Mistakes To Avoid When Laying Down Tiles
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Published by TOP4 Team
If you are laying down new tiles for your bathroom or kitchen, it is highly possible that you might commit any of these common mistakes. Avoid these if you wish to get results similar to those achieved by professionals.
Using the wrong type of adhesive
For the shower and the floor surrounding the bathtub, you'd want to opt for a waterproof adhesive. Water leaks can still occur even if you fit the tiles properly. And when water finds its way to tiles that have been laid down using non-waterproof adhesive, the adhesive can decay and crumble, which results in damage to the tiles.
Buying few tiles
As a rule of thumb, you should buy somewhere between 15 to 20 percent more tiles than you will actually need. This ensures that you have an adequate number of tiles to use should you make mistakes like miscalculation or breakages.
Not preparing the site properly
Before laying down the tiles, it is important to set aside ample time to ensure that the surface where the tiles will be placed is clean and smooth. Skipping this step will make it harder to lay down the tiles evenly. If you are placing tiles over a surface that has existing tiles, you should still clean the tiles to ensure that the new tiles will have a better grip.
Forgoing the use of battens
In order to ensure that the tiles are laid down properly and in a straight line, you should use a vertical and horizontal batten. Apart from this purpose, battens can also be used to ensure proper spacing and to see to it that your measurement is correct. Before actually laying down the tiles permanently, you can lay down the tiles temporarily and use a batten to mark the position of the tiles.
Applying the adhesive too smoothly
In order to ensure that you can level the tiles easily, make sure that the adhesive has horizontal ridges. You can do this by using a trowel with a ridged surface or an old fork.
Putting dots of adhesive on the corners
Some property owners think that putting dots of adhesive to the tile corners will result in a stronger bond. On the contrary, this will only lead to tile cracking when the adhesive dries and shrinks. When the adhesive is thicker in some areas of the tiles, the shrinking will only add pressure to the tiles.
One of the most common reasons while tiles loosen is uneven spacing. After laying down one tile, measure the gap using a spacer like a cardboard, matchstick or plastic rod.
Grouting unevenly and too quickly
Before grouting, you should wait until the adhesive has fully set. Typically, that will take 24 hours.
In applying the grout, make sure to work on a small segment at a time, using a squeegee. This will prevent the grout from drying before you have applied it firmly in place. Any excess grout should be immediately removed. When grout dries, it will be difficult to remove it.
Sealing bath tops improperly
In order to prevent water from leaking as it runs down the tiles, it is important to seal the gap between the bath top and the bottom row of tiles. Ideally, before you apply the sealant, you should fill the bathtub first.