Before you get started
Take great care when fixing into tiles as there may be hidden pipes or services below the wall surface. Use a cable, pipe and stud detector to help find safe positions to fix into.
When you have finished a tiling job, it is best to keep a few spares so that if any tiles get damaged in the future, you don't have to try to find exact matches to replace them with. Tile designs are often discontinued after a while.
Silicone sealant can be bought in many different colours. White is commonly used because it matches with white tiles and/ or white sanitary ware. Clear silicone is a good choice when sealing tile joints next to chrome fittings such as shower enclosures.
A grout reviver kit is another option for dealing with discoloured grout. Depending on the manufacturer, this is applied with a type of pen or small paintbrush. Excess is wiped away as directed.
Grout cleaner is another product that can be used to remove excess grout from the surface of tiles for a brighter, cleaner finish.
If you need to remove lots of tiles, the best tools to use are a club hammer and a cold chisel. Wear goggles to protect yourself from flying debris as well as some thick gloves as broken tiles can be very sharp. To remove hardened adhesive from wall surfaces, a scraper may be all that is required, or, again, a hammer and chisel may be necessary. It is also possible to remove some types of adhesive with a wallpaper steam stripper, as this softens the adhesive, allowing it to be scraped away. In general, a brief trial of these methods will reveal the best option for the job.
Rake out the old grout along all joints using a grout raker. Take care not to damage the edges of the tiles when scraping the joints.
Brush out all dust and debris from the joints with a dusting brush, or use a vacuum to make sure all old, loose material has been removed.
Mix up or apply ready-mixed grout to all joints, pressing firmly in place with a grout float. Work grout in all directions along each joint.
Remove excess grout with a clean damp sponge. Keep checking for any small holes in the grout and refill if necessary.
Just as the grout begins to harden use a grout shaper down the joints. Allow to dry and polish with a dry cloth to remove any residue.
Replace a broken tile
Scrape round the edge of the damaged tile with a grout rake, taking care not to damage the edges of the sound tiles.
Drill a number of holes in the damaged tile with a masonry bit. Use a bolster and club hammer to loosen sections of the broken tile.
When you have carefully removed all sections, piece by piece, scrape off as much of the old adhesive as possible from the wall surface.
Apply fresh tile adhesive to the new tile and position with spacers to maintain gaps for grout and to line up the new tile with adjacent tiles.
Once dry, remove the spacers and grout the joints. Remove any excess grout from the wall surface using a damp sponge.
Resilicone a joint
Scrape away the old seal along the bath/sink/shower edge using a window scraper. Brush out all dust and debris. A vacuum is also ideal.
Apply a length of masking tape to either side of the joint. Cut the end of the silicone tube nozzle to a width slightly wider than the joint.
Load the silicone into the cartridge gun and apply along the joint slowly and evenly, trying to keep the bead to a consistent size.
Smooth the silicone bead between the masking tape lengths with a wetted finger to maintain a consistent and smooth depth.
Carefully remove the masking tape on either side of the fresh sealant. Smooth along the joint with a wetted finger once more for a perfect finish.
Fix into a tile
At a safe fixing point, mark position of fixing requirement with a felt tip. Position masking tape over the mark to stop the tile bit slipping.
Insert the correct size of tile bit into the cordless drill/driver, according to the size of the fixing. The bit size will be written on its side.
Slowly start up the drill (not on hammer mode) allowing gradual penetration of the tile surface until you are through the tile.
Remove masking tape. If fixing into a masonry wall, change the bit for a masonry bit and drill through hole in tile to wall plug depth.
Insert a wall plug – not required if wooden stud behind. Drill further holes as required for the fixing. Position and screw your fitting in place.