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Is there a recommended/preferred way to have wall and floor tiles meet?

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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a recommended/preferred way to have wall and floor tiles meet?

    I have heard and read different methods of having the wall and floor tiles meet in a bathroom. Is there a right and wrong way - or just different ways? (This is not a social interaction question )

    One tiler I spoke to said he installed all wall tiles but left enough room to tuck the floor tile under the bottom row. The problem with this (such as in my situation) is that the floor waste is close to one corner of the room - about 400mm from wall and only 150mm from the side of the bath. Having all floor tiles start at the one level all around the walls would result in a steep fall of the tiles nearest the wall and bath where the waste is and unacceptable joins between tiles (300x300).

    In one post on this site it was suggested to install bottom row of wall tiles last after laying floor tiles - not clear if the space allowed was for full tiles or cut to fit to floor with possibly a fall along the wall.

    A tile shop told me it did not matter if wall tile was under edge of wall tiles or butted up to face of wall tile - which would allow floor tiles to have fall along the wall as well as away from wall .....which would accommodate my situation with wastes near a corner of the bathroom floor and also near corner of shower floor.

    After reading how some people have experienced the bottom tile in the shower changing colour as a result of water possibly soaking into biscuit I can see some potential benefit of having wall tile above floor tile rather than tucked down beside it - although wall tile may be more vulnerable if bottom edge cut to fit above floor tiles.

    I intend to use angle aluminum to step down shower floor to overcome fall required in shower relative to surounding tiles of main floor - which will have to be taken into account.

    Thanks for your advice, especially from tilers.

  2. #2
    2K Club Member Dr Freud's Avatar
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    Default The right way.

    Setting out tiling is a large part mathematics and a good proportion art. Too much to put into one post. But in a nutshell:

    Tile walls first, except for bottom row. Nail or prop timber rails on walls to hold tile job up until dry.

    Then tile floors all the way to bare walls.

    Then take rails off and tile bottom row of walls. Should be about two thirds of full tile depending on the rest of the set out. Bottom row can be cut to fit any fall or rise in floor. Wall tile cut end should float above floor tile. This corner join grouted with wall colour grout once all tiling finished. Obviously grout floor last, especially with different colours.

    Reason is if wall tiled first and floor butted up to it, a grout line exists in floor that can hold and absorb water. This may lead to seepage into the rear of the tiling system.

    The right way presents a glazed floor tile with a fall into the relevant waste that traps no water. Especially crucial in shower.

    I have recently inspected a commercial four storey building with tiling so bad, the floor was laid last and the fall results in shower water washing out the door onto the carpeted area.

  3. #3
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    As the Dr said set out is important. If you are tiling entire wall, set out so you finish with a full tile at ceiling height if at all possible.

  4. #4
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    It was also explained to me the reason you do the walls first (except the bottom row) and the floor last is so that you are not working on the new floor when you do the walls.

    Apparently there's no 'good' reason why you can't do the floor first so long as you protect it when doing the walls.

    Sounded good to me.
    Remember the 7 p's.
    Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, especially the Doctor - you answered just about every query perfectly.

    I was aware of the risks of damage to floor tiles if done first and know how to set out tiles - other than order of join at floor (now cleared up). I have tiled kitchen floor and splashback and laundry floor previously with great result.

    One query remaining though is Cherubs suggestion of using a full tile at the ceiling rather than at the floor. I would have thought the bottom row would be noticed more than against the cornice/ceiling. I have not measured up yet to work out how much of a partial tile will be on the wall, but if small I will move tiles down and cut a bit more off bottom tile.

    While on the subject of tiling, I have used the 1/4 rounded coloured plastic edgeing previously but have noticed on a lot of new developments that angle aluminium is used - which gives a nice clean square edge at external corners and around doorways when using 300x600x10 tiles. In some cases the exposed side is painted such as around door frames but I did look at a prestge development on the weekend where the aluminium seemed to be pre painted (not with paint brush). I this the modern way of doing edging - I think it would be easier to use than the bendable plastic, main drawback is the expose side if not painted may look a little odd in some cases - although a bit of a feature in others.

  6. #6
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    hiya, do the maths and work out how many tiles will fit. try to avoid having small cuts at the top, bottom and the sides (i.e. internal corners). the bottom tile goes last because floors are often uneven so if you plan to have about a 3/4 tile at the bottom you can take into account dodgy floors and cut each tile individually measured.

    if your walls aren't straight (as mine weren't) don't have a full tile at the internal corners (again, do the maths and see what can be managed - ideally a 3/4 tile again or if you can't avoid a small cut, try to put it somewhere not noticeable like behind the door or something, avoid having small cuts at the most obvious internal corners) as it will be impossible to keep the tiles straight as you go upwards without having gaps open up at the internal corners. (i've got a nice 10mm gap full of silicon in the first bathroom i did...d'oh!!)

    there a lot of different edges available. i like the idea of aluminium but i suppose styles change over time and something newer and cooler is just around the corner.

  7. #7
    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    you should use a wet area sealant between wall & floor junction as the grout will crack and cause a leak,

    aluiuium can be andoised or powdercoated.

  8. #8
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    Lloyd - after doing some measuring I have more than floor and ceiling to base my tile space out around - top and bottom of window and bath lip. It will be as big compromise.

    Gaza - anodised or powdercoted aluminium, now that raises an issue. If the aluminium angle you buy in the shop is not anodised this may pose a problem near the sea!!!! Is it anodised???

  9. #9
    Hammer Head - 1K Club Member
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    depends where you buy the angle from, guessing that your bathroom is inside your house being near the sea will make no differernce as you will not have salt spray in your house, ontop of that both andoside / mill finsh and powdercoated are suitable near salt water.

  10. #10
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    Most aluminium trims will be anodized. To tell the difference, anodized is not as shiny as bare aluminium.

    And as above, don't grout between the wall and floor joint. Houses all move so you need a silicone type sealant to allow for this. A good idea is to mask along the tile edges where the silicone will go so you don't finish up with a massive spread out mess.

  11. #11
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    Well I prefer 100mm coving bit i haven't seen it anywhere except hospitals kitchens and abattoirs for years and in lately they have been cheating with the tiles in kitchens

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