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Which Tile Adhesive Should I Use?

So you’ve finally found the right tiles for your renovation project and can’t wait to see the finished result. Don’t get too comfortable because there’s one vital thing you need to consider; which tile adhesive is right for you? 

Whether you’re an amateur or professional, you’ve probably asked yourself which tile adhesive should I use? Well, have no fear, because, in this post, we’re going to go through the vast array of adhesives so you can decide which is best for your needs. 

Tiles are most commonly applied to walls and flooring, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. According to HASpod, uneven tiles are the second biggest cause of trips, which shows why it’s vital to apply them securely. 

Tile adhesive is the best way to ensure they stay in place and avoid accidents in households or work environments. Let’s take a look at the different types of adhesive available. 

The Types of Tile Adhesive 

While there are several brands of tile adhesive available, you can usually split them into two types: 

  • Powdered Adhesives 
  • Ready Mixed Paste

Powdered adhesives are usually mixed with water to form a paste-like consistency. It takes more time to mix the powder correctly, but you can configure the paste to the thickness you require, giving the tiles more support. 

The ready-mixed paste is the more convenient option, as it often comes in a tub, and you can use it straight away. The main issue with ready mixed brands is they lack the strength for larger tiles and extensive projects. 

In general, if you need to apply a small number of tiles, then ready mixed paste would be ideal. Bigger projects should always use powdered adhesives because they offer more stability, and you can make a large batch to save time. 

More About Powdered Adhesive 

For professionals, a powdered adhesive is a go-to option for securing tiles onto a surface. But there are so many powdered adhesive forms, and it’s vital that you know the differences between each one. 

Strength 

Where you’re planning to lay tiles can define how long they’ll last. For example, in areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, there will be a lot of foot traffic which puts higher strain levels on the tiles. 

If you have underfloor heating, it’s essential to find an adhesive that can absorb some of the stress, ensuring your tiles last longer. The majority of tile adhesives are rated as S1 or S2. 

In moderate or minimal foot traffic areas, an S1 adhesive will be sufficient, but high traffic areas of homes should find a certified S2 adhesive. 

Underfloor heating is another defining factor in the tile adhesive you use. When the floor temperature changes, it can cause cracks in the tiles, so a flexible S2 adhesive is essential to protect the flooring. 

Colour 

When you look at most powdered adhesives, you’ll notice they either come in grey or white. If you have a light grout, then it’s best to use white glue. The opposite applies to darker grouts. 

The Setting Time 

You can choose from a rapid or standard-setting tile adhesive, and both have advantages. Rapid setting adhesive is an excellent way to get the job done quicker, and professionals prefer to use it when they’re working on large building projects. 

The main disadvantage of using rapid setting adhesive is that you need to complete the work quickly. If you’re a novice tiler, then rapid adhesive might be too intense for you, and it could impact the overall quality of the job. 

Standard-setting tile adhesive might take longer to set, but it gives you the time to make sure you lay the tiles properly. It’s also a better option if you’re working on intricate patterns or with small tiles. 

Things to Consider 

Whether you prefer powdered adhesive or ready to use paste, there are some vital things to consider before you make a decision. 

Which Surface Are You Sticking The Tiles To?

Tiles are most commonly used on floors and walls, but the adhesive you use depends on the surface. 

Wall Plasterboard: If you’re applying wall tiles to plasterboard, they’re probably small enough to use ready-made paste. But if the tiles are 30 x 30cm or larger, it’s best to use powdered adhesive. Porcelain tiles should always be applied with powdered glue, too, regardless of their size. 

Concrete or Screed Flooring: You must wait for six weeks before you tile newly laid floors. Powdered adhesive allows you to configure the paste’s thickness, so it’s better for a sturdy foundation. 

Timber Floors: For the best results, you should place a level of plywood onto timber floors and tile over it. Use powdered adhesive to get the best results, and try to avoid placing tiles directly onto timber wherever possible. 

Experienced Are You? 

Tilers come from a range of backgrounds, and it’s a profession that attracts many people. Depending on your experience, you might not feel comfortable using ready mixed paste due to the small amount of time it leaves for you to apply the tiles. 

While the powdered adhesive is the better option, a ready-made paste is ideal for smaller jobs. Luckily, there are some excellent tiling courses to help you improve your skills and offer a more comprehensive selection of services. 

