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Weekend Home: In the garden: Tips: A simple approach to tiling.

TILING walls is perfect for creating an easy-to-clean tough waterproof surface and is a relatively easy job that needs only basic DIY skills.

Above a basin doesn't need much planning as it's easy tog et the layout symmetrical over such a small area,but if you're tiling wall to wall, some tiles will need to be cut to complete the rows and the layout needs to be properly centred.

Start by making a tiling gauge to help plan how the tiles will fit on the wall.

Simply lay out a row of tiles on the floor and use small plastic tile spacers to ensure they are evenly spaced, then put a length of wood alongside the row and mark the tile positions on it in pencil.

For larger areas,mark the mid-point on the wall and hold the gauge up to it to see how big a gap will be left at the end of each row.

If the gap is very narrow,for example less than about 25 mm/1inch,or alternatively very large and nearly a whole tile wide, the nit will be tricky to cut tiles to fit. Even things out as much as possible by moving your starting point along from the mid-point by half a tile's width.

If you are using a variety of colours, plan the layout on the work top or floor first, then use the tiling gauge to find your starting point.

Spread enough adhesive on the wall to fix about half a dozen tiles at a time. Holding the notched spreader almost at right angles to the wall will leave neat ridges of adhesive that will squash down flat when the tiles are pressed into place.

As each tile goes up,press it well into the adhesive and use tile spacers at the corners to ensure the spaces between are kept even all the way a long. Push them well in so that the grout will hide them when it's applied.

For the ends of rows,it's likely you'll need to cut tiles to fit, so measure the gap,factor in the thickness of tile spacers, then mark where you need to cut on the tile. A cutting jig is much more accurate than a pencil-type cutter and ruler, particularly for small, thick tiles. Either way, simply score and snap the tile to size.

Once all the tiles are in place on the wall,fill in any remaining gaps with the straight edge of the plastic spreader and leave the whole lot to dry for at least 24 hours.

When the adhesive is set,press grout into the spaces between the tiles, scraping off the excess as you go along and then leave to dry thoroughly.

Use silicone mastic to create a watertight seal between the splash back and work surface,neatening up any lumps and bumps with a moistened finger.

Finally, take a damp cloth to wipe off grout smears from the tiles and leave a sparkling finish.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 22, 2004
Words:498
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