Staircases are not always the most glamorous installation in your home unless you live in a grand, luxurious large home where the staircase makes a big impression on opening the front door. Tiled staircases can really make an incredible, practical, long lasting impact on an interior and many luxury hotels or commercial businesses will have impressive tiled staircases installed.So, what type of tile would you need to use on a domestic interior staircase and how do you tile a staircase compared to tiling a wall or a floor? Well, the process of tiling stairs is pretty much the same as for any tile installation, but there are a few things to consider.TilesThe tiles to use would need to be slip resistant and suitable for floors.PreparationWith tiled stairs there is a lot of preparation involved for both internal and external tiled stairs. Firstly, it’s important to get the measurements correct in order to work out the square meterage required and to do this you would need to measure both the length and width of the stair and the vertical riser of each stair. Once you have calculated the square meterage then remember to allow for an extra 10% – 15% for breakages, cuts and wastage. Once measured and the tiles ordered, you are ready to prepare the staircase for tiling. Most internal staircases are constructed of wood but if your staircase or steps are concrete then the same preparation applies except there may be a need to use levelling compound if you find the stairs are not level.Ensure the area is flat, clean and dust free. If the staircase to be tiled is constructed of wood then it is key to make sure there is no movement and that each stair is completely secure. If your staircase is not solid and secure after the tiles have been applied, it will result in cracking of the grout and the tiles. You may also have to reinforce the stairs to take the weight of the tiles. Each stair will also have a nose board on the front of it – this will need to be cut flush to the riser – make sure the cut is smooth and free of any dust. Once you have completed all your preparations you are ready to apply the tiles. Applying your tilesFor a successful, professional job start at the top of the staircase tiling the vertical stair risers. Use an L square on both sides to ensure the tiles are plumb (remembering to leave a gap for the grout). Start from the centre of the stair and work outwards. It is important to leave a gap of around 3mm and to keep this consistent use 3mm tile spacers to give an even gap around each tile. This is absolutely necessary to avoid any future cracking of both the tile and grout on the staircase. Once you have worked your way down the staircase and with all the tiles in place, the grout will need to be applied. GroutingAs with most tiling jobs it is advisable to leave grouting the tiles for at least 24 hours after the tiles have been installed to allow enough time for the tile adhesive to dry properly. When choosing the grout you will need to take into consideration that it will need to be able to withstand the wear and tear of constant use, be durable and flexible. So, job done nearly…FinallyAfter leaving the finished grout to dry for a further 24 hours, good tiling practice requires the tiles to be cleaned to remove any excess grout to reveal a beautiful tiled staircase.
Bathrooms are surely the no.1 choice to decorate using tiles, with tiles having the most practical, hardwearing and waterproof properties as well as a huge choice of styles, colours shapes and sizes.How easy is it to tile a bathroom? With obstacles such as sink and toilet pedestals, showers, windows and door frames to consider there is a lot of planning and preparation involved to create the perfect tiled bathroom.So, first of all what tools do you need? Well, the checklist below is a lists the tools you are likely to need:-PencilLevelTape measureSpongeBucketTile cutter Tile nipperNotched Trowel or SpreaderSquareRubber grout float *Sander**Piece of timberAnd importantly for your own health and safety:-Safety gogglesDust maskGlovesKnee pads (depending how good your knees are!) There are additional tools such as a contour or layout tool that can be included in your list for those awkward cuts or you can go back to basics and use card or paper to make a template. So, with your tools and safety wear sorted, next is to measure the area that needs to be tiled (remembering to allow 10% for breakages and spares).Whatever the job, the key to a successful and professional looking finish is always in good preparation. Walls and floors to be tiled need to be flat and clean – some areas may need *sanding so be sure to remove all dust before applying the tiles.Planning how to apply your bathroom tilesOne way of ensuring the tiles run symmetrically on the wall is to try using a ‘gauging stick’ to mark out where the tiles will need to be placed. This is where the *timber in the tool list comes in. Lay the timber (which should be just over half the width of the wall) and put the tiles and spacers along its length and mark with a pencil. A second piece is used to place tiles widthways.Measure the width of the wall and draw a vertical line at the midway point. Do the same for the height. Use the ‘gauging sticks’ to mark out a grid where the tiles will start and end. Adhesive is applied to the tile and tiling starts at the bottom of the wall, working in an upward direction, not forgetting to cut any tiles required before applying adhesive.For the floor just as for the walls, preparation is all important. Ensure the floor is clean, dry and level. If the floor is constructed using floorboards it will need to have something like a ply covering to level it.Using the same method of measuring to find out the midpoint of the floor as for the wall and start by dry laying the tiles working outwards towards the wall or first piece of bathroom furniture (bath, loo or sink pedestal). Mark the position of the last complete tile and draw a line from one end to the other. Lay your tiles along this line (you could use battens if working on a plywood base) checking regularly the tiles are flat and straight.Cutting tiles around those awkward shapes.Depending on your chosen tiles you can use a tile scorer or a tile cutter. For porcelain or natural stone tiles over a 15mm thickness a tile saw is better. And for those awkward curved cuts around a toilet or a pipe you can choose a tile nipper or tile saw to create a neat curve. If you don’t have a contour tool or layout tool then make a card template to mark out on the tile where the cut needs to be and remember to wear safety goggles! After grouting and cleaning the tiles, your finished bathroom will look amazing.