Final Thoughts 

Tile adhesive is an essential part of the tiling process, and in most cases, a powdered adhesive is the better choice. Not only does it offer more flexibility, but you can also mix it to your requirements. Complex jobs that need to be completed with precision also benefit from the use of powdered adhesive. 

While powdered is the better choice, it doesn’t mean ready-made paste is useless because it’s perfect for smaller jobs. The most important thing to remember is to make a decision based on the surface you’re tiling, your experience and the complexity of the job. 

Do you know which tiling mistakes are commonly made but easily avoidable? Find out here. You can also find more expert guides on tiling by signing up for our newsletter.

Easy Cleaning Tips For Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

If you have tiles in your bathroom or kitchen, then you know how they can brighten up your home. With so many varieties to choose from, including porcelain and ceramic tiles, it’s clear to see people choose them when they’re redecorating. 

While tiles are easy to maintain, you must take the time to clean them. Not only does this make them look nicer, but it also protects them from a range of substances and debris. In this post, we’ll reveal some easy cleaning tips for both ceramic and porcelain tiles. 

Porcelain Tiles 

kitchen tiles
Porcelain tiles are one of the most popular tile types because of their aesthetic appeal. While they’re used for both walling and floors, it’s more common to see porcelain floor tiles. There are so many styles available, and some porcelain tiles are made with feldspar and sand to create a more robust and more stain-resistant finish. 

Whether you’re cleaning walls or floors, there are some essential things you need to know. 

Remove Dust and Dirt 

Dust and dirt build-up is a natural part of life. Whether you’re working on somebody else’s home or renovating your own, the tiles are bound to get dirty. Luckily, they’re easy to clean, and you should ideally remove dust and dirt every day. 

A dry mop or vacuum cleaner are the best choices because a brush can damage the tiles. By doing this regularly, you’ll save a lot of time and energy on cleaning the build-up of debris. 

Try to Avoid Chemicals 

While many believe that using chemicals is the optimum way to clean, it’s the opposite. Most chemical substances have corrosive properties, which can result in damage to porcelain tiles. 

Porcelain tiles are heated to fuse them, which gives them similar properties to glass. If you clean them with chemicals regularly, you might make the tiles less resistant to water which means they’ll damage easily. 

Chemicals also harm the grout, causing it to waste away, which means water can get under the tiles resulting in dampness. To avoid these effects, all you need to do is clean porcelain tiles with a mop and water. 

If you need to remove stains, add a small amount of detergent to the mixture and gently wipe away the stains. 

Don’t Forget to Wash Tiles Properly 

Using detergent is a simple way to spruce up your tiles, but it’s essential to wash them away correctly. Never let your detergent dry because it can damage the surface of porcelain tiles. You should only use a small amount of detergent, but textured tiles might require a bit more. 

Cleaning Tough Stains 

Accidents are bound to happen, and while the above steps will work for general tile maintenance, there might be times when you have stubborn stains that require removal with chemicals. 

Always read the label of any specialist cleaners and make sure the substance won’t damage your tiles or grout. Make sure you use protective equipment and lock pets and children out of the room. 

Ceramic Tiles 

a person lays the tiles
Ceramic tiles are similar to porcelain in their aesthetics, but there are some vital differences you should know about. For starters, ceramic is a lightweight tile, and it has a soft clay appearance with lots of design choices. 

While there are many advantages of using ceramic tiles, it’s important to mention that they’re not as strong or water-resistant as porcelain tiles. With an abundance of colours and styles, ceramic is a popular choice and relatively easy to clean if you know what you’re doing. 

The Simple Way to Clean Ceramic Tiles 

To clean ceramic tiles, all you need to do is follow these steps. 

Prep Your Tiles 

In some cases, your tiles might not need a proper clean, and it’s always best to avoid using water unless you need to. Check for loose dirt, sand and debris on the tile and use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove it. 

If you find sticky stains on the tile surface, use a putty knife or spatula to scrape it away gently. 

Cleaning The Tile Surface

You can use soap to clean your tile surface but try to keep it to a minimal amount. Too much soap can make your tiles look dull. Fill a bucket with hot water, and add up to half a tablespoon of washing up liquid and half a cup of vinegar. 

Make sure your mop is clean, then use the mixture to clean your tiles. Once completed, rinse out your mop and bucket, refill with hot water and rinse the mixture off each tile. 

Instead of leaving your tiles to air dry, use a clean towel or cloth. 

