The Best Techniques for Installing Tiles

Take your tiling skills to the next level. Learn pro tricks for dealing with complicated diagonal layouts, extra-large tiles, uneven walls, dried mortar cleanup and other tiling problems.

VIDEO: Tips and Techniques for Tiling a Shower Surround

Layout Tip

If you’re planning a wall niche, lay out the tile and take some measurements to determine the size of the niche. If you custom-size the niche to fit between full tiles, you’ll get a better-looking installation and avoid some cutting. With a diagonal tile layout like the one shown here, you’ll get full tiles and half tiles. If trim will frame the niche, be sure to factor it into the layout. Read more…

How to Lay a Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Floor

Laying the foundation. An unpleasant question to be faced is “What is your floor made up of?” Plywood is good. But, if you have the typical 1/2″ to 5/8″ particle board on top of a deck made of 2x8s, you have some work to do. After removal of the base trim, the particle board should be pulled up (this is easiest if you first cut it into about 16″ squares)and replaced by plywood. You will need a Skil saw, and if you’re doing the kitchen, you’ll need a “toe-kick saw.” Replace the particle board up to where the tile will stop. While you have the particle board off, you can inspect the deck to make sure it is firmly attached to the floor joists. Now you’re ready for leveling compound (if needed). Read more…

Tile Design Principles & Ideas: Color, Patterns & Texture

For many homeowners ’tile’ also means a material that requires installation by a professional, someone with years of practice and on-the-job experience. Although that may have been true in the past, new materials and techniques make tile installation well within the reach of any homeowner with moderate skills. Installing any kind of tile does take patience, but armed with the right information, most homeowners can install a professional-looking project they will be proud of. Read more…

The Best Technique for Installing Mosaic Tiles on a Floor

Mosaic tiles have been used on floors for centuries. They can be made of any material, including glass, stone or ceramic, and can be plain or come in intricate patterns. Mosaic tiles technically are any tile measuring 2 inches or smaller in the largest dimension. They typically come mounted in sheets to make installation easier, but they still have many special needs during installation. Adjusting for these needs helps to make the installation a success. Read more…

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Glass Tiles

Glass TilesAs with most things in life, glass tiles have their advantages, as well as disadvantages. However, when it comes to these types of tiles, it may be a new topic for those who want to own homes, or build with tiles for the first time. It’s important to consider all of the factors involved in choosing to work with, or forgo, glass tiles.

Firstly, glass tiles come in different types, patterns, and colours, which mean consumers, have many options to choose from when it comes to aesthetics. Homeowners and designers can easily express their creativity and find the tile that best suits their taste and preference.

Another advantage glass tiles have is that they are water tight. Permeation by water, as in the case of ceramic tiles, is very marginal in the case of glass tiles. This means that they will retain their glossy appearance for a long period of time, and that you homeowners can worry less about mould and mildew, which may be the cause of respiratory problems. It also means that glass tiles are suitable for kitchen and bathroom surfaces, where water is usually in abundance.

Durability is another advantage to consider with glass tiles. Due to the fact that they are extremely watertight, they usually have a long lifespan compared to their ceramic counterparts. They also do not decay; this means that you get the value of the money you paid by having minimal repair or replacement costs. They are also very resistant to cracks, which mean that they stay attractive for a longer period of time, adding to the value of your home.

Glass tiles also use less energy to manufacture, when compared to their ceramic counterparts. For instance, a glass tile takes roughly half of the amount of energy needed to create a ceramic tile. There is also an option of recycled glass tiles, for any consumers interested in environmentally friendly products. They are also very easily cleaned. However, though very resistant to stains, it does not mean that they cannot get dirty, but on the plus side, they can be easily cleaned, further adding peace of mind to the homeowners, knowing that they won’t have to replace the tiles often.

Though glass tiles have many advantages, it is also important to note that they also have disadvantages. The first of them is their cost, as they are expensive, especially compared to ceramic tiles. For instance, having repeated patterns may cost up to $100 per square meter, meaning homeowners would have to invest a substantial amount of money for a good-looking pattern.

Another drawback is the difficulty of installation. Installing glass tiles requires specialized labour, which also contributes to the cost, as homeowners will require more money for the installation. They can also be very slippery, due to their smooth surface, which can make them unsuitable for floor surfaces that are prone to spills, especially in bathrooms or kitchens.

As you can see, when debating the option of glass tiles, it is important to consider the pros and cons. Take note of your situation and surroundings to help determine if they would be a good purchase. Considering each factor carefully before choosing any tiles is crucial, specifically when considering glass ones.

