Uncle Bobs Tips

Avoid Slips With Tile Tips

Avoid Slips With Tile Tips

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As promised, here is part two of our tiling tips. Take a look at the tile tips article number one.

Getting Started Tiling Tips

For a good tile number estimate, multiply the length of the wall or surface area that you are tiling times the width and add 10%.

Always buy extra tiles in case some break or you find that you miscalculated. Often the same exact tiles from a different batch will have slightly different coloring, so buy extra tiles from the beginning to avoid mismatched colors. In the event that you have gotten two different dye casts, mix the two batches together and the color difference will be less noticeable.

When making lines with the notched edge, don't swirl the trowel. Rather drag it across the mortar in a straight, even stroke. This will create even ridges and ensure a consistent tile level.

Cut tiles that need to go around the window or other obstruction, or to fill the space at the top, bottom, or sides that is too small for a full tile.

There are several methods for cutting tiles: by hand, using a wet saw, tile cutter, or nippers. For holes use a carbide masonry drill bit or diamond head.

If a tile chips or breaks off leaving a jagged edge, use tile nippers to slowly chip away the uneven bits off the edge. Alternatively, you can use a rubbing stone or sand paper to smooth and round out the edge of a cut tile.

Wipe away excess thinset that oozes out from between tiles and clean any mortar that leaks onto the surface immediately before it dries. Once dried, it is very difficult to remove.

When beating down tiles for uniform flatness, rest a 2x2 onto the corners where the tiles meet and beat with a rubber mallet.

Miscellaneous Tile Installation Tips

Leave a small gap for caulk at the bottom where the tile meets the tub.

Safety precaution: Be sure to have good ventilation when working with these materials as many emit harmful toxins.

Safety precaution: Wear proper safety gear such as eye protection and work gloves.

When replacing the outlet covers, you will need longer screws than you used originally so that the outlet will sit flush against the tiles.

There is a discussion as to which is the better adhesive, mastic or mortar. Mastic has a working window of roughly 20 minutes. Therefore, when using this type of adhesive, you should only work on a small area (1-2 ft) at one time. Mastic is stickier than thinset, so once a tile is placed there is no moving around. This is good because it alleviates the fear that tiles will slip down the wall and ensures a longer life expectancy than thinset. The downside is that, if you make a mistake, there is no fixing it. If mastic starts drying gout, scrape it off and apply a fresh layer.

Use these helpful tiling tips for your next tile project, and read our other tile project articles for instructions.

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