With the business and economic climate we are currently experiencing, it may seem like a bad time to consider starting up a new tiling business and becoming a self-employed tiler. But, for the construction industry, there appears to be some bright light at the end of the tunnel compared with other business sectors who are experiencing difficult times. Since March this year, the world of work in the UK has changed – shaken, stirred, turned upside down and inside out and for many people who were in employment then, have now found themselves without employment as their employers have suffered an economic Tsunami.If you have been considering changing career, attaining a new skill or simply need to find some form of employment, then seriously consider the option of becoming a highly skilled floor and wall tiler.The tiling industry is a part of the ever growing UK construction industry – with the demand for building new homes across the country and the domestic markets’ increased demand for interior and exterior makeovers, now is a good time to think about diving in and taking the plunge on running your own floor and wall tiling business.Finding the right course that will give both the practical skills and theoretical skills is key to your future success and with a considered investment in our tiling training courses you are more than halfway to building a successful business.In addition to the practical skills and detailed course information acquired at UK Pro Tiling Training there is continued support with the (optional) Elite Aftercare Package to give you peace of mind and a professional ‘help line’ for when you need it.In addition to the practicalities of starting a business (take a look at www.gov.uk/set-up-business ), what are the personal qualities you need to run a tiling business or be a successful self-employed tiler? Qualities such as self-motivation, the ability to work long hours, offer fantastic customer service, develop good negotiating skills and have a great understanding of your market (i.e. your customer requirements) these personal attributes are key to being successfully self-employed and having a great business.If you are looking to be self-employed only without the additional responsibilities of employing people, then learning how to price up and quote for potential jobs should be a bit easier than having to consider what each job will cost to cover all your material and labour costs. But whether self-employed or running a tiling business employing people, the basic business skills crossover. Most importantly, get your name (or business name) outthere! Marketing costs can be expensive and you don’t want to blow your budget. Use social media platforms, word of mouth, place a sign with your name, contact details and profession where you are working and advertise on your vehicle before placing costly adverts.So what is the importance of networking when running your own business?Well, by having knowledge of and contact with good quality suppliers who will negotiate with you on the best prices, advise on current market trends and put you in contact with other businesses that you could work alongside with ( for example kitchen and bathroom fitters, decorators, builders) will only grow your reputation when working alongside these businesses. Consider widening your network by joining a local business support group and attending professional events and trade fairs (when it is possible to do so) and keeping up to date with the latest tiling trends will impress potential clients.If you are a UK Pro Tiling Training trained floor and wall tiler, your toolbox will be filled with all the skills, knowledge and continued professional support then your tiling business is bound to thrive.
