Top tips for the perfect finish when applying floor or wall tiles
Selecting the right floor or wall tiles for a residential or commercial project is a significant decision, but how those tiles are then applied is just as critical. Read on, for our tips and advice for achieving the perfect finish when applying floor or wall tiles.
The right floor or wall tiles for the job
When it comes to your floor or wall tiles, there are a number of key considerations and you will need to ensure that you select a product and material which is suitable for the location to be tiled – for example, floor tiles used in high traffic areas need to be durable and anti-slip and floor and wall tiles used in wetrooms or bathrooms need to be suitable for exposure to water and humidity.
Applying wall tiles: visualise and prepare
When using wall tiles on a vertical plane it is necessary to visualise and plan out which areas you intend tiling before you commence application (in comparison to floor tiles, which tend to be used across the entire expanse of floor surface). If you're using wall tiles for a feature wall or splash-back behind a bath, shower, kitchen worktop or sink you will need to decide where to finish the tiled area and then plan the application so that it is symmetrical and neat – especially important if you choose large format wall tiles over smaller tiles or mosaic sheets, as their scale will make them more noticeable. Prep the wall or floor and ensure that the base substrate is perfectly even – a spirit level should be used to check that the surface is entirely flat.
The right products for applying floor and wall tiles
If wall tiles are to be applied in wetrooms or showers, or near baths or sinks, then a water-resistant adhesive and grout is essential. Plastic spacers are a good idea as they ensure uniform application and that the gap to be grouted is even between each of the tiles. The width of gap is also an important consideration as this can alter the visual effect of floor or wall tiles – the narrower the gap, the more seamless the surface will look.
Cutting floor or wall tiles
In order to finish rows, for example where floor tiles meet wall tiles, it is usually necessary to cut tiles and the technique varies dependent on the tile material. Cutting the majority of ceramic floor or wall tiles is relatively easy – simply score along the surface with a tile cutter and then snap apart. Thicker or harder tiles are less easy and may require specialist tile cutting machines for the purpose.
Sealing and grouting your floor or wall tiles
Whilst the majority of ceramic or porcelain tiles do not require sealer it is imperative that natural tiles, such as slate or travertine, are sealed – especially if they are to be regularly exposed to water or humid conditions.
Finally, once the tiles have been adhered to the surface then it is time to grout them – talk to our Ceramica Tiles advisors in store for advice on which type of grout to use as this will vary dependent on the tiles and the location. Grout is available in a range of colours – the chosen shade is a personal choice and purely subjective – and different effects can be achieved either by contrasting or toning in with the floor or wall tiles. Similar toned grout will create a seamless effect whilst bold or contrasting grout can be used as an accent.
Once the grout has 'cured' then it is recommended that a sealer is applied because grout is porous and a sealed grout is easier to clean.
A broad selection of floor and wall tiles
With showrooms in Addlestone, Amersham, Ashtead, Folkestone and Wimbledon we are proud to offer a comprehensive selection of high quality floor and wall tiles – from porcelain wood-effect to anti-slip products, through to large format, mosaic and ceramic tiles and natural stone flooring. If we don't have something to meet the exact specifications of your project then we are confident that we can source the right product for you.
To find out more about our extensive range of floor and wall tiles, speak to a member of the Ceramica Tiles team.