Tiling Around a Tub: How to Get the Perfect Finish

Tiling around a bath can be a great way to refresh your whole bathroom, and it may not be as hard to do as you think! Let our handy guide take you through the process:

What you'll need:
Bathroom tiles
Tile mastic
Tile spacers
Large sponge

1) First up, make sure you choose tiles that are designed for use in the bathroom, you can find our range here.

2) Before you start tiling, make sure that the walls around the bath are clean and dry. Remove any flaking paint or wallpaper - anything that is stopping the wall being a clean, smooth surface.

3) Measure the height of the back wall from the edge of the bath to the top of the section you want to tile. Divide it in half then mark a line at that point.

4) Use your chosen tiles to check whether you'll end up needing to use small bits of tile (less than half) if you work from this line. If so, move the line downwards by that small amount so you'll have only full tiles along the edge of your bath.

5) Repeat these steps, this time measuring the back wall horizontally and dividing it in half but adjusting this vertical line to the left or right if you'd need slivers of tiles on each side.

6) The intersection where these lines meet is your starting point. Spread a generous layer of tile mastic onto a section measuring about 2 or 3 square feet. Use your trowel's grooved edge to make ridges in the mastic.

7) Time to lay your first tile! Press it firmly into place at the meeting point of your two drawn-on lines, making sure it sits flush with the lines both vertically and horizontally. Unless you have self-spacing tiles, use plastic spacers to make sure your tiles are laid at an equal distance from each other.

8) Work simultaneously along and downwards from your first tile, leaving a space along the edge of your bath for caulk.

9) If you need to cut tiles into parts, hold them up against the last full tile and mark how much you'll need to cut off, then use a tile cutter.

10) Now the back wall is done, continue the horizontal line you marked out along the end walls. Draw the vertical lines as before, then start tiling from their intersections once more.

11) When you reach any protruding fixtures - the shower supply pipes for example - use tile nippers to make notches in the tiles that will surround the fixture so they can slot around it. If the fixture only affects one tile, drill a hole in it with a diamond-grit hole saw then position the fixture through the hole and press the tile into the mastic.

12) Leave the mastic to set overnight.

13) Grouting time! Spread grout on all three walls using a rubber trowel, forcing it into the joints. Let it cure for 20 minutes then use a large damp sponge to wipe the grout from the surface of the tiles.

14) Fill the joint between your bath's edge and the first line of tiles with siliconised acrylic caulk in the same colour as your grout. Before you start sealing around your bath, fill it up with water. This will account for the movement that will happen when the bath is being used.

Job done!

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