Hints & Tips

Selecting your Tiles

As there are several types of tiles available, each of which have different technical properties, it is important to choose the tile which best meets your requirements. Glazed ceramic Glazed tiles are the obvious choice for walls in bathrooms, kitchens and utility areas, as well as on floors of reception rooms and conservatories. However, they are not suitable for outdoor use or heavy traffic floor areas. Unglazed ceramic Unglazed tiles are normally used in an industrial or commercial setting and are also available in a non-slip finish for wet areas. They are ideal for the floors of utility rooms, playrooms, bathrooms or garages. Porcelain These are usually floor tiles, similar to unglazed ceramics in terms of properties, but also extremely attractive and hard wearing. Porcelain tiles can be used inside or out, and can sometimes be glazed often giving good anti slip properties. Quarry Tile These tiles are made from natural clay; some are frost resistant and therefore can be used externally. The natural clay surface offers good slip resistance and they are extremely hard wearing tiles. Terracotta Again these tiles are made from natural clay. The tiles vary in their degree of water absorbency and generally are not recommended for external use as they are not frost resistant. Most terracotta tiles will require sealing prior to and after laying.

Mosaic These are small pieces of glass or ceramic normally sold in sheets which are held together on a mesh backing thus making them easier to apply and fix. Natural stone products Including limestone, marble, slate and granite, these products vary greatly in terms of wearability. Some may require sealing and each can vary in terms of thickness.

How many Tiles do you need?

The first thing you will need to do is measure the wall or floor area which needs to be tiled and calculate in square metres. Then work out how many of the chosen tiles there are in a square metre and multiply this by the area to be tiled. In Tile Market any of our Sales Advisors will be happy to help you with this.

When buying adhesive, a rough guide is as follows: 10 litres will cover approximately 7 square metres of tiles When buying grout, a rough guide is as follows: 3.5kg covers approximately 8 square metres of tiles

Accessories

The following is a list of accessories you will need for your tiling project:

- spirit level - measuring tape - tile cutter - Pincers for nipping off the edges - Adhesive spreader - Grouting squeegee - Sponge - Spacers

Possibly a tile saw may be required if using natural stone products

Preparation

Preparing the surface properly before you start is vital and a perfectly flat surface is required.

Hints: - New plaster should be left for 4 weeks and be totally dry before you begin tiling - You can tile on to plasterboard providing it is well supported and is at least 12.5mm thick - On painted surfaces, it is important to check the adhesion between the paint and the surface to which it has been applied and between any substrate and basic structure. Any flaking paint should be removed and cracks should be filled in with a filler. The surface to be tiled should be smooth, clean and free from dust dirt and grease and primed.

Wall tiling tips - Find the lowest point of the base you are working to (skirtings, bath top, work surface etc) with a spirit level - Place a tile against the lowest point and draw a line on the wall along the top of the tile - Nail a batten along the wall to this line and use the spirit level to ensure it is level. The first line of tiles will rest on this batten - Draw a vertical (plumb) line at one end of the wall, one tile width away from the edge. US this to check that the tiles are in line vertically.

Adhesives

Your sales advisor in Tile Market will be able to advise you on the best adhesive at time of purchase.

Hints: - Spread the wall adhesive on using a trowel or spreader, Working in small areas is an advantage so that tiles are fixedbefore the adhesive starts to dry and form a skin. Start at the bottom and work up, pressing and twisting the wall tiles in to the adhesive. Complete one row of whole tiles at a time, using spacers if required to ensure a uniform joint. Make sure you check the horizontal and vertical lines with the spirit level every few rows. - Remove any surplus adhesive from the tile surfaces using a damp sponge and also from the joints. When the adhesive has set, remove the batten and complete the tiling. - If you need to cut any tiles, please ask for advice at time of purchase in any of our Tile Market stores and we will be pleased to advise you on any tools required. - If you are working on an awkward area, it can be better to apply the adhesive to the back of the tile instead of the wall. If the shape is complicated, it is better to draw the shape out first on to cardboard to make sure it fits and then transfer the design to the tile. - A tile trim can be used in order to achieve a neat edge on external edges and corners. A plastic sealing strip or silicone sealant should be used around baths and hand basins in order to prevent seepage of water.

Grouting

You should allow a minimum of 12 hours after fixing before you begin grouting. Your Tile Market Sales Advisor can help you choose the correct grout at time of purchase.

Hints: - Force the grout in between the tiles using a flexible spreader or a grouting sponge. - Remove any surplus grout from the surface of the tiles using a sponge - “Peg” the joints with a rounded stick in order to achieve an even finish. - Polish with a dry cloth - Force the grout in to the joints using a spreader. - Remove surplus grout from the surface of the tiles with a sponge - Peg the joints with a rounded stick to achieve a better finish. - When grouting tiles on a timber floor, use a water based polymer admixture to improve flexibility.

Floor Tiling tips

Again it is important to prepare the area properly before you start tiling tiling on to Concrete New concrete must be at least 6 weeks old, and totally dry. The surface should be smooth, flat and free from dirt and grease and primed.

Tiling on to Wooden Floors Exisiting wooden floors must be rigid, stable and capable of supporting additional load without flexing and have sufficient ventilation beneath them. You can either overlay the existing timber with 15mm exterior grade plywood, screw it down at 300mm intervals ensuring all junctions are supported by joists, prime and use flexible adhesive. Or you can overlay with special plastic sheeting and use a flexible adhesive. A flexible grout is also recommended.

Tiling on to Vinyl Tiles These should be clean and firmly adhered to the subfloor. Prime the surface of the vinyl tiles and allow to dry before applying the adhesive Tiling on to existing quarries, glazed and unglazed tiles Again these must be clean

Cutting Tiles

Floor tiles are generally harder to cut, but modern tools are available – please ask at your Tile Market store at time of purchase.

Floor Adhesives

Your Sales Advisor in Tile Market will be able to advise you on a suitable adhesive at time of purchase.

- Always use according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply with a solid trowel. - Lay each tile on to the adhesive firmly twisting slightly to ensure a solid bed and to prevent voids under the tile. - Surplus adhesive can be removed from the surface of the tiles using a damp sponge or cloth. - Again work in small areas at a time, and use the spirit level frequently to check that the tiles are fixed flat. - Leave the floor to set for about 24 ours before grouting (unless using Rapid set adhesive). - In bathrooms, special attention should be paid to sealing the gap between the wall and base, particularly where the location is on a suspended floor. - Use an additive when fixing fully vitrified tiles such as porcelain – your Tile Market representative can advise you on this at time of purchase.

Maintenance

With proper care and attention, a correctly installed, good quality ceramic floor tile should give many years of trouble free service. Tile Market can advise you on the numerous maintenance products on the market. And remember if you want to engage a professional, use a TTA registered tile fixer.

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