As you start to grow your business and want to offer your customers the very best service, you may be able to save yourself (and your customers) some time and, indeed, money. If you can acquire some additional skills and knowledge outside of tiling it may save you having to try and find, and then pay for, some of the other trades people. Be aware that some jobs will definitely need you to get qualified trades people involved.Know when to use an expert.If you feel any electrical installation or modification is needed, then don’t be tempted to tinker yourself. Not only could this be dangerous, but also illegal. The same goes for plumbing and definitely if you feel a gas supply needs moving.Another time when you should get an expert opinion is where any structural changes are taking place as part of the work being carried out.Maybe do try this at home.Many other jobs which might be taking place in areas you are tiling could be tackled by yourself. If there is to be small adjustments to studwork, maybe around a bath or shower area, it might be worth teaching yourself the skills needed to carry this out yourself. Often, befriending a carpenter or other tradesperson could be mutually beneficial. They might be happy to offer you tips rather than tackle a very small project themselves.With studwork in place, another skill which is relatively easy to acquire is plasterboarding, maybe behind an area to be tiled. Be sure to check on the correct specification for the area. Behind a shower area for example, will need a specialised moisture resistant board.You don’t need to be a plasterer.Many of us have watched skilled plasterers and been in awe at the smooth flat finish they achieve. If an area needs plaster work repairing or replacing before you can tile, try and become confident enough to apply a browning, bonding or other undercoat. If you can get this flat enough to tile over, there really is no need to spend out on a plasterer. The finish doesn’t need to be silky smooth.Finishing touches.If your customer is having the majority of a room tiled, you might feel confident enough to offer to decorate any remaining wall space, be sure to research the best methods and use the best materials. Also, having the right tools will mean you can confidently fit mirrors and other finishing touches to the tiled walls.Be sociable.And don’t forget your admin! Being up to speed with social media marketing and other effective advertising platforms will save you money and hopefully generate income. If you can learn to use bookkeeping tools and understand Inland Revenue returns and documentation this could avoid employing an expensive accountant. As with the trades listed above, if you are really not confident, it is still better to bring in an expert.Get in touch with us to chat about your tiling career, we have courses to suit all levels of experience and knowledge.
If you’ve only ever worked in domestic properties, not employed through agents, major contractors or other organisations, you quite possibly have got used to dealing with the customer directly. You will have been responsible for every aspect of the work from start to finish and will have needed just your skills and your customer service. Working on large sites as a subcontractor comes with added complications and requirements.Health And Safety Executive (HSE) The HSE offers advice on how you should approach working as a subcontractor. Like all trades people on site, you are there in your capacity as a tiler and should only work in the area designated and only carry out the tasks you are there for. The main contractor will have policies for each site regarding disposal of waste (and whether you or their own staff will do this) and which PPE is appropriate for both the job in hand and the site itself. You should never assume anything or ignore risks on sites. Most have site managers and safety officers who you should approach with your concerns or queries.Power ToolsAgain, the HSE is a great source of advice. The main message is that tools should either be battery powered or operate using 110 Volt with Centre Tapped to Earth (CTE) system which ensures the total voltage doesn’t exceed 55 Volts. When you are asked to price work on sites, take into consideration tools which you may need to buy or hire.Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)To obtain a CSCS card, which will give you access to construction sites, where you can work as, or for, a subcontractor, you will need to have passed an accredited CSCS Health and Safety at Work course. This is the minimum requirement for anybody wishing to work on a construction site. It is more complicated than that though: As a skilled tradesman, you will need to have a skill specific card.Using NVQ To Obtain Your CSCS Card Check out our NVQ courses to see how we can help you get the level of qualification you need. The cards are colour coded depending on your level of experience. A trainee can get a red card before achieving an NVQ qualification although they would be unable to work on site alone. Similarly with the green card, you will effectively be just an ‘operative’. Achieve an NVQ level 3 or above and you can get your Blue, Gold or Black cards which will show that you are a skilled operative, a supervisor, or manager and can operate on construction sites accordingly.We have courses to prepare you for all levels of tiling and to get you feeling comfortable about working on construction sites. You’ll need to be switched on to the business aspect of the job, and fully understand payment terms and contracts with larger organisations. Don’t forget we offer a one day course which has some great content to help you with your business model.Get in touch today and let’s get your journey to construction sites started.
