DIY Advice

DIY Advice

Easy to follow DIY guides, as well as tips and advice, for undertaking wall and floor tiling projects at home.

  • Tools and equipment you need to undertake a tiling project

    • Tiles
    • Pliers and standard screwdriver
    • Tile adhesive
    • Straightedge / level
    • Tile grout
    • Putty knife / scraper
    • Notched trowel
    • Rubber float / squeegee
    • Tile spacers
    • Sponge
    • Tape measure
    • Clean cloths for polishing
    • Chalk & chalkline
    • Tile sealer and cleaner
    • Carpenter’s square
    • Tile cutter / nipper

     

  • Basic tips for planning a tiling project

    • Use as many full tiles as possible, try to minimize the number of cut tiles
    • Cut tiles should be located away from the focal points of the eye, such as in an entryway or at the front of a countertop
    • Avoid small or narrow cuts. Try not to cut a tile less than ½ its original size if at all possible
  • Tiling surface preparation

    • All surfaces must be structurally sound, dry, clean and free from movement, oil, grease, wax, curing compounds and other loose or contaminating materials
    • Porous/dusty surfaces must initially be primed using Ultraprime
  • Wall tiling

    Setting out wall tiles

    • Plan to keep all cut tiles at the bottom (expansion joint) of the wall. All full tiles are placed at higher elevations to be more pleasing to the eye
    • Level base
      - It is important to select a level base when tiling. Use a spirit level to determine the lowest point along the bottom of the wall. Place a single tile at this spot and mark the wall just above it. Nail a horizontal batten at this point with the straight edge at the top
    • True vertical
      - At the centre of the wall to be tiled, establish a true vertical line with the aid of a plumb bob or spirit level and mark it on the wall
      - Place a row of tiles against the horizontal batten and make any necessary adjustments so that equal cuts in the tiles are made at the edges of the wall
      - The plumb line should then be repositioned at the centre. Start tiling from the centre ensuring that the tiles are positioned correctly

    Fixing wall tiles

    • Using a notched trowel spread approx 1m2 of adhesive on the wall in a horizontal direction
    • Press the dry tiles into the ribs of the adhesive before it skins, ensuring the whole back of the tile is in good contact with the adhesive (80% of the tile must be in contact with the adhesive)
    • Most tiles require spacing. Your tile retailer can advise you on a complete range of tile spacers. Leave the horizontal batten in place until the adhesive has set
    • Cut corner tiles to fit leaving a minimum 4mm expansion joint

    Cutting wall tiles

    • Cut tiles must always be positioned last
    • To establish the cutting line, place the tile face down, in position, up against the wall and mark the tile in line with the already laid tiles. Remember to allow a gap for grouting
    • To cut the tile, use a tile cutting machine, which can be bought or hired from your local tile retailer
    • To cut half circles, scratch the shape on the glaze with a screw driver and nip off small pieces with a sharp pair of tile nippers until the correct fit is achieved. Hold the tile as close as possible to where the cut is being made
    • Smooth off sharp edges with a round file or sanding block
    • For cutting and shaping tiles to power points, taps and other fittings use equipment such as scribers, tile cutting machines, rod saws and rotary tile cutters. For larger jobs, manually operated tile cutting machines can be hired
  • Floor tiling

    Setting out floor tiles

    • There are many methods of setting out floor tiles. Please consult your tile retailer for the best method to suit your application
    • The most accepted method is to use full tiles from the longest, straightest wall, establishing an adjacent wall to be square
    • Loose laying of tiles in conjunction with chalk lines or straight edges will allow you to install your tiles with a minimum amount of cutting
    • Complete the section up to the nearest full tile up to the walls. Leave all cuts to last

    Expansion joints for floor tiles

    Movement joints should be provided as follows:

     1.  Over movement joints in the background.

     2.  At a junction between different background materials.

     3.  At fixtures interrupting the tile surface e.g. columns.

     4.  At internal vertical corners.

     5.  Around the perimeter of the tiling system.

     6.  At a maximum of 5 metre intervals in a grid pattern.

    Note: Movement joints should go right through the tile adhesive bed to the background and be kept free from dirt and adhesive droppings

  • Grouting wall and floor tiles

    • Wait until the adhesive has set (usually 24 hours), before grouting. Use Davco Elite ColourGrout, Sanitized® Colorgrout, Sanitized® Superfine White Grout (for walls only) or Slate & Quarry Grout (for floors only) to achieve the best result. Davco has a range of contemporary colours to enhance your tile selection
    • With a rubber squeegee or grout float, work the mixture thoroughly into all joints in a diagonal motion
    • Wash off excess grout with a lightly dampened soft sponge. The small amount of grout left on the tiles should be left until the joints are dry, then wiped off with a dry cloth
  • How to apply Rejuvenation Grout

    Rejuvenation Grout is the perfect way to transform your tired wall and floor tiles.

    Rejuvenation Grout can be directly applied over existing grout and tiles without the hassles of scraping, damaging tiles or breaking the bank. The revolutionary, ready-to-use, mould and bacteria resistant grout coating can be applied in just 4 simple steps to bring new life to your tiled areas:

    1. Preparation - Thoroughly clean the existing tile and grout surface with either a mild soap and water or a sugar soap mixture.

    2. Application - Apply the Rejuvenation Grout to the grout joint and using a float or squeegee, spread diagonally across the joint. Ensure you are filling the joint evenly. Only cover 1m2 at a time.

    3. Shaping - After a few minutes, clean the excess grout off and shape the grout joints by laying a damp sponge on the tile surface and lightly wiping in a circular motion.

    4. Clean-up - Give the tiles a final clean by wiping the tile surface in a circular, buffing motion, avoiding the grout joints.