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Plan your tiling project

How to plan your tiling project

How to plan your tiling project

Once you’ve got an idea of the look you want to create, plan ahead to ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible. If you’re not yet sure of the style you want then take a look at our kitchen tiling inspiration.

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#WickesTips

  • Grout colour will have a big impact on the final look of your tiles
  • Lighter coloured tiles in smaller rooms will help them feel spacious and bright
  • Use the same tiles on the floor and walls to make a small bathroom feel larger
  • Use borders or trims to break up a large run of tiles or to give an accent of colour
  • Mosaics can be cut into strips to use as either horizontal or vertical borders
  • For uneven or bowed walls, smaller tiles will fit contours better than large tiles

Tile layouts

White tiles

Modern all white bathroom

Add textured white wall tiles for extra character or use white cosmopolitan gloss tiles on walls and counters for a contemporary look. You can also enhance the feeling of space with softly reflective wall tiles on a feature wall.

Shop all white tiles

Straight lay

Straight lay

Running bond

Running bond

Horizontal stack

Horizontal stack

Diagonal

Diagonal

Brick bond

Brick bond

Herringbone

Herringbone

Right Angle

Right Angle

Checkerboard

Checkerboard

90 degree brick

90 degree brick

Soldier stack

Soldier stack

Basket weave

Basket weave

Diagonal diamond

Diagonal diamond

The windmill

The windmill

The Versailles

The Versailles

Pinwheel

Pinwheel


Due to the nature of the manufacturing process, there can be very slight bowing along the length of tiles that are 60cm or larger. To lay tiles in an offset running bond pattern, it’s best to stagger the tile by only a third or less instead of by half. This will minimise the effect of the bowing on the finished look. If the tile is less than 60 cm you can do either of the below:

Offset by half

Offset by half

Offset by a third or less

Offset by a third or less


Measuring your room

Square or rectangular rooms

Square or rectangular rooms

For a regular shaped room, measure the width of your room at the widest points then do the same for the length. Multiply these two numbers together and that will give you the area of the room in m2. Add 10% for wastage and round up to the nearest metre.

L-shaped rooms

L-shaped rooms

For an irregular shaped room (such as an L shape) break the room up into rectangles and measure each one individually. Add them all together to get the entire m2 area. Don’t forget to add 10% for wastage and round up to the nearest metre.

Once you have your total area, you will need to look at the pack size of your tiles to see how much area each pack covers. Divide your total m2 by the pack size to give you the amount of packs to buy. Follow the same principle for your walls but remember to measure doors and windows and deduct them from your calculations.


The right materials

Selecting the right materials is key to achieving a professional looking, long-lasting finish. We recommend using a powdered, flexible adhesive for porcelain tiles and ceramic floor and wall tile adhesive for floor, worktop and exterior tiling including wet rooms and swimming pools.

Ready mixed wall tile adhesive

  • Ready to use
  • Suitable for use in dry areas
  • Can withstand small amounts of moisture, making it suitable for a well-ventilated kitchen or bathroom, including around the bath or basin
Shop all Ready Mixed Wall Tile Adhesive

Waterproof wall tile adhesive

  • Ready mixed
  • Mould resistant
  • Use where condensation is a problem or in shower areas
Shop all Waterproof Wall Tile Adhesive

Sealer

Natural stone and polished surface tiles need sealing to help prevent damaging liquids being absorbed into the tile. It’s recommended that these tiles are cleaned then sealed prior to grouting. Further coats of sealer should be applied after grouting – when the tile stops absorbing the sealer, you know it’s sealed correctly.

Grout

  • Comes ready mixed or powdered – both are water resistant
  • Available in white, beige, black, charcoal, ivory, grey, medium grey and dark grey
  • For floors, a water resistant grout specially formulated for flooring must be used
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Preparing your surface

Your surfaces need to be clean, dry and as flat as possible before starting any tiling. For the best results, take the following steps to prepare these surfaces.

Brickwork

Render the wall to give it a smooth finish.

Wallpaper

Remove all wallpaper and washdown to eliminate any surface grease and dust.

Gloss & semi gloss paint

Remove flaking paint and rub down using wetted medium grade wet and dry sandpaper.

Emulsion paint

Remove any flaking paint and washdown to remove any surface grease and dust.

Whitewash paint

Remove all whitewash from plaster. Alternatively, remove any flaking areas then treat the surface with a stabilising primer.

Plasterboard

The total weight of the tiling should be no more than 20kg/sqm and they should only be applied to securely mounted plasterboard that is at least 12.5mm thick. If you’re not sure of the thickness of your plasterboard, find a visible edge to measure or drill a small hole.

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#WickesTips

You need waterproof plasterboard for tiling in wet areas like bathrooms or you can use plaster skim to seal standard plasterboard before tiling. In dry areas, seal the paper covering of the plasterboard with a coat of emulsion paint.

Ceramic tiles

You can tile over existing tiles but it’s better to remove the old tiles using a hammer and bolster chisel. A lot of the wall will tend to come away with the old tile, so it’ll need to be replastered and remember to always wear safety goggles and gloves.

Replastered walls

Leave to dry for at least three weeks. All bare plaster work (including repaired areas) should be sealed using a plaster primer before fixing tiles.


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#WickesTips

We have a handy, printable list of all the tools and materials you’ll need.

Printable tiling checklist