DIY New Tiler

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Raul B, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Raul B

    Raul B Member


    I would like to carry out some wall tiling myself on my kitchen. It's going to be metro tiles 10mm (h) x 30mm (w)

    Can someone recommend a new starter kit as well as which tile cutter I should buy please?

    - Combi spreader and squeegee good or should I buy seaparate?
    - Does anyone actually use grout finishers?
    - What size spacers are best 2 or 5mm for metro tiles?

    Do I require a paddle mixer for the grout (4 sq meters I'm working on)? If so, think I'll require an adaptor too? I have both a wired and cordless drill which takes upto 13mm bits...
  2. I-Man

    I-Man Screwfix Select

    Hi - are you sure about your sizes, 1cm x 3cm??
  3. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    lol 10cm by 30cm, thanks for pointing out I will revise!
  4. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    Can't edit description or delete the post, sorry
  5. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    I will have a go at most things, but I leave tiling alone - a DIY tiling job will always look like a DIY tiling job.
    Getting a tiler in for 4sqm will probably cost you less than the tools for the job and you will be left with something that you will be proud of.
  6. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    But it’s so easy to do esp if the walls are straight (apart from the 2 socket cut outs I will need to do). I think it’s grouting that’s the important bit for making it look like a pro did it. The tools itself will only cost £40 max n a tiler will charge no less than £200 which is extortionate if you ask me!
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  7. I-Man

    I-Man Screwfix Select

    Hi, to address some of your points..
    - Screwfix do a basic tile cutter for under £15 - that will do
    - I prefer a separate notched trowel (6mm for wall tiles) and a grout float
    - Never used a grout finisher - you can get a nice finish as long as you apply grout properly and have nice equal spaces (use spacers), then sponge down in a diagonal direction to avoid scraping grout out.
    - there are multiple spacer sizes available 2/3/4/5mm etc.., but suggest 3 or 4 mm for your sized tiles
    - no need for a paddle mixer, you can just do it by trowel as you only have relatively small area. But small paddle mixer will fit into your drill's without any adaptor needed
    Raul B and masterdiy like this.
  8. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    Thanks I-man, that’s extremely helpful. Yes I’ve watched this guy on YouTube ‘Home RenoVision DIY’ and he shows exactly how to apply grout.

    Yes I’m thinking whether to buy a longer tile cutter in case of future projects.

  9. I-Man

    I-Man Screwfix Select

    no worries - look forward to seeing your final results
    Raul B likes this.
  10. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Main thing before you start is the setting out - you need to know where every tile is gonna start / finish / so you have no ‘surprises’ and no awful tile slivers at top of wall

    Made even more tricky if your tiling around windows / doors / bath / etc

    Setting out is everything and well worth investing the time here before a single tile is fixed to the wall

    Metros can be a little tricky cutting around sockets and siliconing in general

    What’s wall condition like that your tiling ?
  11. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    Yes thanks. Deffo will be planning esp ensuring there’s no slivers as that looks awful.

    It’s for my kitchen so on top of worktop. There’s 2 parts I’m unsure of where to begin and end on the 2 main walls... I’ll post some pics.

    Walls are OK but 1 bit is very bad in terms of being straight and that might be a challenge as I need to bring out the tiles to make it ‘look level’. Again I’ll post a pic
  12. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Again, best to sort out that wonky wall now before you start tiling

    A pro tiler could more than likely sort out the unevenness as he/she tiles, by adjusting the tile adhesive bed ..... but - they’re tiling every day

    Get a long straight edge over the wall and mark out where wall is running out. Build up areas with plaster, it’s a lot cheaper than tile adhesive. The flatter the wall is now, the easier, quicker and better end results for your tiling, don’t forget that new plaster will need sealing before tiling
  13. Raul B

    Raul B Member

  14. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Doesn’t matter so much if the walls runs out - more that it’s flat with no dips, bumps, hollows, etc

    ‘Most’ corners aren’t a true 90 angle either but goes un-noticed so not a problem

    Never PVA with tiling - poor advice, wrong product

    Either use a tile specific primer by the brands, BAL, Ardex, Topps Tiles, or use good old SBR diluted 1-4 with water. Will prime and seal PB, plaster, cement, etc, ready for tiling

    Need to reduce photo size, severely limited with the forum software

    Can’t advise on this, I’m not that clued up with such ‘witchcraft’ but it pops up frequently on this site and others can tell you
  15. furious_customer

    furious_customer Screwfix Select

    Sounds like you are where I was a few years ago :)
  16. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    This is the wall I'm referring to. because of the sink cutout/line you can tell how out the wall is! I need to try reduce this so it doesn't look so bad to the eye.

    Attached Files:

  17. Raul B

    Raul B Member

    Interesting on the primer as i've never had builders use this on any of my past projects or family properties...
    So on my newly plastered PB (4 weeks now) which has been mist coated and painted with emulsion still requires a primer before tiling? Which is the cheapest place to buy from and seeing as I'm only doing 4sqm I only need 1 litre (diluted 50/50)?
  18. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    Hadn't seen this thread so a bit late and tiles may well be on wall now.

    I would use premixed adhesive for walls: one less thing to worry about.

    As others have said set out and plan first. I found with metros that a vertical (soldier) course was handy at ceiling if widths didn't match whole tiles: easier to cut and look better.
    Raul B likes this.
  19. Ian1980

    Ian1980 Member

    The walls should not have been painted in the areas where you are tiling. The paint needs removing and the bare plaster primed.
  20. Tuxmark2

    Tuxmark2 Active Member

    I've only done tiling as DIY, a few kitchens and bathrooms I have lived in but thought I would mention grout, I did our kitchen last year with metro tiles and used whatever grout I could get, big mistake because during grouting the tiles got scratched, being dark tiles it really showed up, ended up, embarrassed, ripping the lot off and doing it again, this time, from advice from a decent tile shop, used Keracolor FF, the end result was pretty good, so long as you don't over do the cleaning up part.

    Apparently some grouts have coarse fillers, didn't know that at the time, a clue is the size of the grout line they can fill, the wider, the more filler.
    Raul B likes this.

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