When it comes to measuring up for tiling, there are certain dos and don’ts. Make sure you know which are which before you start.
So, you want to know how to tile a bathroom. Pretty straightforward, surely? Make no mistake, whether you’re going for classic white or wild strawberry, tiling can be a trial. And the difficulties can strike at any stage. For instance: the question ‘how do you measure the size of a bathroom?’ is not as simple to answer as you might think.
So, here are a few tips to assist, to take the woe out of your walls and the flaw out of your floor.
How do you calculate the cost of your tiles?
Your tile cost calculator challenge should start with ‘how do I calculate how many tiles I need?’. Here’s how. You need to measure the length and width of the area needing covering, then calculate square metres.
How to find the area: start by getting a piece of paper and a pen. Lay out on there the areas you’re going to tile, whether it’s walls, floor or both. Take measurements of the areas. Don’t forget to make allowance for any area that won’t be tiled, like skirting boards, and, unless you’re going for something really avant garde, windows.
Factor in the pattern – herringbone? Straight? Bauhaus-inspired neo expressionist? Whatever pattern you use will have an effect on the number of tiles you need.
Take the length of the tiling area and multiply it by the width. That’s your area. Add all the areas together to give you the total area to be tiled. And, to really impress the professionals, make sure you use the right unit: the measurement’s in square metres not metres. So, that’s 10 m2, not 10m. Yes! We’ve got this – we know how to measure square metres!
Once you’ve got your total, add on another 10% or so to account for breakages etc.
The tile boxes are usually labelled with the total coverage the tiles will provide, based on the tiles sizes and number of tiles per box. Divide your total area by this coverage figure and you’ll have the number of boxes of tiles you need.
Let’s say I’ve got 15m – sorry 15m2 – to tile, and each box covers 1.75m2? How many tiles do I need? 9 boxes. If each box costs $50, that’s a total tile cost of $450. Easy. (What’s even easier is using on online tile calculator.) Incidentally, that’s a tiles cost per square metre of $30. Very economical, considering the durability, practicality and beauty of a tiled surface.
How do you measure the size of your bathroom? Here are some tips.
So, what’s the standard size of a bathroom? No such thing. In reality, given the range of bathroom varieties out there, there are a great many things to consider when approaching the question of ‘how do you measure a bathroom floor for tile covering?’.
For instance, use a metal tape measure, not a floppy tailoring one. Or, if you’re flash, a laser measuring device. Another person to assist with keeping the measure straight is a good idea, too.
Don’t forget to include alcoves etc. Measure such anomalies separately then add this figure to your total needing covering.
When it comes to the walls, decide whether you’re going for full wall tiling (ie to the ceiling) or a tile wainscot (which is usually about one third of the height of the room), or just floor. If the last option, be sure that the splash factor is going to be at a minimum.
You may think that you can tile around things like vanity units and drains, but this isn’t necessarily the case. When everything’s out you might want to take the opportunity to tile over whatever parts of the floor and wall you can access – this way you can be free to move items around in the future, while always being sure of a great looking floor.
On the other hand, if you’re absolutely certain the layout will never change, then by all means take out those areas you think are going to stay put.
When measuring the shower area, measure the whole space, in other words don’t take out the space taken by the shower control etc. This way you’re covered in case you need to use partial tiles around these areas.
What should you keep in mind when purchasing your tiles?
As with all such things, decide on your budget and try to stick to it. There are some utterly gorgeous tiles out there and, while some are eminently affordable, not all of them are. So you need to ignore the ones you can’t stretch to. Don’t even look at them. Don’t. Good.
As well as the cost factor, you should ask if the supplier is willing to take back unused tiles. Unsurprisingly, they are unlikely to take back individual tiles, but most will take back entire, sealed boxes of tiles.
It’s a good idea to keep a few tiles back for when the odd crack might occur, or if the wall needs accessing for whatever reason.
If the tiles you’ve set your mind on are an unusual shape, ie not square or rectangular, but triangular, and not a standard tile size, then you’ll have some head-scratching to do. If the shape tessalates, then you’ll be able to use it in a tiling pattern. That’s a given.
But you will need to carefully consider how many extra tiles this may mean that you’ll need. A hexagon, beehive type pattern for instance might involve more partial tiles at the edges, hence more wastage, than a traditional square pattern.
Think also about the size of tiles. Larger tiles will require more cutting, but you’ll need fewer tiles per square metre, so swings and roundabouts.
Be sure that you’ve got the right sort of tiles for the job. Wall tiles, for instance, are generally unsuited to floor-use, as they tend to be thinner and more slippery. For use around showers, look for wall tiles with a water absorption rate of 0.5% or lower. Porcelain’s a good choice here.
Floor tiles are thicker and less slippery. On the subject of slipperiness, look out for the COF (coefficient of friction) rating given to floor tiles. This will tell you how likely you are to go flying when there’s water on the floor.
It’s possible to get all-purpose tiles too, ie floor to ceiling tiles bathroom surfaces all covered.
What’s grout all about?
Grout’s the setting paste that goes between the tiles. Can you do without it? Technically, yes, but the tiles will be less stable and might look a bit odd.
Conventionally-shaped tiles in traditional patterns tend to use less grout. Most patterns will need about 3mm thickness of grout between the tiles. Triangular tiles, laid out in a modernist frenzy might take a little more grout, as will tiles with more of an artisan, rough-hewn edge.
Where can you purchase your tiles?
When it comes to where to buy my tiles, it’s important to make the right choice. Tile merchants abound, but good ones can be hard to find. For a great range and a reliable service, VBathroom in Bentley, WA, comes highly recommended. For great floor and wall tile solutions, they’ve got it covered.