Tip top tiles: Getting the perfect finish and the pitfalls to avoid

Tip top tiles: Getting the perfect finish and the pitfalls to avoid 

Mastering tiling requires preparation and patience and it’s important to put some thought into the final stages so your hard work gets the perfect finish it deserves. 
Here, Tilemates experts offer their tips and warn you of the pitfalls to avoid.

Make a plan 

You’ve measured your space, marked it and started slapping on the adhesive. But before you get too far in, make sure you know how you’re going to finish your scheme.

Don’t let edges become an afterthought. Not planning them in can result in your beautifully laid tiles looking ragged and unfinished. There are many options for edging, which as well as giving the perfect finish, will protect your tiles.

Another detail to consider is borders. If you’re working on a particularly large space, or the tiles you’re laying are big, adding a border can be a great way of adding colour and interest. Again, this is something to plan from the start so you can factor in these extra tiles as you’re working.

What to use  

You’re about two tiles from the end so now’s the time to get going on edging trim. If you’re using a tile trim make sure its laid at the same time as your final tile so it is tucked in neatly. They come in a variety of materials, including chrome and stainless steel and huge range of colours in plastic, so there’s plenty of options available to suit your design.  
A sleek line of silicone - the sealant used in tiling projects – or coloured grout can also provide a crisp edging line.

If you are considering a border you will be spoilt for choice. Here at Tilemates we believe a border can really add an extra dimension to a project and the amount of patterns, colours and designs available mean there are countless combinations to fit any scheme. 

What to avoid

•    Don’t go by eye. Using spacers will ensure your design is uniform and smart. 
•    Don’t cut tiles with any saw to hand. Tile cutters and nippers are designed specifically for the job and while they may seem an added expense, they will add to the perfect finish.
•    Don’t walk on tiles before the adhesive has fully set.  It can take up to 24 hours to dry.
•    Don’t start from the side of a room. Start from the centre so the last tiles – which may well have to be cut to fit – can be laid around the edges. 

We’re here to help 

Staff at our five showrooms are always on hand to help. They can recommend the best edge, suggest borders and equip you with the tools of the trade to ensure your project gets the perfect finish. 

We supply a range of ceramic, glass and porcelain floor and wall tiles, as well as accessories, grouts, adhesives and underfloor heating kits.  

To find out more speak to a member of the team at your nearest showroom:

Brighton: 01273 412000
Crayford:  01322 555453
Petts Wood: 01689 878667
Tunbridge Wells: 01892 514004
Welling: 020 8303 4023
Chessington Head Office: 020 8397 6284

  • The Guild
  • TTA
  • Brighton

    Tel: 01273 412000

  • Crayford

    Tel: 01322 555453

  • Petts Wood

    Tel: 01689 878667

  • Tunbridge Wells

    Tel: 01892 514004

  • Welling

    Tel: 020 8303 4023

  • Head Office

    Tel: 020 8397 6284