Cleaning the Grout 

Tile grouting can get dirty, and most people find they need to use a different method to clean it properly. Here’s what you’ll need to do. 

Rent a Machine 

If you’re professional providing tiling services, you can rent a grout cleaner from hardware stores. It enables you to provide a professional service, and specialist cleaning machines protect grouting from harmful chemicals. 

Manual Cleaning 

Fill a bucket with hot water and mix it with powdered oxygen bleach. It’s essential that you use powdered bleach because it’s safer for grouting. The instructions on the bottle will tell you how much to use. 

Use a spray bottle or a small brush and apply the mixture to the grouting. Leave it for 30 minutes for minor stains and up to six hours for a thorough clean. Use a brush to scrub the grouting and remove any debris. 

Rinse your grouting with clean, cold water and use a towel to dry them. You can also use a grout sealant if you want to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning your tiles. 

The Takeaway 

Once you learn how to take care of porcelain and ceramic tiles, you can preserve them longer without too much work. Regular maintenance means you’ll spend less time on stubborn stains. 

Tiling is one of the most lucrative trades to get into, and there’s a lot of competition among professional tilers. If you want to equip yourself with the knowledge you require, then signing up for tiling courses can help you learn how to install and care for tiles.

Easy Cleaning Tips For Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

If you have tiles in your bathroom or kitchen, then you know how they can brighten up your home. With so many varieties to choose from, including porcelain and ceramic tiles, it’s clear to see people choose them when they’re redecorating. 

While tiles are easy to maintain, you must take the time to clean them. Not only does this make them look nicer, but it also protects them from a range of substances and debris. In this post, we’ll reveal some easy cleaning tips for both ceramic and porcelain tiles. 

Porcelain Tiles 

kitchen tiles

Porcelain tiles are one of the most popular tile types because of their aesthetic appeal. While they’re used for both walling and floors, it’s more common to see porcelain floor tiles. There are so many styles available, and some porcelain tiles are made with feldspar and sand to create a more robust and more stain-resistant finish. 

Whether you’re cleaning walls or floors, there are some essential things you need to know. 

Remove Dust and Dirt 

Dust and dirt build-up is a natural part of life. Whether you’re working on somebody else’s home or renovating your own, the tiles are bound to get dirty. Luckily, they’re easy to clean, and you should ideally remove dust and dirt every day. 

A dry mop or vacuum cleaner are the best choices because a brush can damage the tiles. By doing this regularly, you’ll save a lot of time and energy on cleaning the build-up of debris. 

Try to Avoid Chemicals 

While many believe that using chemicals is the optimum way to clean, it’s the opposite. Most chemical substances have corrosive properties, which can result in damage to porcelain tiles. 

Porcelain tiles are heated to fuse them, which gives them similar properties to glass. If you clean them with chemicals regularly, you might make the tiles less resistant to water which means they’ll damage easily. 

Chemicals also harm the grout, causing it to waste away, which means water can get under the tiles resulting in dampness. To avoid these effects, all you need to do is clean porcelain tiles with a mop and water. 

If you need to remove stains, add a small amount of detergent to the mixture and gently wipe away the stains. 

Don’t Forget to Wash Tiles Properly 

Using detergent is a simple way to spruce up your tiles, but it’s essential to wash it away correctly. Never let your detergent dry because it can damage the surface of porcelain tiles. You should only use a small amount of detergent, but textured tiles might require a bit more. 

Cleaning Tough Stains 

Accidents are bound to happen, and while the above steps will work for general tile maintenance, there might be times when you have stubborn stains that require removal with chemicals. 

Always read the label of any specialist cleaners and make sure the substance won’t damage your tiles or grout. Make sure you use protective equipment and lock pets and children out of the room. 

Ceramic Tiles 

a person lays the tiles

Ceramic tiles are similar to porcelain in their aesthetics, but there are some vital differences you should know about. For starters, ceramic is a lightweight tile, and it has a soft clay appearance with lots of design choices. 

While there are many advantages of using ceramic tiles, it’s important to mention that they’re not as strong or water-resistant as porcelain tiles. With an abundance of colours and styles, ceramic is a popular choice and relatively easy to clean if you know what you’re doing. 

The Simple Way to Clean Ceramic Tiles 

To clean ceramic tiles, all you need to do is follow these steps. 

Prep Your Tiles 

In some cases, your tiles might not need a proper clean, and it’s always best to avoid using water unless you need to. Check for loose dirt, sand and debris on the tile and use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove it. 

