That good attitude that inspires so many Do-It-Yourself projects can be infectious. It can also be disastrous.
When taking on a major project, like tiling a shower, there is a lot that can go wrong.
If you have the confidence to push forward, then let us back you up with some of the knowledge to boot.
Here are some of the biggest problems a DIY tiling project can face.
The DIY Method of Tiling a Shower
As with all DIY projects, you need to do a lot of preparation work.
You will need to know what tools and material you’ll need to get.
There is also a big prospect of design. What kind of bathroom do you want or have? You need to consider the colour, style, and how each of the different parts of the bathroom match.
All of that and we still haven’t focused on the biggest problems you may face and that is the installation.
Where You May Go Wrong
There are a lot of details for any construction project. While many of these mistakes are simple to avoid or fix, the number of things that can go wrong can make any DIY project a mess.
If you are looking to do it yourself, then you will need to watch out for these 10 mistakes and do it right.
1. Mismatched Trowel Size
When setting up all the items you need to start a project, it is good to take inventory of your tools. One of the most valuable and yet most mismatched tools is the trowel.
Not all trowels fit all tiles. Bigger tiles need a deeper layer of thin-set, and as such need deeper notches in the trowel. Double check your trowel size and shape to make sure it is right for your specific job.
2. The Right Cut for No Cracked Tiles
Tiles are sturdy as a floor or wall but can crack when you need to cut them.
Making sure you don’t ruin your tiles when you cut them is a big way to save time and money. You will need a diamond wet saw, and a bit of patience when you are cutting tile.
3. Wrong Layers Underneath
Tiling any surface, flooring even more so, requires sturdy layers from top to bottom. You must make sure you get the right kind of layers beneath your tiles.
If your underlayers aren’t stacking up high enough, you can add on very thin cement board.
When your underlayer is in poor shape, is not sturdy enough, or not thick enough, your tile will crack and break.
4. Incorrect Tile Placement
One of the most frustrating experiences with tiling any surface is when the tiles do not line up straight. Messing up a pattern often comes from a small bit of misalignment when placing some initial tiles.
When making diagonal patterns, you need to ensure that measurements are precise and you have an accurate starting point. Build in pyramid shapes to make keep a solid foundation of the pattern.
Square patterns may be simpler, but you need to check and double check how many tiles go in each line. If a line ends in a partial tile, go over the exact measurements several times so it is not cut too short.
5. Not Dealing with Grout
Grout, for those who do not know, is the paste that fills in the crevices between tiles.
Grout lines that are not cleaned and formed into neat and clear sections can ruin an otherwise beautiful tiling job. Always remember to clean off all excess grout. As well, make sure that each strip is level with or below the tile.
6. Not Cleaning the Walls
There is a lot of dirt, grime, and grease that can accumulate over a while. Even if there is no obvious showing of it, there may be a thin layer on the wall.
If you attempt to add any sort of tiling or layers to the wall, that grime can cause a lot of problems. The grime can mess with adhesive bonds, or build up as a source of bacteria.
Be thorough with your cleaning. Time spent prepping a wall in a thorough and proper way is time well spent because it’ll save you in the long run.
7. Water Proof Backer Boards
When installing tile in water-intensive areas like the shower, it must be waterproof.
Tiling and all of its adhesives are not waterproof by themselves. While some materials can help them be more waterproof, the absolute way to be sure that your inner walls don’t get water damage is a waterproof backer board.
The board must be behind all the tiling work. It will also help to keep the tiling stiff during the process.
8. Improper Caulking
Caulking is the final step of tiling. There must be no errors for a proper seal and clean finish.
Over caulking during a tiling job can make it look messy. Too little caulk and the tiling will not seal and may even look broken and unfinished.
9. “Back Buttering”
The larger the tiles, the more you will need to do to ensure no tile is loose when you finish the job.
The term “back buttering” refers to adding an extra layer of thin-set to the back of each large tile. You want the extra layer to not be too thick, but enough to get a good covering.
This will ensure that there is a better bond for the bigger, heavier tile.
10. Neglecting the Finish
Once all the required materials are set and applied, there is one last process that gets missed so often in DIY projects. That last step is polishing.
Taking a cotton or microfiber towel or sponge, you need to wipe away any debris or grime left over from the job.
You must make sure that the grout film is dry before starting this! The last thing you want is to wipe away your work.
The Professional Touch
All of these tips can help your DIY project avoid disaster. Even with the best of advice, sometimes you need a little bit of the professional help on tiling a shower.
Here at Shower Sealed, we offer the best in shower repair, waterproofing, and regrouting and resealing. When all else fails, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.