Homeowners can usually manage their own basic tiling jobs, including tiling a floor or shower surround, if they invest in the right tiling supplies and take the time to plan out their work. However, watching a few online videos might not be enough to ensure you tackle the job properly, as these videos often leave out those simple but important little tips and tricks that make the job easier and more professional looking once finished. Note a few of those tips here for when you're ready to tackle your next tiling job at home.
1. Use the right drill bit and saw blade
When cutting tile, always use bits and blades meant for tile in particular. If you cannot find tile cutting bits and blades, use diamond-tipped accessories, just as you would use for cutting or drilling concrete versus wood or another material. This is because the soft yet brittle material of tile may be more likely to crack if you don't use a blade or bit that maintains its sharpness as you cut. A standard table saw may just break the tile or crush it, causing it to crumble, and regular drill bits may also cause the area you're drilling to crack and simply fall apart, so invest in the right accessories to protect tile as you cut it.
2. Wait before grouting
When you install tile, you may be eager to add grout to the edges and gaps, but remember that even fast-drying caulk may need a good day to dry completely. Adding grout to the tile before then can mean pushing the tile out of place, so that it becomes uneven and lopsided. You may not notice that you do this as you add the grout, but once everything is set and dried, your new tile may be noticeably crooked. Wait at least a day after installing tile to do anything else to it, including adding grout, removing forms and spacers, cleaning, and so on.
3. Check if your tile needs sealer before grouting
Many types of natural stone are very porous and should be sealed before you add grout, or the grout will seep into the pores and pits on the stone's surface. Don't assume you can wipe down this excess grout, as this may only push it into those pits even more, and your tile surface then becomes very unsightly. Check the manufacturer's directions or go online and note if the type of tile material you've chosen needs sealing before grouting to ensure it's protected.