How else to make real impact at the front door than with a beautifully tiled hallway. Both a chic and practical entrance to a property being hard wearing, durable and with a resistance to muddy and wet footprints.Using floor tiles, either plain or patterned in the hallway will need careful preparation and planning. Most floor tiles are larger than wall tiles and most importantly choose a tile that has a non-slip finish. The style and type of floor tile will depend on the property and client choice.With the floor measured and tiles chosen, prior to preparing the floor remember to wear heavy duty gloves and safety goggles, the removal of old tiles or getting the floor ready for applying the tiles may have shards of old tiles, large splinters etc. that could cause damage to hands and eyes. So, in the preparation of the hallway floor it may require some form of levelling and cemented backer board if the floor isn’t even or have a concrete base (tiles can be laid on any dry concrete level base). But if this isn’t the case it will be necessary to ensure the floor is levelled and suitable.Can you lay new tiles over an existing tiled floor? It is possible and essential that the tiles are firmly laid if so. If the floor has a vinyl covering, ensure the surface is coated with a primer. For laying the tiles, choose a specific adhesive necessary for the floor type – for example if the floor is a wooden floor or concrete. Equally, if the floor to be tiled is of a wooden/timber construction then it may be advisable to strengthen it by using an appropriate plywood (an exterior grade ply would be best).Once the floor is prepared, laying the tiles out is the next step. Dry laying using the key tile (that is the first tile that will be laid ) will set the rest of the layout. It is usual to start as central as possible so the key tile will be laid in this central position, followed by laying a row of tiles from the centre to the wall. This will give you an idea of what the floor edges will look like. Preferably, there shouldn’t be a small slither of tile at the edge, so if this is the case, move the tile line so that you have an even and equal edge on both sides. From this point continue the dry laying leaving a gap of around half a tile around the edge of the hallway these will need to be cut to size. For an immaculate and professional finish, take the chosen adhesive for the floor, spread around a metre of the adhesive evenly, working outwards to the hallway wall and ensuring that the markings that indicate the position of the key tile are still visible, and lay the tile. Tile spacers can be used and with the first tile in position continue at right angles across the floor ‘criss crossing’ the key tile and checking the level of the tiles regularly.Once your floor is covered leaving only the edge tiles to lay, make sure excess adhesive is cleared from the edges to ensure a level finish. Apply adhesive to the edge tiles and not the floor to lay them. Finally use a well mixed grout appropriate for the tiles used and finish off the hallway corners with a flexible sealant matching the grout. After removing and leaning off any excess grout and whether the hallway is tiled with patterned or plain tiles, the final finish will be impressive, long lasting waterproof and damage proof. Perfect.
So what type of tile to use? Well, firstly, porcelain tiles are used in favor of the ceramic tile as the porcelain tile is a more dense and stronger form of ceramic. Porcelain tiles that have a rating suitable for flooring can be laid outside. And the tiles will have a textured finish in order to avoid any slippery accidents.Depending on personal choice (and maybe budget), the type of property and the overall look that is to be achieved, then a slate tile could be considered. The slate tile will need to be of a higher quality grade and make a great choice for exteriors as they have a resistance to stains and are non-porous. And where slate has been used in interior and exterior designs it gives a very eye-catching and striking look.So why choose tiles over the more common (and popular) brick or paved exteriors? Well if you are looking to add a bit of style, individuality and uniqueness to your outside space, tiles will give you a wider choice of style, colour and pattern than the more usual brick and paved look.There are things to consider when choosing tiles to be outside such as what is most appropriate for the climate and environment that the patio/ exterior space will be exposed to. We know that porcelain tiles are preferable to ceramic as it is a much more hard-wearing tile but isn’t the only option to choose from. Consideration for how the outside space is going to be used will be another important factor when choosing your tile.For a patio/ outside space that will be used with heavy footfall (commercially or domestically) then the stronger the tile type the better; after all there is nothing worse than looking out on to your new outside area and a couple of cracked tiles appear.Having looked at porcelain and slate, the quarry tile is a popular choice being strong and functional and if choosing the quarry tile, remember there is limited choice of colours to choose from and think about the climate where they are to be laid, as quarry tiles are not the greatest choice for cold and freezing temperatures. They do have a great resistance to water and are hugely popular in warmer climates, after all, haven’t we at some time sat on a warm, red quarry tiled terrace? And, being unglazed, the other great advantage of the quarry tile is that they are non-slip.Maybe if you are looking for a bit of luxury (and may blow the budget a bit) granite tiles could be used, but, because they are normally highly polished then the ‘slip factor’ is high if the granite tiles get wet and because granite is more porous than some of the other materials it will require some regular maintenance by sealing it against water penetration. But if your choice is to go for a more luxurious and high maintenance look then granite tiles may appeal.Then we come to travertine, a natural stone, which, depending on where it is quarried, can vary in its quality but is still a strong and durable tile. For a higher quality and more water resistant tile, travertine tiles from Italy or Turkey are a good choice. Travertine is a beautiful tile with earthy, warm tones and texture.With the various choices of tiles available, it is highly likely that budget, style and colour and how the patio or outside space will be used will have an influence on which tile will be best for your outdoor patio.
