Part 3 in our serious of posts on DIY projects looks at how to protect your home if you’re doing some tiling work. Check out part 1 on How to protect your home from painting and decorating mishaps and part 2 on Gardening and landscaping: avoid common mistakes and prevent unwanted damage!
Tiling is a skilled task, but that doesn’t seem to stop many of us from turning our hands to it and having a go ourselves. In fact, re-tiling the bathroom or kitchen is an increasingly popular DIY project for a large percentage of the population.
But as with any DIY project, even with the right adhesive and an effective tile cutter, there are plenty of mistakes you might run into.
Accidents can happen quite easily too, so here are our top suggestions to prevent them and our advice on how to protect other areas of your bathroom and kitchen from unwanted damage.
Watch where you’re dropping tools or old tiles
If you’re taking old tiles off the walls, then you’ll need to be very careful where these end up. And whatever you do – don’t drop that hammer or chisel. Otherwise, you might need to replace more than just tiles.
In both the kitchen and the bathroom, you’ll have a lot of expensive white goods and furnishings. The last thing you want to be doing is taking a chunk out of the sink or cracking the top of an oven.
To be on the safe side, and to save money replacing items, consider a simple protector for equipment like the oven or the bathroom suite. It takes a second to fit them on, but it’ll save you hours of hassle compared with if you unwittingly cause damage!
Be careful of chipping tiles
It’s not uncommon to cause damage to the tiles you’re leaving on the wall either! For example, if you’re only replacing a section of tiling, you’ll need to be very careful you don’t inadvertently chip those tiles at the edge of your working area.
Chipped tiles can fly across the room too, so take care to remove anything breakable, and make sure your eyes are protected.
Use a good strong tape to cover the areas that are staying on the wall, and if you are working near corners or edges, you might want to consider an edge protector, to cover the wall that you want to stay intact!
Plan where to start your tiling
One of the first, and biggest problems you can make when tiling is to place your first one in the wrong place. Once you’ve done that and started matching up others, it’s hard to go back!
Because walls aren’t usually perfectly straight and distances are uneven, it’s not always the best idea to start in one corner. You’ll find you end up with lots of odd tiles at the opposite end, with a number of small bits cut out and clustered together.
Instead, you want an even spread around the border that looks neat, tidy and symmetrical. So consider starting your tiling in the middle, and try and measure out how it will look. Remember – always measure and cut each tile individually, as you might not have the same width running up the border along the side of a wall.
Give the adhesive or grout time to dry
A final trap that many DIYers fall into – especially in the bathroom – is not giving the tiling enough time to dry and set.
It’s an easy mistake to make – you’ve been grafting all day and you just want to get in the shower now. But if any kind of moisture gets into the grout or behind the tiles and onto the adhesive, you’ll find they won’t stick completely to the wall, and could fall off very soon.
If you really can’t wait, you might want to consider some waterproof plastic sheeting, that you can use to cover the newly tiled area and try and prevent moisture from getting onto it.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry
Wherever you are doing your tiling, it’s always best to put the necessary precautions in place first.
Spending a bit of time fitting temporary protection to the sink, the bath and the kitchen counter is much better than spending money on repairing or replacing them. Not to mention the hassle!
If you’re not sure what you might need to effectively protect your home, our expert team is here to help point you in the right direction.
Ask them anything on 0800 834 704, or just send them an email with details of your tiling project, and they’ll be more than happy to help.
Look out for the next post in our home improvement and DIY series on how to lay new flooring without any mistakes.Next post: Floor Protection for Painting & Decorating
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