If you find sticky stains on the tile surface, use a putty knife or spatula to scrape it away gently. 

Cleaning The Tile Surface

You can use soap to clean your tile surface but try to keep it to a minimal amount. Too much soap can make your tiles look dull. Fill a bucket with hot water, and add up to half a tablespoon of washing up liquid and half a cup of vinegar. 

Make sure your mop is clean, then use the mixture to clean your tiles. Once completed, rinse out your mop and bucket, refill with hot water and rinse the mixture off each tile. 

Instead of leaving your tiles to air dry, use a clean towel or cloth. 

Cleaning the Grout 

Tile grouting can get dirty, and most people find they need to use a different method to clean it properly. Here’s what you’ll need to do. 

Rent a Machine 

If you’re professional providing tiling services, you can rent a grout cleaner from hardware stores. It enables you to provide a professional service, and specialist cleaning machines protect grouting from harmful chemicals. 

Manual Cleaning 

Fill a bucket with hot water and mix it with powdered oxygen bleach. It’s essential that you use powdered bleach because it’s safer for grouting. The instructions on the bottle will tell you how much to use. 

Use a spray bottle or a small brush and apply the mixture to the grouting. Leave it for 30 minutes for minor stains and up to six hours for a thorough clean. Use a brush to scrub the grouting and remove any debris. 

Rinse your grouting with clean, cold water and use a towel to dry them. You can also use a grout sealant if you want to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning your tiles. 

The Takeaway 

Once you learn how to take care of porcelain and ceramic tiles, you can preserve them longer without too much work. Regular maintenance means you’ll spend less time on stubborn stains. 

Tiling is one of the most lucrative trades to get into, and there’s a lot of competition among professional tilers. If you want to equip yourself with the knowledge you require, then signing up for tiling courses can help you learn how to install and care for tiles.

Essential Things You Should Consider When Purchasing Tiles

For many people, tiles are an invaluable solution to their decorating problems. Durable, attractive and available in various colours, tiles are excellent options for your flooring or walls. 

When purchasing tiles, there are many things to consider, and we’re going to look at them in this post. Whether you’re planning on decorating your bathroom and kitchen, or want to make your flooring more appealing, these are the things you need to think about. 

Which Tile Types Are Available? 

There are so many tile types around; you’re spoilt for choice. But it’s essential to know the pros and cons of the most popular tiles before you make a final choice. Let’s take a look at them now. 

Ceramic Tiles: Most homes incorporate ceramic tiles because they’re so easy to source and lay. There are hundreds of styles available, and ceramic is durable enough for households with children and pets.

Porcelain Tiles: The second most common type of tiles are popular because they can look like stone, brick or wood. While many homeowners love the look of porcelain tiles, they are more challenging to apply, which is why ceramic is more popular. 

Cement Tiles: If you’re searching for a timeless classic, then cement tiles might be ideal for you. They’ve been around since the 19th Century, and come in a wide range of patterns.

Glass Tiles: Glass holds the vital benefit of being stain-resistant, which means the tiles are easy to clean. However, glass also chips easily, so it’s not a good idea for households with pets and children. 

Mosaic: If you’re a fan of Moroccan, Roman, and Greek-themed bathrooms, then it’s impossible to forget mosaic tiles. They come in a range of patterns, colours and sizes. These tiles also look incredible. 

Marble Tiles: The essence of upper-class decor, marble tiles are more expensive than most other variations, but they give any space a classic appeal. 

Stone/Rock Tiles: Rustic decor or more traditional buyers have plenty of tiles to choose from. Options include granite and limestone, both of which are effective for improving your home’s aesthetic appeal. 

Metal Tiles: One of the newer tile types is metal, but it’s not for everyone. While metal tiles are more durable, some people find the overall look of them is too much. 

How Small Is Your Bathroom?

The size of your bathroom impacts its aesthetic appeal. While there’s nothing wrong with smaller spaces, it can look crowded if you don’t utilise the right decorating techniques. One of the biggest mistakes we see people making is purchasing the wrong size tiles. 

Large tiles take less time to install, but they’re also the easiest way to make your small room look even tinier. In fact, it’s a common bathroom mistake we see all too often. 

Opt for smaller tiles to give the impression that your bathroom is more spacious. You’ll feel more at home and avoid the cluttered effect. 

Which Colours Will You Use? 

