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A Guide to Tiling - All You Need to Know About Tiling

Bathroom Floor Tiles with sunken bath
  • 1. How do I measure up the room?
  • 2. Do I need extra tiles for cuts and waste?
  • 3. What adhesive do I need?
  • 4. What is primer, and why should I use it?
  • 5. Which colour grout do I use?
  • 6. What about sealing and waterproofing?
  • 1. How do I measure up the room?

    To get the exact area of the surface you wish to tile, we recommend you draw out the plan roughly on a piece of paper. Break a larger area down into many small sections if it has an irregular shape.

    Using a measuring tape, find the length and width of the area in metres. Multiply one by the other. Because you’ll be ordering in square metres, don’t measure in feet and inches.

    Example 1

    A kitchen floor has two sections:

    • Section 1

    Length is 324cm, which is 3.24 metres.

    Width is 291cm, which is 2.91 metres.

    So the area of that section is 3.24 x 2.91 = 9.43 square metres.

    • Section 2

    Length is 119 cm, which is 1.19 metres.

    Width is 422 cm, which is 4.22 metres.

    So the area of that section is 1.19 x 4.22 = 5.02 square metres.

    • Adding the two sections together gives you 14.45 square metres.

    You will then need to allow for cuts and waste.

    Example 2

    A bathroom has four walls to be tiled.

    • Proceed as in Example 1 for each wall separately. Because of the door, and possibly a bath or a window, the areas will need to be divided into more subsections.
    • If you wish to include a border tile or mosaic, you’ll need to measure, in a straight line, the length of border you’ll need. So if two walls are 2.45 metres long and the other two are 2.04 metres long, you'll need 2.45 + 2.45 + 2.04 + 2.04 = 8.98 metres in length of border
    • If you wish to use mosaic as a border, please note they’re supplied on square sheets. Each sheet, when cut up to make borders, provides approximately 1.50 metres in length of border. In the example above, you’d need 6 sheets of mosaic to cover the 8.98 metres required.

    Note: Tile Devil cannot be responsible for the quantities you order, as we do not offer a measurement service. We can only offer general advice such as that above. We recommend you use a professional tiler to supply you with the correct measurements.

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    2. Do I need extra tiles for cuts and waste?

    During installation many tiles will need to be cut. The offcut may not be able to be used anywhere else, so it is considered waste.

    We recommend you allow a minimum of:

    • 10% waste for small tiles, less than 45 x 45 cm
    • 13% for tiles larger than this
    • 15% where you intend to tile an area diagonally, or where an area has multiple corners, such as an irregularly shaped kitchen.

    If your tiler has supplied you with the quantities to order, be sure to check that he or she has allowed for waste.

    Note: Tile Devil cannot be responsible for the quantities you order, as we do not offer a measurement service. We can only offer general advice such as that above. We recommend you use a professional tiler to supply you with the correct measurements.

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    3. What adhesive do I need?

    • For all Floors:

    Larsen White Fast Set Flexible: Allow 1 bag for 4 square metres of tiling. However, in the case of large tiles (above 45 x 45 cm) allow 1 bag per 3.25 square metres. This is because larger tiles need to be “bedded up” to lift the tiles above any gentle contours in your floor.

    • For all Bathroom Walls:

    White Standard Set Adhesive: Allow 1 bag for 4 square metres of tiling. However, in the case of large tiles (above 31 x 45 cm) allow 1 bag per 3.25 square metres. This is because larger tiles need to be “bedded up” to lift the tiles above any gentle contours in your walls.

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    4. What is primer, and why should I use it?

    You may have noticed that we recommend the use of primer on a surface prior to application of adhesive. Primer is a fast drying liquid which is easily applied to the surface as part of pre-tiling preparation. Different substrates can possess undesirable qualities which can impair the quality of its bond to the adhesive.

     

    For example,

    • Tiling over shiny tiles. Intuitively, adhesive will not stick to a smooth glossy surface as well as it will to something with the texture of concrete. The primer provides a "key" for the adhesive to bond to.
    • When tiling over plaster, without using a primer, the substrate can "draw" out some of the moisture content from the adhesive before it cures, leading to an imperfect bond.
    • When tiling over a wooden substrate, a primer will seal in any oils or moisture into the timber, preventing these substances from seeping, especially with variations in temperature, and compromising the bond.

     

    We supply the Larsen Acrylic Primer which is compatible with our Larsen Adhesives. It is not usually recommended to use PVA primers.

    A tip from experience:

    Whether you choose to use the Larsen range of products that we supply or not, we would strongly suggest that not only do you prime your surfaces before tiling, but that you do so with a primer supplied by the same manufacturer as your adhesive. Many manufacturers' guarantees are invalidated by not following the instructions on the bags. 

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    5. Which colour grout do I use?

    Our Larsen Colourfast Range is suitable for wall and floor tiles, with both narrow and wide joints. Tile Devil has recommended one of the nine available colours in the data table that is displayed with each tile.

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    6. What about sealing and waterproofing?

    Around showers and baths we recommend the following:

    • To provide an extra layer of waterproof protection, we recommend the use of Larsen’s Waterproof Tanking Kit:
      • This is a versatile system designed for use in waterproofing applications and to provide an extra layer of protection in tiling situations. The kit comprises a water based liquid applied flexible membrane (also known as tanking), a roll of flexible joint sealing tape (for corners and joints), and a primer.
      • The kit is designed to provide a complete solution for wet-rooms, shower areas, and bathrooms.
      • Tile Devil strongly advises that a tanking system is used in a wet-room scenario, where there is no drainage from a bath or shower tray. But for extra piece of mind, it is best practice to tank around your shower, or the shower area of your bath.
    • Flexi-Seal's adhesive and rubber strip keeps water from penetrating behind tiles or panels. The seal is “trapped” between the wall surface and the shower tray or bath – the powerful adhesive and the rubber seal make water penetration all but impossible.
    • Larsen Colourfast Silicone is a range of silicone sealants designed to match the colours of their grouts. Use this product around the join between the wall tiles and your bath or shower tray. It’s also advisable, as an extra precaution, to apply some up the internal corners of the walls in your shower area

    In summary: Tile Devil advises that if you wish to minimise your chance of a leak, or water damage, that a combination of all three waterproofing barriers are used. The extra outlay is a tiny fraction of the cost of repairing the damage caused by a leak, not to mention the hassle.

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