Making a Tiling Gauge Stick. One of the most important factors in making a good job of any tiling project is careful planning. It is not always the best idea to just start in the corner with a full tile and work up or across from that. This method might leave you with a very small and unsightly row at the top or side of the wall/floor.
To avoid this problem, make yourself a Gauge Stick before you start. Take a length of 50mm x 12mm soft wood and lay a row of tiles along one edge of it. Make sure you use spacers as you would normally so that the tiles are spaced correctly. Mark the position of each tile on the Gauge Stick.
Hold the stick vertically against the wall and carefully mark the position of the tiles on the wall. This allows you to quickly see how your tiles will be positioned on the wall. If you are going to be left with a narrow strip at the top of the wall, move the rows up by half a tile to create a wider margin. A half tile at top and bottom looks much better than a full tile at the bottom and a tiny strip of tile at the top.
Mark the centre of the wall and use the Gauge Stick to set out the vertical rows of tiles. Again, if you are going to be left with a narrow strip at either side, move the first tile’s position in by half a tile. You should now have a good starting position for the first tile which will allow a much better finish overall.
When you work out how many tiles you will need to cover a wall, add on 5% to the total. This allows for breakages or wastage on tiles you have to cut.
Never slide tiles into position. This can shift the adhesive to one edge and will weaken its grip.
Check your rows of tiles regularly with a spirit level. Tiles can move on their adhesive bed, especially the heavier tiles.