Decorating is a fun job for everyone, but many people get caught up in the latest trends. It’s perfectly normal to want a modern decor theme, but you should think about how your tiles will fit in with the rest of your home. 

There are plenty of things you can do, but try to consider the needs of your household. For example, if you’re tiling your bathroom and you have a young family, it’s best to have a bright decor scheme to make spending time in the room more appealing. 

Older families should try to incorporate their tastes into the overall design of their bathroom or kitchen. If your home generally follows a themed decor scheme, such as Moroccan or Boho Chic, then you’ll want to continue it with your tiles too. 

Black and white tiles can be a popular choice, but many people find them too familiar. You should only use children’s tiles if the room is specifically for your little ones. They might love the design, but it’s probably not the best idea if guests will use the room too. 

Are You Buying Online? 

In these uncertain times, online shopping has become a convenient way in which we source items. There are many benefits to buying tiles online, but you should always make sure the company is willing to send you a sample first. 

If you can’t get a sample, check to see whether there’s a returns policy. The tiles you choose might look fantastic from behind a computer screen, but very different in person. To ensure you don’t have to worry about wasting money, always have a back-up plan. 

Factor in Extra Costs 

Most people budget for their tiles but forget about the essential tools to lay them correctly. Before you choose an expensive design, make sure you factor in the cost of: 

  • Spacers 
  • Grout
  • Adhesive 

If you’re tiling a shower area, it’s essential to check the adhesive you use is suitable. Planning will save you a lot of money in the long-run, so work out how much you can afford on the actual tiles before you spend money. 

There are plenty of retailers that sell specialist tiling tools at low prices. Remember, once you have the necessary tools, you’ll store them for future use. 

Measure Up 

Never – and we mean never – forget to measure how many tiles you’ll need. The simple way to do this is by multiplying the length by the height of each wall you’re planning to tile. 

Add the number of tiles you’ll need from each wall together, and add an extra 10% to account for breakages. Most retailers cost their tiles based on square meters, so it should be easy to work out how much you’re likely to spend. 

The Bottom Line 

With so many tiles available, you can find ones that suit your decor scheme and practical requirements. Instead of making an immediate decision, shop around and enjoy the experience. With a little time and an open mind, you’ll find the perfect tile type, design and colour for your home.

Tiling Staircases

Staircases are not always the most glamorous installation in your home unless you live in a grand, luxurious large home where the staircase makes a big impression on opening the front door.  Tiled staircases can really make an incredible, practical, long lasting impact on an interior and many luxury hotels or commercial businesses will have impressive tiled staircases installed.

So, what type of tile would you need to use on a domestic interior staircase and how do you tile a staircase compared to tiling a wall or a floor? Well, the process of tiling stairs is pretty much the same as for any tile installation, but there are a few things to consider.

Tiles

The tiles to use would need to be slip resistant and suitable for floors.

Preparation

With tiled stairs there is a lot of preparation involved for both internal and external tiled stairs. Firstly, it’s important to get the measurements correct in order to work out the square meterage required and to do this you would need to measure both the length and width of the stair and the vertical riser of each stair. Once you have calculated the square meterage then remember to allow for an extra 10% – 15% for breakages, cuts and wastage. Once measured and the tiles ordered, you are ready to prepare the staircase for tiling. 

Most internal staircases are constructed of wood but if your staircase or steps are concrete then the same preparation applies except there may be a need to use levelling compound if you find the stairs are not level.

Ensure the area is flat, clean and dust free. If the staircase to be tiled is constructed of wood then it is key to make sure there is no movement and that each stair is completely secure. If your staircase is not solid and secure after the tiles have been applied, it will result in cracking of the grout and the tiles. You may also have to reinforce the stairs to take the weight of the tiles. 

Each stair will also have a nose board on the front of it – this will need to be cut flush to the riser – make sure the cut is smooth and free of any dust.  Once you have completed all your preparations you are ready to apply the tiles. 

Applying your tiles

For a successful, professional job start at the top of the staircase tiling the vertical stair risers. Use an L square on both sides to ensure the tiles are plumb (remembering to leave a gap for the grout). Start from the centre of the stair and work outwards. It is important to leave a gap of around 3mm and to keep this consistent use 3mm tile spacers to give an even gap around each tile. This is absolutely necessary to avoid any future cracking of both the tile and grout on the staircase. Once you have worked your way down the staircase and with all the tiles in place, the grout will need to be applied. 

