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10 Tiling Do's and Dont's

Welcome to the wonderful world of tiling. This is where you get to pick out your tiles and decorate your bathroom yourself, instead of relying on some stranger to do it. While this is an exciting prospect, there are a couple of things you need to consider before you rush out, buy a load o’ tiles and start ripping up the floorboards and linoleum.


As with everything in life, you have to approach with a level head – and a level floor – and do your research prior to your tiling escapade. A little DIY training won’t go amiss either – better to know rather than guess, we always say.  So, let’s break this bad boy down.


Image by zoetnet

The Tiling Do’s:

  1. Do measure your area accurately and buy EXTRA tiles. You never know what you’ll need to cut down to size or how many tiles might break in the process. Picture running back to the store and discovering the tiles you want are out, whilst you sit with a half-tiled bathroom floor.
  2. Do ask the sales assistant about the tools you’ll need and the tiles he recommends. It’s no use getting overenthusiastic and buying the entire shop, only to discover you’ve no idea which tool does what.
  3. ALWAYS use tile spacers. Laying your tiles by hand will leave you floor looking shabby rather than fab.
  4. Do consider the type of tile you want to buy. Slippery tiles in the bathroom won’t work very well, and if you’re aiming to install tiles in the shower you might want to take a look at water-resistant products.
  5. Do start tiling in the middle of the room and work your way outwards – this will lead towards an even job.

The Tiling Don’ts:

  1. Don’t walk on the tile when the sticky stuff (the adhesive) is drying. Seriously. Don’t do it unless you want to redo your entire bathroom.
  2. Don’t use sealant or high gloss finish in areas where you know there will be a lot of water. You’re just asking for trouble and a couple trips to the E.R.
  3. Don’t buy your tiles as soon as you lay eyes on them. Go home, take a breath, consider your space and then return and make an informed decision. What you might like in the store, you might not like in your home.
  4. Don’t pull up the linoleum unless you’re sure that you can’t tile on top of it. It’s not necessary to do this unless it’s inhibiting your tiling.
  5. However, don’t ignore damage from water or other issues on your floor. Tiling over them will just exacerbate the problem and lead to another job in the future.

The Extra Stuff:

  1. Do wear appropriate attire and consider getting some knee protectors or the like. Gloves are a must, as well, as all that grouting and tiling will wreak havoc on your hands.
  2. Don’t be intimidated by the job. It’s tiling, not rocket science, and you’re definitely capable of pulling it off.

Most importantly, go easy on yourself. Don’t expect to do everything right the first time, and ask for help from friends  with tiling experience if necessary. DIY is probably the most satisfying thing you can do in your spare time. Because, let’s face it, knowing that you tiled your bathroom or installed your fan, is pretty awesome. So, get out there, get some tiles – responsibly, of course – and get tiling!