Many people may consider laying out a dozen or so tiles in their bathroom or kitchen to be easy but then they realize that something has gone wrong. Unfortunately, by this time there is little you can do to fix the mistake beyond breaking to remove the tiles. This can go especially wrong when people try tiling using complicated layouts, on uneven walls, using large tiles, or dried mortar cleanup.
A Diagonal layout
The conventional way to lay tiles diagonally will be to mark a 45 degree line directly on the wall or even the floor whichever may be the case. However, what if the angle is not 45 degrees as it can be with diamond shaped tiles, here getting the exact lines can be very difficult. A better way would be to mark just one layout line followed by centering the tiles over it by directly aligning all the corners of that tile with the line you drew. A pyramid can be built which is centered on this line and the side of the pyramid can be used to align every diagonal course. The sides of your pyramid can then be checked during the tiling process using a straightedge.
Use specialty thin set mortar
80% of the tiles are best laid out using thin set mortar. However, if you want to set tiles that are much larger than 12 x 12, then search for medium bed or large bed mortar. These should be mentioned on the bag that you purchase. Keep in mind the fact that larger tiles will obviously require a thicker bed, and unlike the standard thin set used medium bed will not lose its bonding capabilities when it’s laid on thick. Plus many tiling experts prefer medium bed because it is firmer and will not shrink as much, so tiles tend to remain in the position they were put when the mortar hardens.
Tiling a wall
If there is a wall niche planned then first lay out the tile and then measure the sides to get an idea of the size. If the niche is custom sized in order to fit in between these full tiles you will end up getting a much better looking installation and will not require cutting.
The technical term used for uneven tile edges is “lippage” and it usually means that you’ve made a big mistake somewhere. However, it can be hard to avoid lippage when you use a large tile and is fairly easy to see if the grout lines are narrow or the shape of the tile is square as opposed to it having rounded edges. In the event that you do have to deal with lippage use leveling clips and a few wedges to lay out the tile flat. Just slide the clip directly under the tile and insert the wedge. Once the thin set mortar hardens just break off all the exposed clips.
Use suction cups
Suction cups will help you lift off a sunken tile or you can adjust crooked ones with it. These are a must have for often large tiling projects since they help you handle tiles more easily.
Using a budget saw
Even though large tiles are very popular these days and some may think that the best way to slice them is to use an expensive tile saw but this is not really the case. An expensive tile saw is certainly the best but the second best way is to use a handheld wet saw which is guided with straight plywood or straightedge. But make sure to wear safety goggles.
Adjust the depth
StileTiling suggests that people who are using a tile trim, often need to build out from the trip so that it can protrude from the field tile. You can use a tile backer or strip to make sure that you get the build out correct. Just about any backer board will work here, just put thin set or a mastic on one side and then stick it directly in place. Adjustments of around ¼ inches can be made easily by applying a heavier bed of this thin set mortar.
Citations: Tiling Tips
Mark is one of the leading experts on DIY tiling. He is an interior designer by profession and has a number of high profile interior design projects to his name. Even though his favourite part of all is tiling he does in fact see many people get their tiling wrong. This is why he writes extensively about professional tiling tips and processes.