Grouting

As with most tiling jobs it is advisable to leave grouting the tiles for at least 24 hours after the tiles have been installed to allow enough time for the tile adhesive to dry properly. When choosing the grout you will need to take into consideration that it will need to be able to withstand the wear and tear of constant use, be durable and flexible. 

So, job done nearly…

Finally

After leaving the finished grout to dry for a further 24 hours, good tiling practice requires the tiles to be cleaned to remove any excess grout to reveal a beautiful tiled staircase.

Tips for Tiling a Bathroom

Bathrooms are surely the no.1 choice to decorate using tiles, with tiles having the most practical, hardwearing and waterproof properties as well as a huge choice of styles, colours shapes and sizes.

How easy is it to tile a bathroom? With obstacles such as sink and toilet pedestals, showers, windows and door frames to consider there is a lot of planning and preparation involved to create the perfect tiled bathroom.

So, first of all what tools do you need? Well, the checklist below is a lists the tools you are likely to need:-

Pencil

Level

Tape measure

Sponge

Bucket

Tile cutter 

Tile nipper

Notched Trowel or Spreader

Square

Rubber grout float 

*Sander

**Piece of timber

And importantly for your own health and safety:-

Safety goggles

Dust mask

Gloves

Knee pads (depending how good your knees are!) 

There are additional tools such as a contour or layout tool that can be included in your list for those awkward cuts or you can go back to basics and use card or paper to make a template. 

So, with your tools and safety wear sorted, next is to measure the area that needs to be tiled (remembering to allow 10% for breakages and spares).

Whatever the job, the key to a successful and professional looking finish is always in good preparation. Walls and floors to be tiled need to be flat and clean – some areas may need *sanding so be sure to remove all dust before applying the tiles.

Planning how to apply your bathroom tiles

One way of ensuring the tiles run symmetrically on the wall is to try using a ‘gauging stick’ to mark out where the tiles will need to be placed. This is where the *timber in the tool list comes in.  Lay the timber (which should be just over half the width of the wall)  and put the tiles and spacers along its length and mark with a pencil. A second piece is used to place tiles widthways.

Measure the width of the wall and draw a vertical line at the midway point. Do the same for the height. Use the ‘gauging sticks’ to mark out a grid where the tiles will start and end. Adhesive is applied to the tile and tiling starts at the bottom of the wall, working in an upward direction, not forgetting to cut any tiles required before applying adhesive.

For the floor just as for the walls, preparation is all important. Ensure the floor is clean, dry and level. If the floor is constructed using floorboards it will need to have something like a ply covering to level it.

Using the same method of measuring to find out the midpoint of the floor as for the wall and start by dry laying the tiles working outwards towards the wall or first piece of bathroom furniture (bath, loo or sink pedestal).  Mark the position of the last complete tile and draw a line from one end to the other. Lay your tiles along this line  (you could use battens if working on a plywood base) checking regularly the tiles are flat and straight.

Cutting tiles around those awkward shapes.

Depending on your chosen tiles you can use a tile scorer or a tile cutter. For porcelain or natural stone tiles over a 15mm thickness a tile saw is better. And for those awkward curved cuts around a toilet or a pipe you can choose a tile nipper or tile saw to create a neat curve. If you don’t have a contour tool or layout tool then make a card template to mark out on the tile where the cut needs to be and remember to wear safety goggles! 

After grouting and cleaning the tiles, your finished bathroom will look amazing.

Thinking of Starting a Tiling Business? Think about Networking (just keep your distance ?)

With the business and economic climate we are currently experiencing, it may seem like a bad time to consider starting up a new tiling business and becoming a self-employed tiler. But, for the construction industry, there appears to be some bright light at the end of the tunnel compared with other business sectors who are experiencing difficult times. Since March this year, the world of work in the UK has changed – shaken, stirred, turned upside down and inside out and for many people who were in employment then, have now found themselves without employment as their employers have suffered an economic Tsunami.

If you have been considering changing career, attaining a new skill or simply need to find some form of employment, then seriously consider the option of becoming a highly skilled floor and wall tiler.

The tiling industry is a part of the ever growing UK construction industry – with the demand for building new homes across the country and the domestic markets’ increased demand for interior and exterior makeovers, now is a good time to think about diving in and taking the plunge on running your own floor and wall tiling business.

Finding the right course that will give both the practical skills and theoretical skills is key to your future success and with a considered investment in our tiling training courses you are more than halfway to building a successful business.

