One of the most common home improvement tasks that you can engage in is tiling. It is also one of the tasks that really asks for a professional on the case, or else you risk running into a few serious mistakes, spelling trouble down the road. It is important to familiarise yourself with these common blunders, as you will want to avoid them at all costs.
Here are a few tiling mistakes that you should be mindful of:
Not preparing the surface
It is always important to prepare the surface for the new tiles. This includes cleaning and smoothing out the area. The idea is that when laying new tiles, the surface needs to be free of any dust and other debris, in order to improve adhesion. It is especially important to thoroughly remove any prior coatings, as that can get in the way of the new adhesive.
This is a tiling mistake, which usually stems from spreading grout too unevenly in a hasty manner. When it comes to grout, slow and steady wins the race. You have to use a support tool and take your time applying the material. If you are quick to grout before laying the tiles, you may end up with areas of the material drying out, leading to an uneven result.
Remember to remove the excess grout from each individual tile you place, as that is when the material is easy to tackle. If you delay, it is going to get very tough.
Dotting the corners of tiles with adhesive
Many people believe that tiles can achieve a stronger bond if they add a few dots of adhesive to the corners. The problem with that idea lies with the fact that adhesive usually shrinks as it dries off. As such, it increases the chances of cracking the tile, as it creates pressure in the corners. That is why it is not a good idea to apply adhesive to the corners of tiles.
Working with the wrong adhesive
Another great problem of laying tiles is choosing the wrong kind of adhesive. This is especially the case when said tiles are in the bathroom or another humid area. You have to consider waterproof adhesive since small amounts of moisture always find their way behind well-fitted tiles.
When water penetrates through the adhesive, you want to make sure it will hold. Otherwise, you will end up with breaking and crumbing tiles, which is definitely not ideal.
Doing the work without battens
Battens are thin pieces of wood or other materials which you would use to keep tiles straight. You want to use battens in both vertical and horizontal directions, so as to avoid positioning mistakes when laying the tiles and a surface that doesn’t look as good.
Miscalculating the needed number of tiles
If you are a first-time tiler, you may do the mistake of buying the exact number of tiles you need. However, it is important to get about 10% more than this. They will account for miscalculation, cutting errors and breakages. You can also use the excess tiles in the future.
Perhaps the most common mistakes that inexperienced people make is to focus on make-do solutions, instead of measuring out the whole surface. In doing the latter, you can ensure that your tiles end up the way they are supposed to be and that you will be able to complete the task with as little cuts as possible.
These are all essential mistakes that you can avoid by implementing careful planning and consideration into the tiling process.