Although tiling isn’t rocket science, there is more to completing a successful tiling project than you may expect and selecting a tiler on cost alone may prove to be false economy. There are two key elements you need to consider before you hire a tiler:
- Cost and capability
- Type of tile, tools and “setting out”
Cost And Capability
There are considerable variations in what tilers charge to fix tiles based on the type of tile, surface preparation, whether it's a kitchen floor or bathroom project and the unique challenges of each room.
You can expect to pay between £25 and £40 per square meter. Prices tend to be lower for fixing porcelain kitchen floor tiles than for fixing natural marble tiles. Some tilers will include materials such as adhesive, grout and sealer in their fees; make sure you’re clear whether your quote includes this or not as this could add considerable cost on top.
Is the tiler capable? Not from a physically fit perspective, but skill and time wise. There is skill in cutting tiles to fit awkward doorways or windows, whether it's a porcelain bathroom tile or limestone kitchen floor tile.
Timings can vary greatly, but a professional tiler would generally expect to complete a 20m bathroom, walls and floor in three days, so if you’ve arranged for the tiler to work over the weekend it's unlikely he'll complete the project in one weekend, which may mean your bathroom may be out of action for longer than you or your family had anticipated.
If your tiler visits before all elements of the job can be viewed, ie the old bathroom is in place or the kitchen is yet to be removed, ensure you discuss competence and cost of completing any remedial work required.
Also, if you’re using the “builders tiler” establish whether your contract is with the builder or the tiler as this will have an impact on rectifying any problems should they occur.
Type Of Tiles, Tools, And “Setting Out”
Before committing to buying tiles of any kind, whether they are porcelain or stone, make sure your tiler is aware of the material and size of tile you plan to use, as they will require different tools to work with different products.
For example, cutting marble tiles successfully requires a 'wet wheel' cutting machine - trying to make a precise cut with a 'dry cutter' or angle grinder will not work. Don’t be afraid to ask if the tiler has the correct tools to complete the job safely and to a satisfactory standard. We often receive calls from customers and tilers complaining that marble tiles are crumbling in their hands when they are trying to cut them incorrectly with inappropriate equipment. The quality of the tiles is always the first thing people blame saying they are faulty or substandard, when 99% of the time it’s down to how they are being cut and handled.
“Setting out” is a dry run. Take the time to discuss the optimum layout that's most aesthetically pleasing, whilst minimising waste. For example, when installing bathroom walls tiles, unless your walls are perfectly straight don't start in the corner. The best option is to start in the middle, but adjustments may be required to make sure you aren't left with 'slithers' at the end of wall. Kitchen floor tiles should be laid so that where possible full tiles are in doorways, but again adjustments on layout may be needed ensure tiles fit neatly under plinths.
StoneSuperStore can offer help and advice on all aspects of natural stone and porcelain tile installation. Feel free to call and discuss your project with us, even if you haven’t ordered anything yet.