TilingGiulio Del Fava
Tiling is not just for the experts. Learn how to do it yourself with our handy tips. Click here to see how to tile for a perfect cut and fit, as well as how best to grout.
HOW TO LAY TILES
Replacing Broken Tiles
Replacing a cracked tile, whether on the wall or floor, is easier than you think.
- The first thing to do is to break the cracked tile out of its position. Working from the centre, use a hammer and cold chisel or a large nail, to break the tiles up into small shards (wear eye protection!) and then prise them out one by one. Be careful not to damage adjacent tiles.
- Chip out as much of the tile adhesive as you can and carefully scrape away any grout adhering to the surrounding tiles.
- Once you have cleaned the area thoroughly (and removed any lose material – use a vacuum if necessary), loop a length of string around the replacement tile and place it into position.
It Fits? Great!
It will lie lower than the surrounding tiles at this stage because you still have to add the adhesive, so don’t worry. Mix up an adequate amount of tile adhesive to make a thick paste and lay a bed of it across the surface.
Now Comes The Crafty Bit
Looping the string around the tile, about 20 mm from one side, ease the tile into position and press it down. If it sinks below the level of the surrounding tiles, you’ll need to add a little more adhesive but if it’s standing proud, you’ll have to remove some. This is where the string comes in as it allows you to easily pull the tile off of the adhesive. Once satisfied, centre the tile in the space and gently remove the string.
Here’s the easy part: Mix about a tablespoon full of grout to a thick paste and go mad! Spread it liberally across each join, pushing it in to fill. Then use a tissue or dry clean cloth to remove the excess and the tip of your finger to create great joins. Incidentally, you’ll give the tiles a great clean as you complete the job.
A Hint or Two…
When moving furniture over tiles, use old tennis balls which have cuts about 90° through each. Slip one onto each foot helping the feet to slide easily without scratching the tiles.
And Talking Of Wax…
If you’re tired of cleaning your bathroom tiles and spraying them to get rid of mildew, try cleaning them thoroughly and then applying a coating of clear car wax – your problems should be over for a while. Caution: Use this tip only on the walls and not on the floor of a shower, for instance, as you don’t want to slip.
- Cold chisel
- Tile Adhesive
- Clean cloth
- Eye Protection
- Replacement Tile