In addition to the practical skills and detailed course information acquired at UK Pro Tiling Training there is continued support with the (optional) Elite Aftercare Package to give you peace of mind and a professional ‘help line’ for when you need it.

In addition to the practicalities of starting a business (take a look at www.gov.uk/set-up-business ), what are the personal qualities you need to run a tiling business or be a successful self-employed tiler? Qualities such as self-motivation, the ability to work long hours, offer fantastic customer service, develop good negotiating skills and have a great understanding of your market (i.e. your customer requirements) these personal attributes are key to being successfully self-employed and having a great business.

If you are looking to be self-employed only without the additional responsibilities of employing people, then learning how to price up and quote for potential jobs should be a bit easier than having to consider what each job will cost to cover all your material and labour costs. But whether self-employed or running a tiling business employing people, the basic business skills crossover. Most importantly, get your name (or business name) out

there! Marketing costs can be expensive and you don’t want to blow your budget. Use social media platforms, word of mouth, place a sign with your name, contact details and profession where you are working and advertise on your vehicle before placing costly adverts.

So what is the importance of networking when running your own business?

Well, by having knowledge of and contact with good quality suppliers who will negotiate with you on the best prices, advise on current market trends and put you in contact with other businesses that you could work alongside with ( for example kitchen and bathroom fitters, decorators, builders) will only grow your reputation when working alongside these businesses. Consider widening your network by joining a local business support group and attending professional events and trade fairs (when it is possible to do so) and keeping up to date with the latest tiling trends will impress potential clients.

If you are a UK Pro Tiling Training trained floor and wall tiler, your toolbox will be filled with all the skills, knowledge and continued professional support then your tiling business is bound to thrive.

Beyond The Tiles

As you start to grow your business and want to offer your customers the very best service, you may be able to save yourself (and your customers) some time and, indeed, money. If you can acquire some additional skills and knowledge outside of tiling it may save you having to try and find, and then pay for, some of the other trades people. Be aware that some jobs will definitely need you to get qualified trades people involved.

Know when to use an expert.

If you feel any electrical installation or modification is needed, then don’t be tempted to tinker yourself. Not only could this be dangerous, but also illegal. The same goes for plumbing and definitely if you feel a gas supply needs moving.

Another time when you should get an expert opinion is where any structural changes are taking place as part of the work being carried out.

Maybe do try this at home.

Many other jobs which might be taking place in areas you are tiling could be tackled by yourself. If there is to be small adjustments to studwork, maybe around a bath or shower area, it might be worth teaching yourself the skills needed to carry this out yourself. Often, befriending a carpenter or other tradesperson could be mutually beneficial. They might be happy to offer you tips rather than tackle a very small project themselves.

With studwork in place, another skill which is relatively easy to acquire is plasterboarding, maybe behind an area to be tiled. Be sure to check on the correct specification for the area. Behind a shower area for example, will need a specialised moisture resistant board.

You don’t need to be a plasterer.

Many of us have watched skilled plasterers and been in awe at the smooth flat finish they achieve. If an area needs plaster work repairing or replacing before you can tile, try and become confident enough to apply a browning, bonding or other undercoat. If you can get this flat enough to tile over, there really is no need to spend out on a plasterer. The finish doesn’t need to be silky smooth.

Finishing touches.

If your customer is having the majority of a room tiled, you might feel confident enough to offer to decorate any remaining wall space, be sure to research the best methods and use the best materials. Also, having the right tools will mean you can confidently fit mirrors and other finishing touches to the tiled walls.

Be sociable.

And don’t forget your admin! Being up to speed with social media marketing and other effective advertising platforms will save you money and hopefully generate income. If you can learn to use bookkeeping tools and understand Inland Revenue returns and documentation this could avoid employing an expensive accountant. As with the trades listed above, if you are really not confident, it is still better to bring in an expert.

Get in touch with us to chat about your tiling career, we have courses to suit all levels of experience and knowledge.

Tiling On Construction Sites

If you’ve only ever worked in domestic properties, not employed through agents, major contractors or other organisations, you quite possibly have got used to dealing with the customer directly. You will have been responsible for every aspect of the work from start to finish and will have needed just your skills and your customer service. Working on large sites as a subcontractor comes with added complications and requirements.

