Its a start...
===Powder or tub===
Premixed tubs are convenient and more expensive, and don't store as
well. Once opened they tend to set over a few days.
===Dual purpose grout & adhesive===
Products intended to do both do both poorly. Not recommended.
Water resistant adhesive is needed for shower and over bath use. More
basic types fall off after a bit.
===Sand and cement===
3:1 sand and cement has long been used to lay tiles.
* Very cheap
* Strong & durable
* Unaffected by [[water]]
* The tiles must be soaked in water overnight.
* The main downsides are the short open time and long cure time.
** Only set out a smallish area at a time
** Smooth the surface
** Place tiles on promptly.
* For floor tiles, keep foot traffic off for 3 days
* Not a popular method any more, modern tile adhesives are easier to
[[Epoxy]] grout is primarily for swimming pools. Its pricey.
Durability is excellent.
Wall tiles on an even surface use a notched adhesive bed, applied with
a notched edge. Plastic spreaders soon wear out, use a metal one.
Wall tiles on an uneven surface use 5 blobs of adhesive per tile. This
gives much more adjustability. The end result isn't quite as
abuseproof, as there are unsupported spaces behind the tile, but its
not usually an issue.
Floor tiles require very solid support, large notches in the bed
should be avoided. Blobs are no use with floor tiles, not enough
Basic grouts aren't waterproof.
Tile adhesive can be used for grouting, but isn't ideal.
Grout is usually applied with a rubber edge. Push grout well into the
joints, go over them repeatedly to get as much in as possible.
Use the rubbed edge at 45 degrees to the grout lines to get a good
final grout shape.
It is possible to grout small areas with a finger, but this leaves a
rougher surface which isn't ideal.
When the grout is sufficiently set, clean the tiles repeatedly with a
wet sponge tog radually remove the film of grout on the tile face.
Wring the sponge out in clean water repeatedly. If done too soon, the
joint grout is affected. If done to late, the tiles don't clean up,
and surface grout film then needs removing with a plastic scourer.
Finally, lithofin & similar treatments make grout wipeable [[clean]].
This makes a big difference to long term appearance.
First clean as well as possible then bleach. A plastic scourer can be
used if scraping is necessary. If grout's in a weak condition it can
Grout reviver is just grout. Scrape the grout surface clean, and wipe
on new grout with a finger. when set, clean the tile faces.
(gap size, how to space evenly)
(choice & preparation)
(square, mosaic, gaudi, diagonal etc)
(where to put the part size tiles, centring, software etc)
==Order of work==
link to existing wiki article
(cement as adhesive, gaudi style, cleaning used tiles, faux stone,
There are 3 main ways to do external corners (eg the front of a
Rounded [[plastic]] strip is popular and easy. Prone to becoming
harder to keep clean than glazed tile after many years. Too often the
plastic strip won't match the tile in colour.
===Rounded edge tiles===
Tiles with rounded over edges are available in some tile ranges. These
work very well, but cost more than the usual tiles.
A more basic way to finish external corners is simply to use the tiles
and nothing else, like so:
If the tile biscuit colour matches the glaze, the edge biscuit can be
left visible. If it doesn't, grount can be applied to make it match
the grout lines.
If the tiles aren't too bulky, the resulting joint looks much like
another grout line. People's reactions to such joints vary, some
people like them fine, some don't.
==Pros and cons of tiles==
A waterproof membrane is best practice under the tiling to prevent
[[water]] penetration to [[wood]]work, but few of us use them.
[[Adhesive]] and grout must be water resistant.
Lithofin etc helps keep the grout clean
Rough surfaced tiles are harder to clean
Grout is best in corners not prone to movement, ie where masonry meets
masonry, and no cracking has happened over time. Corners prone to any
movement should use a flexible sealant.
* Ms polymer lasts well but discolours a bit
* [[Silicone]] goes black with mould after a while. Use [[mould]]
resistant to delay this, but its still fairly inevitable
Plastic strip is usually used over sinks & baths. It sits behind
tiles, with the flexible edge protruding and pressing against the bath
Wall tiles aren't suitable for floor use. They're too thin and
Tile colours can vary slightly between batches. If you can't get them
all with the same batch number, slight variation can usually be hidden
by any of:
* mixing the batches up randomly
* changing batch at a corner
Occasionally batches are too different to mix at all. Hold tiles from
different batches side by side before buying to check they match near
when transported, tiles sat vertically are a lot less likely to break
than if placed horizontally.
Sometimes its possible to suround a window with whole tiles all round.
Aligning a ring of tiles round a window is harder than doing a
straight line, and typically requires adjusting the tile positions
The cill position can sometimes be moved up or down slightly to match.
The new cill tiles can be supoprted on broken tiles cemented in and
positioned edge up, spaced around 1/4" apart.
A slight slope to a tile cill reduces water retention and mould.
To remove a tile, first scrape out the grout all around it. Then what
happens to it won't detach neighbouring tiles.
Colour is a matter of taste of course, but there are some choices
better avoided. The author has seen a house with smallish windows made
rather gloomy by laying dark floor tiles. Black tiles show up
Not in any great detail - but my observations are:
a) It does not crumble like some cheap sponges;
b) Fairly fine, uniform and holds a lot of water;
c) Usefully sized and cuboid.
I suspect much has to do with it being a quality sponge rather than a random
Its firmer (often a latex type block) and so is less likely to rake out
more grout than wanted. Its also more abrasion resistant - so does not
get all roughed up and start leaving bits of sponge all over the joints.
Also once wiped down a couple of times, I find it much quicker to let
the film dry, and then give it a dry polish with a cloth to remove the
remaining - otherwise you can play the get rid of that white film
residue game almost indefinitely!
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