Tiling Around a Tub

Tiles in the bathroom are not only practical they are stylish and the majority of homeowners can tile themselves with a little help when it comes to those tricky places such as tiling around a tub. It is these tricky places that put most off but with a little knowledge and patience it is possible to enjoy an easy to clean, steam and water resistant bathroom.

As with any tiling job you undertake having the right tools to hand and a smooth surface without bumps and holes goes a long way to the job being a success. Of course you will also need to seal the bottom of the tiles and top of the tub with sealant when the job is complete to avoid leakage. Tools you need include tiles, tile adhesive, grout, sealant, tile cutter, pencil and ruler and once you have determined your wall is smooth and ready you are ready to begin.

Using Layout Lines

The easiest way to tile is to make layout lines which you can then follow, begin by taking the measurement from the top of the tub and the ceiling then divide this in half and put a pencil mark.

Then see how many tiles it takes to reach the top of the tub from the mark you have just made, if there is less than half a tile then move the mark down accordingly until you have a full tile sitting at the edge of the tub.

It is better to cut a tile at the top of the wall and have a full tile around the edge of the tub. Once you have the marks in the right place then draw a horizontal line across the length of the wall to be tiled, measure the wall again but this time in the horizontal position and again divide and make a mark.

Test again on either side for the tile width and adjust accordingly so the same cuts have to be made at both ends of the wall and again draw a straight line using the ruler.

Begin tiling in the bottom right quarter of the “+” you have just made on the wall, spreading out the tile adhesive with a spreader and not forgetting to put notches into the adhesive to help the tiles grasp it.

It is important to work in an area of no bigger than 3 square feet otherwise the adhesive will lose tackiness and you will have to scrape it off and start over if this happens.

Now you can begin tiling and this is where your layout lines come in very handy in getting the first tile straight, position the first tile into the corner of the bottom right half of the “+” paying particular attention that the tile fits to both the lines.

Continue tiling and inserting spacers to get even gaps and using the layout line for the edge of the tile as you work your way down to the top of the tub, always be sure to press the tiles gently into the adhesive.

Cutting Tiles

Of course unless you are extremely lucky there will come a time when you have to cut tiles and if you did your layout lines properly you at least will not be left having to cut very small slivers. Take your tile and hold it up against the tile you previously put up and make a mark on the tile surface at both ends drawing a line where it needs to be cut.

If using a tile cutter then line up the line you made with the blade and score the tile, once you have done this then with fingers crossed the tile should snap in half when you push the handle down. Be sure to place the cut up at the top of the ceiling or against the wall as this will not be seen when grouted.

Once you have the full wall tiled allow the adhesive to dry overnight before you grout in-between them. When it comes to grouting spread it over the tiles after taking out the spacers making sure grout goes deep in-between the tiles.

Leave the fresh grout for roughly 15 minutes then give the tiles a good wipe over with a soft damp cloth rinsing it thoroughly in clean water, a haze will probably still appear on the tiles but this can be polished off the next day to reveal your sparkling new handiwork.