If you are laying floor tiles in the bathroom then have a look at this handy video for some good tips and advice.
 
 
_A Bank Holiday provides a perfect opportunity to catch up with those jobs and small DIY tasks. Some tasks simply take more than a few days to organise and complete, which is why a Bank Holiday is a perfect opportunity.

Tiling jobs tend to be high on the DIY agenda and our guides on Blogspot highlight the different tools for cutting ceramic tiles, so we thought we would also focus this quick post on one of the other key areas of tiling and that is the installation of those tiles

Spacers
These are probably one of the most critical items that you cannot forget during a trip to a DIY store. Spacers can come in different mm and will differ depending on if you are laying floor tiles or wall tiles. They are cross shaped and placed on the corners of the tiles to make create an equal space between each tile.

Trims
If you are laying bathroom floor tiles you may require a trim, which can go at the edge of a bathroom tiles or the edge of a kitchen splash back. These need to be used and placed as you are laying the tiles so they will look natural and not stuck on.

Jagged Trowel
You will need to create a grooved surface of adhesive in which to place the tiles onto the surface. This can be created using a jagged trowel, which will create the grooves. If you are tiling a large area, make sure you place enough adhesive to place a few tiles at a time. Do not cover the whole wall as it will dry before you have laid all the wall tiles.
 
 
Ceramic tiles will look stylish in any home. Discount tiles can be found online or at hardware stores. You will be able to You can find many types of ceramic tiles that will discount and this feels like an even better deal. There is so much choice out there in ceramic tiles that anyone can find a colour scheme to suit your kitchen, bathroom or front porch.

When you are looking at the tiles, try and imagine them in your home. Think about which rooms are already bright or have a lot of natural light. If your kitchen is already dark, then buying dark discount tiles might not be a suitable option. If you want to go for a dark theme with the wall tiles consider breaking the wall up with some bright tiles mixed in within the pattern.

You can also save money with laying the tiles yourself. If tiling a large area it might advisable to get a professional in, as one wrong tile might affect the whole wall. Also, the weight of some tiles might not be suitable for a wall, so it's best to check this before your purchase. Laying floor tiles can become a DIY project, but consider how long the room can be vacant for before you start, as tiles cannot be moved or walked on as they are setting.
 
 
Preparation is everything and the same can be said for planning ahead. Mark out the centre of the room and remove the door and floor skirting boards to get the full distance of the room. 

Top tip is to plan and layout the floor tiles beforehand to make sure you have found the centre before you start cemeting the tiles to the floor base.
 
 
Redecorating can be fun and if you have any leftover wall tiles that are either spare, cracked or broken then keep these as there are many other uses for tiles...

1./ If you have have broken corners on tiles, break up the rest of the tile and create a picture or work of art from grouting a small board and placing those tiles to create a mosaic that will be unique.
2./ Use a standard tile as a coaster or a hot plate for placing the teapot on or for hot drinks if using outdoor furniture
3./ Personalise the bathroom accessories with the mosaic approach around the tiles
4./ If you have a bathroom mirror or frame that needs brightening up, use a similar approach and decorate the frame with the tiles.
5./ Keep the whole tiles as spares and if a tile is broken or smashed accidently you will at least have spares that can used as replacement wall tiles.
 
 
If you have decided to decorate a bathroom there is a certain criteria to look out, or at least make sure you consider. Bathrooms should be fitted with floor tiles and wall tiles. There is a reason for this and it isn't because they are pretty. The main reasons are listed below:

Showers and baths hold and use a lot of water. If you think about when you step out onto a floor there is alot of excess water and this will land on the floor. Therefore a carpet can quickly get damp and mouldy.

Floor tiles and wall tiles around the shower can easily be wiped down and kept clean. These will need cleaning on a daily basis. Wallpaper will also start to get damp and start warping, which is why wallpaper is generally not used within a bathroom.

A bathroom also needs floor tiles as these can benefit from underfloor heating better than carpet or any other flooring.
 

Refresh a Kitchen

11/07/2011

 
We’ve all been there, your kitchen is getting old but you either can’t afford or don’t have the time to do a complete revamp. There are a number of smaller projects you can undertake on a variety of budgets in order to give back some life to that aging kitchen, from a simple lick of paint to replacing your kitchen tiles.

Paint

Paintwork in any room gets dirty over time and this is especially true in the kitchen. Grease and water marks from steam can build up and make the room look awful. A new coat of paint can solve this and make a world of difference to the look of the room. Dark paint is less likely to look dirty quickly but light paint gives the room a much airier look.

