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Planning before laying wall tiles


Always plan the design and layout on paper first, especially if you are going to mix shapes and designs. Take account of the fixtures and fittings in the room as the design will have to work alongside these features.

Try to avoid patterned tiles at internal corners where they will have to be cut and the beauty of the design could be lost. Also try to avoid using a quarter or less of a tile on an end wall or at ceiling level, as the small parts are very difficult to accurately cut without breaking the small end section.

Use a wooden stick and mark the length of tiles in increments along its length and then use it as a tile gauge. Remember to allow spacing for grouting. Use the stick vertically to check the number of rows of tiles to be laid and the space left at ceiling level. If necessary, move the markings up or down the wall to allow at least half a tile to be placed along the top row at ceiling level.

Check the measurements carefully and nail a thin batten as a starting guide level near the skirting. The part-tile below the batten should be at least half a tile width. The part-tiles are fixed after all whole tiles are laid. Measure the wall and mark the centre. Using the stick, plan horizontal rows of tiles on the wall, starting at the lower batten level.

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