DIY Tips For The Weekend

Whether sprucing up your bathroom, revamping the kitchen or tiling a boot room, we've spoken to our tiling experts to help answer some of the questions we hear most often from those beginning their tiling projects!

I'm a tiling novice – what advice do you have for a successful project?

When it comes to tiling, the end result will only be as good as the preparation invested at the beginning! We'd recommend spending at least a third of the time on prep work and making sure your surfaces are ready for tiling. Speak to your local store who will be on hand to help throughout the weekend for more advice.

I've bought tiles, adhesive and grout, what next?

Don't lay a tile until you are sure you know exactly where every tile should be placed, find your centre line and make sure you know where each cut is needed, then check everything again! Our How To videos will give you a detailed overview of tiling at home.

Help! I've used the wrong grout but I don't want to have to start from scratch!

Don't panic! Although not ideal, grout can be removed without having to remove the tiles and it's best to to remove as much of the old stuff as as possible to avoid contamination with your new grout colour. Try this tool.

I'm tiling my conservatory, are there any specific considerations?

Unheated conservatories can be prone to frost in the winter months so it's best to choose a suitably strong tile for this space. Our RegalTM range, particularly the matt and rock finishes would be a good choice and our InaraTM range is another option, all are hard wearing and available in a range of colours. Plus, they're easy to maintain so you don't need to spend too long scrubbing the tiles when it's chilly!

I'm looking to turn an unused space into a wetroom, what tiles should I use for the floor?

Believe it or not, tiles have anti-slip ratings and for good (and fairly obvious!) reasons, to avoid any slip ups, its best to make sure the tiles used for your wetroom are anti-slip. Our range can be found here.

What are the best floor tiles for exterior use?

Outdoor tiles need to be frost proof, strong and safe when wet, make sure you check the anti-slip rating and be sure that your choice is able to withstand the Great British weather! Our new SpacesTM range is an ideal choice, porcelain, anti-slip and easy to lay. The outdoor Spaces range also has a like for like indoor tile and can be combined for that outdoor/indoor look.

Looking at tiling a shower?

As with all DIY projects, preparation is key! When it comes to tiling, preparing the surface to be tiled is often neglected. This is usually thanks to the assumption that all tile adhesive & grout is waterproof and that this will offer adequate protection against ingress by water in wet areas. Sadly, this isn't the case, prevention is better than cure and with the mess, stress and costs associated with water damage it pays to properly prepare your surfaces.

Using either a membrane (matting) or a 2-part paint on system (tanking) is the most effective way to ensure the background is truly waterproof and used in conjunction with a waterproof seal to bond the shower tray or bath to the wall. This simple system, not only prevents leaks and the associated water damage, but it also complies with recent legislation that applies to any new building needing to have any 'wet area' fully tanked or waterproofed.

I'm building a home gym – can you recommend a good floor tile?

A home gym might be a room in your house, a converted garage an annexe or even a shed! Wherever it is, the Garden range is ideal. It can be used on walls and floors, has an anti-slip rating of R11 and is frost proof so can be used in unheated external buildings. What's more, it can be used in dry and wet areas so if you had a connecting ensuite the look would be seamless!

How do I clean grout used on tiles around the bath?

We offer a great grout cleaning product that will aid in removing discoloration from grout, give it a few minutes to do its job (this bit is essential!) and then use a abrasive sponge or pad on the area.

For the best results just use on small areas at a time as opposed to trying to do it all at once. Ideally, it's best to replace old grout, it's porous so bacteria can still be present in the grout even after cleaning and this is the main reason for ugly mould growth. Whichever option you choose, it's always advisable to apply a grout sealer afterwards, otherwise after a couple of months the grout will start to discolour again - 'Prevention is better than cure!'

I want to lay underfloor heating; does this affect my choice of floor tile?

All hard/dense floor tiles can be used with underfloor heating options, however it's worth considering the material, we'd recommend using a porcelain tile as these are better conductors than other options. 

Any final pieces of advice for a tiling novice?

Topps Tiles staff are always on hand, come in store for help, or go online for ‘how to' videos, advice and live chat. Remember, if you don't feel you are fully confident enough to tackle the project yourself, get a professional to do it for you. Topps Tiles staff are fully trained to discuss the best products for you, offer practical design and installation solutions and support you or your tradesperson to install them to the correct standards.


We hope this has helped with your tiling queries - let us know over on our Facebook or Twitter pages how you got on! 


*Terms & Conditions apply