How to prepare for tiling

Looking to tile your kitchen or bathroom? Let us show you how to prepare the surface area before you get going.

Before you begin work on tiling, it’s important to prepare your surfaces. This’ll help avoid uneven tiles that stick out or are uneven.

What you’ll need

  • Hammer

  • Chisel

  • Eye goggles

  • Filler

  • Coarse sandpaper


  • Whether you're preparing a wall or floor it's a good idea to remove the existing tiles. The easiest way to do this is with a hammer and chisel.

  • Before you start, make sure that you are wearing protective clothing and eye goggles and that your floor is protected against falling debris.

  • Take the chisel and point the thin edge towards the adhesive joint that is holding the tile in place.

  • Carefully chip away the tiles. Be careful; although some may come off easily others might shatter.

  • Once all the tiles are removed make sure that all the surfaces are clean and dry and brush away any dust or debris.

  • If your wall is in a state then you'll need to apply plaster bolster before you can fill the holes.

  • If the area you're tiling has any cracks or holes, grab some filler and repair them. Make sure that you allow plenty of time for the filler to dry completely.

  • Once all the cracks and blemishes have been filled in you will need to smooth over the surface. This can be done in a number of ways depending on whether you are tiling a floor or a wall.

  • If you decide to sand off the adhesive, the easiest and quickest way of doing this is using an electric sander. Whether you use one of these or do it by hand, buy the coarsest grade of sandpaper and keep on working on the surface until it is smooth.

  • Always wear a mask and open the window to improve the air circulation.

You can also choose to tile directly onto the current tiles – if you’re doing this then be sure to do the following:

  • Clean and sweep away any debris

  • Mark out lines on the floor or wall where the tiles will be laid

  • Mix up the filler

Clink on the links for further information on tiling a floor or tiling a wall.

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