PreparationAs with most tiling jobs, what you do before you even start is just as important as the tiling itself. In fact, with a wet room, the preparation is the most important part. Planning is essential, check that the tiles chosen will work with the style and placement of the drain being used. Also consider the user of the wetroom, for example, is it important for the tiles to be non-slip.The tiling will be done over a tanking membrane. A tanking system comprises of a primer, self adhesive latex tapes and water guard membranes that will line the walls stopping any water, This should result in a completely waterproof bathroom and is quite a specialist skill. Only tackle this part of the work if you are experienced in preparing wet rooms.Plan The Whole FloorTry to arrange the tiling pattern in such a way that you are minimising the number of cuts needed to complete the job. Setting out the floor is the most crucial part, The tiles that fall on the wetroom tray have to be cut according to the slopes of the aqua tray that has been installed below, this is known as envelope cutting, it is important to cut the tiles on a wet saw at the correct angles so the gap where the wet saw has cut can be grouted to form the seal between the tilesBest Tile Types For WetroomsCeramic tiles are not ideal if being used over a sleek, frameless drainage grill. Because of the nature of their manufacture, these tiles may show the ceramic colour underneath the glass polished finish. They are fine for creating a waterproof finish though and will suit many wet room applications.Porcelain Tiles are harder than ceramic and therefore more difficult to cut. This does mean they are extremely resilient and maybe a better choice for a wetroom which is going to have a lot of use. With a consistent colour, they are much more likely to look sleek when used with a central or linear drainage system.Natural Stone Tiles are just that, natural. Because of this, they might not be completely uniform and may cause slight issues where there is a very shallow fall for drainage. It is also important to make sure they are fully waterproof.Mosaic tiles are a popular choice as they add a non slip property to the floor, they can also look aesthetically better as there are no diagonal cuts leaving al tile joints square with the outside tiles of the wetroom trayAdhesive and groutA good quality primer over the whole surface will avoid any danger of dust or dirt breaking your adhesive layer and help to bond the latex tapes and paints. Adhesive should be applied with a 12mm notched trowel over the whole floor. A dot and dab system will inevitably lead to problems later on, wet rooms must be 100% waterproof, and the adhesive is just one component of that. Use rapid set, flexible adhesive, ensuring it sets on the waterproof membrane.Allow for the very best grout when costing a wet room. Top of the range wet room grout is Epoxy grout which is chemical resistant, flexible, perfectly waterproof and strong enough to withstand even the most vigorous cleaning.Looking to learn new tiling skills, we have courses to suit everyone from complete tiling novices to those who have been in the game a while but are looking to top us their skills.Get in touch today to find out more.
All construction trades are in demand – but that’s especially true for tilers. The UK is currently seeing a mass shortage of wall and floor tilers, which is pushing up prices and creating opportunities.There are two directions of work for an aspiring wall and floor tiler. One is the domestic market where people remodel their own homes. The other is site work where new homes are being built. How much tilers get paid in the UK?Tilers average around £30 – £40 per metre for fitting, or a minimum £200 per day.That equates to between £50K-£70K per year for experienced tilers.Professional Tilers will usually charge around £30 per metre square for fitting ceramic tiles or £200-£250 per day (In the north) or around £45 per metre (in the South) for general domestic tiling work, good tilers are usually always in demand. Think of an average bathroom which is roughly 25 square meters on the walls and 8 square meters on the floor ( 3 days work= £900), a conservatory floor tiling job would be roughly 12 square meters, this should take only a day to complete (£360). Kitchen splash backs (£200-£250) for the day, both plus material profits.In addition to these rates above you can add extra profit by selling all the materials and adhesives the job requires to your customers due to buying with discounts through your trade accounts, so if you are thinking of starting a business this is earnings you could expect once you get established and up to speed, a £1000 – 1500 per week could be achieved. The skills you need
- Basic maths skills are required to calculate areas and materials, both when you create estimates for work and undertake the project.
