D.I.Y. Getting Started

Safety First:

Always wear a dusk mask; to prevent breathing in dust if cutting tiles with power tools, safety glasses, to prevent tile chips getting into your eyes, rubber gloves, to prevent being cut by sharp tile edges and coming into contact with any chemicals contained in adhesives, sealants and glues that may cause skin reactions.

Always keep materials and tools away from children.

Read all instructions before beginning your project.


Room Preparation

Clear the area to be tiled of all furniture and remove all mouldings, fittings or fixtures that will be in the way.


Floor Surface Preparation

Ensure the floor to be tiled is sound, firm, level, clean, and free of dust, waxes or sealers. If the floor is slightly uneven use ASA Self Levelling compound from Tile Trends. This is a great product as it literally self levels to create a nice level surface.

Use your flat edge to identify any uneven surface areas. Remove high spots and fill in any low spots with ASA Self Levelling compound as bumps will cause tiles to crack. Treat surfaces that need to be waterproof with an ASA Dampfix waterproofing compound, and coat any powdery surface with ASA Multiprime primer before tiling. It is very important to prime all concrete, and tile and slate underlay surfaces before applying the adhesive.

In order to make your chalk markings you firstly need to calculate the surface area of the floor you are planning to tile. Remember to allow the same spacing around the perimeter of the room as the space between the tile to allow for the expansion of joints due to floor movement and heat.

Always start tiling from the centre of the room unless you want to start tiling from the doorway for visual effect. To find the centre of the room measure each wall around the area to be tiled. Determine the centre points of each wall and run two string lines (held in place by tape) to their opposite walls. Mark the location where the string lines meet in the middle as this will be your central starting point. Use your set square to check that the intersection of the two string lines is exactly ninety degrees and then mark the full length of the two sting lines with a piece of chalk.

IMPORTANT: These chalk lines are the benchmark for laying all other tiles so make sure all lines run straight and true. Use your set square, spirit level, and flat edge.

Lay one tile on the marked centre and then from there lay out single rows of tiles along the chalk lines in all four directions. Space the tiles using a plastic tile spacer. If there is a gap between the wall and last tile that is less than half a tile, shuffle all the tiles closer to the opposite wall so you do not have to make an unnecessary small cut. Remember to leave enough space for the expansion joints. Spacers come in different sizes. Most tilers use a 3mm spacers in a floor joint and a 1 ½ mm spacer in a wall joint.


Tiling over wooden floors.

Before tiling over wooden floors it is important that joists are placed close enough together that the wooden flooring is not soft underfoot and cause excess movement. Cover the floor with Tile and Slate Underlay from Tile Trends prior to tiling. Prime the cement fibre board with ASA Multiprime. Apply ASA Dampfix waterproof membrane if required. A waterproofing membrane is a must when tiling in wet areas such as showers because the grout between your tiles is not waterproof. Allow the waterproof membrane to dry before you start tiling. Waterproofing will prevent timber swelling and eventual rot which can crack tiles and is expensive to repair. If waterproofing is not completed in wet areas you will have a leak problem. We recommend using Conflex flexible adhesive, check with a Tile Trends retail consultant for the correct adhesive for the job.

REMEMBER: It is cheaper to do it right the first time!

Handy Hint:

Use as many full tiles as possible. Avoid small or narrow tile cuttings wherever possible.


Tiling over concrete floors.

When tiling whole house floors, tiling should be delayed for at least 28 days after pouring concrete to allow it to dry completely and stop shrinking. This is a major reason why tiles will crack if laid on concrete that has not dried completely. The concrete should also be level, clean, and free from waxes, sealants and grease. Water beading on top of the concrete surface is an indication that one or more of the above compounds are present. These should be removed with a floor stripper or the tiles may not adhere to the surface. We recommend using Conflex flexible adhesive, check with a Tile Trends retail consultant for the correct adhesive for the job.

Handy Hint:Allow the same spacing as between the tiles around the perimeter of the tiled area where the tiles meet a wall or other materials – to allow for movement, contraction and expansion. This perimeter expansion joint should be filled in with a flexible silicone sealant the same or similar colour as the grout. Outside tiles generally have a slightly larger grout line.


Tiling over existing ceramic tile floors.

Ensure the surface is clean, free from any loose material, grease or wax. Remove grease or wax with a strong degreasing agent. Before you lay the adhesive, the existing ceramic tiles should be well bonded as any tile movement underneath will result in breakages of the new tiles laid over top. Be sure to get advice from Tile Trends on the correct adhesive to use for your situation. This is generally ASA Asaflex 2 part. Drying time will be greatly increased and could be as long as five days.


Tiling over asphalt tiles, sheet vinyl, or linoleum floors.

Not recommended. Always try to remove vinyl, etc before tiling.

If you must tile over existing materials discuss with a Tile Trends Retail consultant and they will make sure you have the correct materials for the job.

IMPORTANT: Never sand or grind down vinyl asbestos as the tiny asbestos fibres may be released into the air and breathed in causing asbestos related diseases.

Handy Hint:

Always work from multiple boxes of tiles to ensure a good blend of shadings as slight shade differences between boxes of tiles are quite common.


Wall Surface Preparation

Wall surfaces must be structurally sound, clean, dry and perfectly level. Remove any flaking paint and fill in any holes. Use ASA Dampfix waterproofing membrane after priming with ASA Multiprime in any wet areas such as showers as grout is not 100% waterproof.

There are three options when it comes to wall tile layouts depending on the area of the wall you are tiling. For example, is it a plain wall, a wall with cabinets, or a wall with a window that you plan to tile around?

If tiling a full plain wall plan it so that all cut tiles end up at the bottom of the wall.

Full tiles are placed at higher elevations to be more pleasing to the eye. Cut tiles at the bottom of the wall can be disguised under skirting boards.

If tiling a wall around a cabinet, tiles should be cut near cabinet points so that they are out of focal points. These cuttings can be filled and blended in later.

If tiling around a window, tiles should be laid symmetrically along the centre line of the window.

Use a spirit level and flat edge when making all chalk markings to ensure true vertical and horizontal lines.


Counter Top Preparation

A plywood underlay that is securely bonded is required when tiling counter tops. Make your chalk markings by laying the tiles on the counter top as a guide. The tiling layout for a counter top should begin from the front centre of the counter. The vertical `edge trim’ tiles should be laid first, followed by the full tiles placed flat on the counter top. A counter top corner should also start with a whole tile. If you need to make adjustments shuffle your tiles accordingly leaving spaces for grouting and perimeter expansion joints. Once the edge trim markings are complete, lay the tiles around sinks or any other fittings and mark out where they will need to be cut ­ do not cut any tiles just yet. ASA Asaflex 2 part adhesive is recommended over timber. Also enquire about aluminium tile trim which covers the edge of the cut tiles.