Health And Safety Executive (HSE) The HSE offers advice on how you should approach working as a subcontractor. Like all trades people on site, you are there in your capacity as a tiler and should only work in the area designated and only carry out the tasks you are there for. The main contractor will have policies for each site regarding disposal of waste (and whether you or their own staff will do this) and which PPE is appropriate for both the job in hand and the site itself. You should never assume anything or ignore risks on sites. Most have site managers and safety officers who you should approach with your concerns or queries.

Power Tools

Again, the HSE is a great source of advice. The main message is that tools should either be battery powered or operate using 110 Volt with Centre Tapped to Earth (CTE) system which ensures the total voltage doesn’t exceed 55 Volts. When you are asked to price work on sites, take into consideration tools which you may need to buy or hire.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

To obtain a CSCS card, which will give you access to construction sites, where you can work as, or for, a subcontractor, you will need to have passed an accredited CSCS Health and Safety at Work course. This is the minimum requirement for anybody wishing to work on a construction site. It is more complicated than that though: As a skilled tradesman, you will need to have a skill specific card.

Using NVQ To Obtain Your CSCS Card Check out our NVQ courses to see how we can help you get the level of qualification you need. The cards are colour coded depending on your level of experience. A trainee can get a red card before achieving an NVQ qualification although they would be unable to work on site alone. Similarly with the green card, you will effectively be just an ‘operative’. Achieve an NVQ level 3 or above and you can get your Blue, Gold or Black cards which will show that you are a skilled operative, a supervisor, or manager and can operate on construction sites accordingly.

We have courses to prepare you for all levels of tiling and to get you feeling comfortable about working on construction sites. You’ll need to be switched on to the business aspect of the job, and fully understand payment terms and contracts with larger organisations. Don’t forget we offer a one day course which has some great content to help you with your business model.

Get in touch today and let’s get your journey to construction sites started.

Entrance Appeal – A Tiled Hallway

How else to make real impact at the front door than with a beautifully tiled hallway. Both a chic and practical entrance to a property being hard wearing, durable and with a resistance to muddy and wet footprints.

Using floor tiles, either plain or patterned in the hallway will need careful preparation and planning. Most floor tiles are larger than wall tiles and most importantly choose a tile that has a non-slip finish. The style and type of floor tile will depend on the property and client choice.

With the floor measured and tiles chosen, prior to preparing the floor remember to wear heavy duty gloves and safety goggles, the removal of old tiles or getting the floor ready for applying the tiles may have shards of old tiles, large splinters etc. that could cause damage to hands and eyes. So, in the preparation of the hallway floor it may require some form of levelling and cemented backer board if the floor isn’t even or have a concrete base (tiles can be laid on any dry concrete level base). But if this isn’t the case it will be necessary to ensure the floor is levelled and suitable.

Can you lay new tiles over an existing tiled floor? It is possible and essential that the tiles are firmly laid if so. If the floor has a vinyl covering, ensure the surface is coated with a primer. For laying the tiles, choose a specific adhesive necessary for the floor type – for example if the floor is a wooden floor or concrete. Equally, if the floor to be tiled is of a wooden/timber construction then it may be advisable to strengthen it by using an appropriate plywood (an exterior grade ply would be best).

Once the floor is prepared, laying the tiles out is the next step. Dry laying using the key tile (that is the first tile that will be laid ) will set the rest of the layout. It is usual to start as central as possible so the key tile will be laid in this central position, followed by laying a row of tiles from the centre to the wall. This will give you an idea of what the floor edges will look like. Preferably, there shouldn’t be a small slither of tile at the edge, so if this is the case, move the tile line so that you have an even and equal edge on both sides. From this point continue the dry laying leaving a gap of around half a tile around the edge of the hallway these will need to be cut to size. For an immaculate and professional finish, take the chosen adhesive for the floor, spread around a metre of the adhesive evenly, working outwards to the hallway wall and ensuring that the markings that indicate the position of the key tile are still visible, and lay the tile. Tile spacers can be used and with the first tile in position continue at right angles across the floor ‘criss crossing’ the key tile and checking the level of the tiles regularly.

Once your floor is covered leaving only the edge tiles to lay, make sure excess adhesive is cleared from the edges to ensure a level finish. Apply adhesive to the edge tiles and not the floor to lay them. Finally use a well mixed grout appropriate for the tiles used and finish off the hallway corners with a flexible sealant matching the grout. After removing and leaning off any excess grout and whether the hallway is tiled with patterned or plain tiles, the final finish will be impressive, long lasting waterproof and damage proof. Perfect.