- A keen eye for detail. Tiling is precise work where cuts have to be measured and made accurately
- General fitness and good health. Tiling can be quite physical especially if you have to remove old tiles in preparation for starting a job.
- Cleanliness. You have to work cleanly to avoid stains and damage from cement adhesives.
- Consider offering a commission for every job they pass onto you.
- Try and find your local shop fitters who are currently working on shop refurbishments. These projects usually need floor tiling done.
- Introduce yourself to floor screeding service tradesmen, as they do floors that might soon need tiling.
- Facebook. Setup a business page and promote yourself with pictures and testimonials. Include your contact details with every post.
- Church parish magazines. Visit your local church and ask them if they do a monthly magazine or newsletter then ask them about advertising in it.
- Estate agents. These are always looking for tradesmen for the property developers on their books, and the properties they rent.
- Insurance companies are always looking for tradesmen to correct damaged properties, fires, floods etc. Ring the insurance companies and ask who to speak to about getting subcontracted work.
- Checked & Vetted services. These work very well. Ask them what and how they charge for getting referrals to customers.
- Vehicle signage. This is essential. Get yourself a van and make sure it displays your business name and contact details.
- Setup Google pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
- Win more repeat business
- Sell yourself to potential new customers
- Convert pricing and estimates into active jobs
- Ways of finding work
- Handling first meetings
- Pitching your services
- Closing a sale
- Handling objections
- Understanding the marketplace
- How not to ‘oversell’
- Reading body language
- Establishing common ground with your customer
- Customer buying modes
- Understanding reciprocation
- Setting goals
- How to get started
- Choosing a business name
- Bookkeeping basics
- How to pay yourself
- How tax and NI work when you’re self employed
- Marketing your services
- Setting up trade accounts
- Measuring, pricing and estimating jobs
- Keeping ahead of the competition
Patterned floor tiles, particularly those with geometric shapes, started to become really popular in the middle of the 19th century. Public buildings and illustrious villas, along with churches, were originally the places to find this touch of Victorian grandeur. They soon became fashionable and, as manufacturing costs fell, elaborately decoratively tiled floors began to filter through the classes and were soon being used in the hallways of even the most basic terraced houses. As fashions changed over the decades, these tiled floors were often covered over with carpet, or worse, taken up completely.Inevitably, these tiles time came around again and not only are classic floors being lovingly restored, but manufacturers are happily supplying those looking to refurbish their homes with retro styled tiles.Patchwork tile influences.Whilst the use of decorated and geometric patterned tiles goes back to Victorian times, the influences go back further still. Designs based around gothic themes, replicating religious structures and art, often heavily embossed, were being used back in medieval times. In fact, historians point to the bright coloured, mesmerizing flooring patterns, particularly in more affluent buildings, to allay the myth that the medieval period was all about mysterious darkness. Patchwork patterns of tiles, forming elaborate larger pictures have been found on the floors of chateaus, churches and many other ancient buildings around the world. It is a testament to the interior design skills of those architects that, hundreds of years later, their designs are being replicated on modern tiles.Many patterned and geometric tile patterns have also evolved from the intricate walls and floors of historic buildings across the Middle East. Throughout the ages, Islamic art has featured elaborate and detailed patterns, often in the form of pathwork or through the use of mosaics.Contemporary Patchwork TilingMany manufacturers are becoming more adventurous with tile design. Seizing on the trends we’re talking about here, they are taking the influences of older style patterned and patchwork tiles and adding some modern twists. Many customers enjoy the feeling of being trend setters and using tile designs which are both bang up to date as well as classic. With this in mind, you will find plenty of tiles on offer which have been designed by names from the fashion houses of traditionally classy countries such as Italy. Modern manufacturing techniques offer variations in texture, finish and glazing. An apparently random selection of colourful patterns may actually be the result of some extravagant interior designing, rather than actually being random.If your customer is looking for something a little bit different when choosing their tiles, encourage them to have a think about maybe mixing the ideas together for a unique effect.We’re here with all your tiling courses and resources, ready for you to take the next step with your tiling career. Why not keep up to date with our Facebook Page and follow our blog.Get in touch today to find out which tiling courses might be perfect for you.