01 Jun

Common Tiling Errors and How to Stop Them

So you want to start tiling? Hold on there buckaroo, you can’t just dive straight in, trowel first. Tiling may seem like a simple DIY job, but a few small mistakes can leave you with uneven tiling and a messy surface — and no one wants that! So take a deep breath and read this article before you start. We’re going to explain the most common mistakes that are made when tiling.

Common tiling errors and how to stop them

Not preparing the surface

You’ve got to get your surface ready before you whip out your tiles. Tiling on an uneven or dirty surface is going to lead to a messy result. Spend a little time filling in any holes, cracks or dents and sand down any bumps until smooth. Then, wipe and sweep up the surface to ensure it’s not greasy or dirty. If you skip this step, you may find that your tile adhesive isn’t as effective as it should be, resulting in loose or messy tiles.

Using the wrong adhesive

Not every type of adhesive is suitable for every project. It’s important to identify which adhesive you need before you start. Using the most suitable adhesive will give the best results.

The different types of adhesive include:

  • Waterproof adhesives — These should be used for tiles that will be in direct contact with water, typically in bathrooms or as a kitchen splashback.
  • Flexible adhesives — If the tiles are used on a surface that will move regularly, you’ll want to use flexible adhesives for additional stability.
  • Rapid-set adhesives —  Perfect for natural stone or large format tiles, rapid-set adhesives firmly hold large or heavy tiles in place.
  • Heat-resistant adhesives — These are ideal if you are setting tiles in a particularly hot area, such as near a wood-burning stove or fireplace. This adhesive will prevent cracking even in high temperatures.
  • Ready-mix adhesives — Useful if you have limited time. Ready-mix adhesives are convenient and easy to apply for those who are first-time tilers. However, please note that ready-mix adhesives should only be used for applying ceramic wall tiles in dry areas.

Grouting too quickly

Take your time with your project. Sure, everyone wants to get the job done as quickly as possible so that they can get back to binging all fourteen seasons of a Netflix show in one day, but rushing the job will often lead to a messy result. 

Grout in particular requires patience and care. Rushing the job can leave the tiles vulnerable to moisture and dirt. It’s important to ensure that all spaces between tiles are completely sealed by grout.. If moisture or dirt gets into the tiles, then they’ll likely deteriorate more quickly, meaning you’ll only have to do the job all over again.

Take your time when grouting by slowly applying and smoothing the solution into each tile joint. Allow the grout to dry for at least three hours before cleaning any residue.

Using a squeegee is a great way to ensure that the grout is applied evenly.

Ordering too few tiles

It can be difficult to calculate exactly how many tiles you need for the job. Some tiles may crack during the process, too, leaving you short-handed.

If you order too few tiles, it may be difficult to order new ones in a small enough batch and in the exact same colour and style as your initial batch. This may result in an uneven finish.

You should take accurate measurements before you start the project to calculate how many tiles you will need, then you should always order a few extra on top of this to account for any unforeseen mishaps.

To calculate how many tiles you’ll need, simply multiply the length of the area you are tiling by its width. For example, an area of 4m in length and 5m in width would require 20 metres of tiles. Then, add an extra 10% of extra tiles on top of this to give a total of 22 metres of tiles.

All the products you need for your tiling project are available to order with Hitchcock & King. As a leading builders merchants in London, we offer a range of tiles, squeegees and other tools for every DIY tiling job. We pride ourselves on our quick turnarounds  — with fast, reliable delivery available — so you can get started right away. 

Contact our team today to place an order. Feel free to contact our team if you need more tips and advice for DIY tiling or ordering the correct amount of tiles.