Kitchen tiles have long been a staple design feature, and are revered for their versatility and ability to lift the appearance of a room. When done tastefully, tiling can look spectacular and can add value to even the smallest of kitchens. However when done improperly, tiling can look tacky and dated, even if it does still provide the same practical benefits as more stylish tile compositions in the kitchen environment.
The first step to better tiling is learning how to work with tiles in order to understand how better to fit the tiles that you do choose for your kitchen.
Removing Old Tiles
First things first, it’s time to get down to removing those old tiles. Your aim is to achieve a flat surface on which you can apply the tile adhesive for the next layer of tiles. That means removing as much of the tiling and the old adhesive as possible in order to create the right surface for tiling. With a chisel, strike the centre of the tile and then leverage it off the wall. Start at one corner of the tiling and work your way across. You should find the tiles come off quite easily, and you can start to build up a rhythm in removing them.
A quick tip here – hang on to a couple of old tiles so you can practice your cutting skills later on. This will be especially handy if you’re going to tile around power-points or corners, which can be tricky if you’re inexperienced at cutting through tile!
Practice, practice, practice – cutting tiles is difficult, and many a tile has been lost through bad cutting or simple inexperience. Use a tile cutter where possible, and try to score into the back of the tile where you want to cut before going ahead and doing so, to avoid damaging the design. At any rate make sure you buy a few more tiles than you need to avoid running out halfway through, as there will inevitably be some degree of wastage in the process.
Before grouting, tape around the corners of your tiles and use separators in order to distance the tiles correctly from one another. If you do happen to get grout on a particular tile, a warm damp cloth in a sweeping motion will do the trick, and will clean your tile no problem.
For the grouting itself, cut the nozzle of the grout container at a 45 degree angle for best effect, and scrape off any excess with a blade or knife during the process.