Textiles

Replacing curtains or blinds in a kitchen can make a big difference. Sometimes just washing them can be enough. Once you get all the grease and dirt out of kitchen curtains they can look almost brand new. The same goes for the table cloth if you have a dining table, try to have a few and rotate through them. Each can give the room a completely different look.

Cabinets

This is more of an expensive option but can give the impression of a completely new kitchen. If the doors on your kitchen cabinets are starting to show their age you could replace them. You don’t need to replace the cupboards themselves just the doors. There are many off the shelf options from major DIY retailers and this doesn’t have to be an expensive and massive undertaking.

Accessories / Appliances

If you are the sort of person that has mugs and other accessories on display then simply replacing these can make a difference. If your appliances are getting old and dirty replacing them can give a whole new lease of life to your kitchen.

Tiles

Tiles within the kitchen are another place where grime and dirty build up can occur. Giving your kitchen floor tiles a good clean can make a massive difference but if it’s too late for that you could think about replacing. Tiles are available on a budget and if you’re confident at DIY you could even fit them yourself.

 

Refresh a Bathroom

11/07/2011

 
However well you look after your bathroom, in time grime is going to start to build up and your bathroom is going to show its age. Simply giving you bathroom tiles a good clean or replacing a shower curtain can give the room a whole new fresh look.

Cleaning

The single best, easiest and cheapest thing you can do to improve the look of an aging bathroom is to give it a really thorough clean. Use a high quality bathroom cleaner and scrub the bath, sink and toilet. Bringing taps and other fixings up to a shine can make a bathroom look brand new again. There are special tools available to clean the grout between your bathroom tiles and this is important as it can be a particularly grimy area and mould can grow. Cleaning your bathroom regularly can reduce the work required when it’s time for a big clean.

New Fittings

Whilst it may not be financially possible for you to replace your whole bathroom you may want to think about replacing the taps and other fittings. A new modern set of taps can really spruce up an aging bathroom suite. You might also consider adding a mirror to the room to give the effect of more space.

Paint

Unless your bathroom is completely tiled there’s a good chance you have some paintwork. A new coat of paint can improve the look of any room.

Tiles

As mentioned above, cleaning your bathroom tiles can make a world of difference but you may want to go one step further and retile your bathroom. Tiles can be very affordable if you look in the right places and you could do the work yourself if you are confident enough. It is especially important to make sure the tiles are sealed properly in the bathroom.

Accessories

A new set of towels or a new bathmat can make the room look vastly different with very little effort. If there’s enough room you could put a picture on the wall to add something new to the room.

 

Underfloor Heating

10/20/2011

 
Underfloor heating is a type of central heating that is installed under the floor as the name suggests. It provides heat by method of conduction, convection and radiation. It is particularly effective when used under ceramic floor tiles as they are great conductors of heat.

Evidence of underfloor heating has been seen from as early 10,000BC. Archaeological excavations in Asia and the Aleutian islands of Alaska have shown how inhabitants set fires in stone covered trenches which heated floor stones that radiated heat into living spaces. This idea has evolved over the years culminating in the modern systems we employ now that make use of fluid filled pipes or electrical cables and mats.

Modern underfloor heating comes in two types; hydronic and electric. Either is suitable for whole building heating systems or just to heat one room where it is particularly cold underfoot or where it is difficult to install a traditional heating system.

Hydronic Systems

Hydronic systems work on the basis of liquid flowing through pipes to heat the floor. They use a mixture of propylene glycol ant-freeze and water which is circulated and re-circulated between the floor and the boiler. Various materials are available for the pipes in hydronic systems, the usual choice is polyethylene. Polybutylene, copper and steel pipes are still also used in certain places.

It requires some skill and a lot of knowledge of boilers, controls, circulators, fluid pressure and temperature in order to install a hydronic system and so this should only be undertaken by a professional.

Electric Systems

Electric systems are the more popular choice these days. They work by electrically heating flexible heating elements. These come in the form of cables, preformed cable mats, bronze mesh and carbon films. They are suitable to be laid directly under the floor finishing as they have a very low profile.

These systems require a lot less skill to fit and maintain and can be done yourself, although it is recommended to run your plans by a professional before commencing any work. These systems are particularly good for use under carpet, floor tiles or laminate flooring.

 
 
Recently we discussed the many different choices available for floor design for your home so we thought we’d do a follow up blog focussing on walls. Different wall decorations offer difference advantages over others, for example kitchen tiles may be a better choice for parts of the kitchen where food might splatter but you consider wallpaper for other areas of the kitchen. Here are some of the most popular choices for different types of flooring.