Applying a tile backer board is an easy way to achieve this (we’ll go into more detail in the ‘Apply a tile backer board’ section). Before you can do this step, however, you need to prepare the wall underneath.
First of all, any old adhesive, paint, or wallpaper needs to be removed. We have two guides on removing paint and how to remove wallpaper that break down the process if you are unsure about where to start.
The walls will also need to be washed with a TSP solution to remove any dirt and grease from them. This will help you tile backer board and your tiles to stick to the wall properly.
Step 2. Use a Gauge Stick to Properly Lay Your Tiles
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to properly lay your tiles is to create your own gauge stick. A gauge stick is simply a length of wood where you have marked the size of your tiles along it. This stick can then be used to space out your tiles correctly.
Take a tile, and align it horizontally against your gauge stick. Mark the end of the tile on the stick. Do this all way along the stick until you run out of space. Don’t forget to include room for a tile spacer between each tile.
Once you have done this, turn the tile vertically, and repeat the process on a new stick. You should now have a gauge stick that measures the length and gauge stick that measures the width of your tiles.
Step 3. Apply a Tile Backer Board
Using a tile backer board is a great way to create a sturdy, dry surface that you can then tile onto. There are numerous benefits to using a tile backer board in your bathroom.
First of all, tile backer board is compatible with many different types of tile. No matter what material your tiles are made out of, they can be affixed to tile backer board. Perhaps most importantly, tile backer board provides a completely waterproof surface that works particularly well around showers and baths.
So, applying a tile backer board to your wall is a great option if you are looking for an easy way to prepare the surface before you start tiling. It can be purchased at most good D.I.Y. stores. When you are purchasing tile backer board, make sure that you have carefully measured the space so that you know how much to buy. Always apply the boards according to the instructions provided.
Step 4. Map out Your Guidelines
Use a spirit level across the width of the wall, and again vertically, to find the centre point. This line will be useful because it can be used as a guide point, and it will ensure that your tiles look right.
It’s now time to use that gauge stick that you created earlier. Place the stick on one end of the wall, along the width of the line that you have drawn. Draw the guidelines that are marked along the gauge stick directly onto the wall. This will act as a map when you come to apply the tiles to the wall.
Usually, at the edges and corners of the wall, you will need to trim a larger tile down to size. It is worth marking these smaller end tiles onto your wall, so you will know what size to cut your larger tiles down to.