Dear Tile Doctor…
Here are some common questions to our Tile Doctor. If you have any others, ask in person at your local Beaumont Tiles store or drop the Doctor a line here.
I’ve heard choosing the right tile adhesive and grout is critical. If this is true, can you tell me more?
There are lots of reasons and no excuses for a poorly laid tile surface. One of the most common causes is that the person who did the job didn’t choose the right adhesive or grout.
Always use the best possible adhesive. It’s a relatively small cost but it means a lot. When tiles bought at Beaumont Tiles are laid with ABA Adhesives bought at Beaumont Tiles, the whole system is covered by our exclusive 15 Year System Guarantee.
Always choose a flexible, mould resistant grout like ABA Flexgrout. Make sure it’s waterproof if the tiled surface is likely to get wet.
What’s an expansion joint and why do I need one?
Expansion joints are the gaps left between tiles that allow them to move as a building contracts or expands. If you don’t use the correct expansion joints, your tiled surface will be too rigid, and could crack.
When you select your tiles, the Beaumont Tiles consultant will help you with picking joint sizes. We usually recommend between 3mm and 5mm for floor tiles - and you use a spacer to make these consistent.
Remember – no two surfaces are the same, so make sure you ask before you lay your tiles.
How important is it to clean the surface before applying adhesive and laying tiles?
We love our tiles so this question makes The Tile Doctor liken this situation to a surgeon scrubbing down before a life-saving operation.
If you want to put it in less dramatic terms, how important to you is it that your tiled surface looks great and lasts more than a few weeks?
It’s absolutely vital that a surface is clean and free of debris before adhesive goes down. The same applies to the back of your tiles - so don’t overlook this important factor.
When mixing grout and tiling adhesive, what comes first? Water or the grout/adhesive?
This is a great question and has been confusing would-be DIY tilers sicne some mention chickens and eggs in the same sentence.
The usual order for grout is start with water and then add grouting powder. Mix until you have a paste with a consistency somewhere between sour cream and smooth peanut butter.
With adhesive, we usually start with the powder and then add water. Your paste is going to be slightly thicker than grout.
Of course it’s all bets off if you’re using a pre-mixed grout or adhesive. In all cases, follow the instructions to the letter and you’ll almost always come up smelling like roses!
The building of my new house is coming along just fine and I want to save money by laying the tiles myself. How long do I have to wait until a surface is ready?
The answer to this one is complicated because tiles are such a versatile option that can be used in many places. The Doctor will cut a long story short by asking: What surface are you talking about?
Concrete, for example, should be allowed to cure for at least 28 days before it is tiled over.
If we’re talking steel trowelled concrete, it must be roughened and then thoroughly washed or your tiles won’t stick. You may need to fill cracks with an underlay and you’ll certainly need to remove release agents or curing compounds.
If you’re laying on plasterboard, must waterproof it. If you’re tiling brickwork, you’ll need to render first. It goes without saying that painted surfaces need to be stripped and roughened.
All of the above (and that’s not an exhaustive list) mean you need to be patient. The good news is that we have a comprehensive list of surfaces and preparation ideas here.
THE DOCTOR IS IN