Most Common Tiling Problems

Tiling is not as easy as it seems. Using inferior or incorrect tiling products, lack of tiling experience and price cutting just to get the job, frequently leads to tiling problems that emerge weeks or months later. The result – tiles falling off the wall, buckling floor tiles, cracks, water and moifture accummulating behind the tiles, cracking grout, hollow sound under the tiles and many more symptoms of a botched job.

We have listed some of the most common mistakes made on tiling jobs by inexperienced tiling contractors. Find the list here.

Bathroom Tile Problems

Although pretty robust in most circumstances there are a number of problems associated with tiles. When used in a shower, for example, water can get behind the tile and start to affect the adhesive bond used to fix it in place. This can be due to movement cracking the grout, poor fixing, leaks from pipework behind the surface or poor grouting. Read More…

Common Tile, Stone and Grout Problems

Known as “Efflorescence” white stains appearing on the surface of tiles is caused by water penetration underneath stone or tiles. The minerals in the water crystalise, which results in white residue appearing on the surface of tiles. Efflorescence is generally a porous tile issue, however it clusters of the crystals often appear on grout joints due to grout being a highly porous substance.

The source/cause of the efflorescence needs to be identified and addressed by a leak detection expert, or tile and grout specialist, before spending the time and money on the removal of the calcium deposits. Using the wrong products on tiles and grout can be costly and disastrous. Read More…

VIDEO: How Do I Repair Tile in a Shower: Ceramic Tile Repair

Fixing a Leak Beneath Bathroom Tile

When you suspect a leak under the bathroom tile you should take a few steps to fix the leak before other problems develop. This is one of those fixes that needs to be done quickly before it escalates into bigger, more complex problems. Water leaks under the bathroom tile are especially dangerous and can result in structural damage. Here is a quick way to fix the leak beneath bathroom tiles. Read More…

Ways to Tile a Bathroom

Bathroom DesignMosaic ceramic tiles could totally revitalise your bathroom. They are surprisingly easy to work with, in spite of their small size, and can be found in a variety of shapes and colours to offer any tiling project a whole new appearance and feel. Mosaic tilesmay be used on floors or walls, making them extremely versatile.

Why Mosaic Tiles?

Mosaic floor tile sheets are made up of numerous smaller sized ceramic tiles, all set out on a sheet. You can quickly position hundreds of floor tiles at once, which makes installation a breeze. Instead of placing each small tile, you simply have to put up the entire sheet and work from there. A major benefit of mosaic bathroom ceramic tiles is that they can be found in a large range of shades. You can also find them in real mosaic styles, which could call for several sheets. You will need to take care to place each sheet in the best spot in order to create the perfect end design.

Selecting Your Tiles

There are a few things to think about when selecting your bathroom ceramic tiles. Each will have a big effect on how the area appears when you are done. Look at the entire sheet, not just a reference sample, unless you have decided on a strong, single,colour, in which case you have less control over the overall effect.


The tone selected for the ceramic tiles will certainly create the mood. If you are trying for a Mediterranean feel, look for squares in an array of light blues and also whites. An undersea vibe could be caught with a mix of little green and sea blue floor tiles, while warm yellow tiles will make you feel as though the sun is out all day.
Pick your colour carefully, as it will set the tone for everything else, even if it is simply on a tiny component of the wall surface or the flooring. A colour that you like is the natural choice and choosing one that is variegated will give you visual interest for years to come.


Glass floor tiles offer a more elegant feel than regular ceramic ones. They also offer a sense of depth to the style, even though they are clear or transparent. Rock tiles will provide a natural feel to the room, as they are made from compact, chiselled items of your favourite rock.
Ceramic floor tiles have a higher adaptability and durability and are sold in a range of finishes. Rainbow-like finishes can actually make a bathroom shimmer, but a less complex pattern can also look great. Simple matt finishes can give the area a more traditional appearance, such as white brick styles.

Shape and Size

The dimensions and geometric shape of your tiles will help to determine the design of the area. You can select from rectangular brick tiles and also square ones. The smaller sized squares function effectively for a tiny washroom, giving it the feel of a bigger room.
Mosaic tiles can be found in larger than one inch sizes, but don’t expect a rangeto be readily available. The dominant and commonly available sizes are between 1-3 inches.

Have a friend join you for the project. An additional pair of hands will certainly keep tiles correctly positioned, particularly if you are dealing with the wall.