Top Tips for Tiling by TV Interior Designer, Julia Kendell
This National Tile Week, we teamed up with TV interior designer Julia Kendell of DIY SOS and 60 Minute Makeover to talk design, materials and equipment. With over 30 years of experience in the design industry, Julia is a huge advocate of using tiling to spruce up your home. Not only can tiles offer a design-led finish more vivid than paint or wallpaper, they’re hard-wearing too.
“I’m a huge advocate for tiles as they are virtually indestructible and brilliantly practical in the home. Hygienic and easy to clean, they will take all the knocks that day–to-day life can throw at them.”
So where do you start when it comes to DIY tiling? Keep Julia’s simple steps in mind, and you’ll be blown away by the results.
The size and shape of the tile you choose will have a huge effect on your overall finish, so don’t make the decision lightly! A tile’s individual weight will dictate the surface it sits on: skimmed plasterboard can only hold around 20kg/sqm, whilst unskimmed can hold up to 30kg. Be sure to collect samples to test in your room before you buy. Tiles labelled “Multiuse” can be installed on the wall or floor.
The material your tile is made from determines how much time you’ll need to spend on it in the future to keep it looking top notch. Ceramic tiles are hardy, easy to install and need very little upkeep. They’re also available in a wide range of sizes, prints and finishes, making them a good value, versatile option. Glass is also low maintenance, and an easy to clean, hygienic choice for spaces with a lot of traffic like the bathroom or kitchen. Whatever material you go for, allow for any mishaps by buying around 10% more tiles than you need. Plan the layout thoroughly so any unplanned breakages will keep stress, and costs, down.
Far from limited to just walls and floors, tiles can be used around the home to create colour and textural interest where you might not expect to find it. Try using them to frame an opening through an open-plan area, or to add a pop of colour to alcoves or chimney breasts – you’ll love the way they look! Added to old furniture they’ll give it new life, along with a one-of-a-kind finish you can’t buy in the shops.
Matte, satin and gloss finishes all offer their own style. A warming matte finish will complement a rustic, shabby-chic aesthetic, while gloss bounces light around in smaller, dark spaces. A satin finish creates a soft, reflective sheen to give the appearance of a larger room.
Trust the Professionals
Finally, if you need to, speak to a specialist. Be sure to always read manufacturer’s instructions closely so you always buy the right adhesive for your tiles. Fitted with the wrong adhesive, all your hard work will go to waste!