So much work goes into a bathroom renovation; many trades from the builder and carpenter to plumber, electrician, waterproofer and tiler. There are so many stages where work can go wrong, however I find its right at the finishing line where tiny hiccups in tile placement or grout colour can really make or break how successful your bathroom is. 

I also find that we are super tired when we finally reach the tiling point. So many decisions have been made and quite frankly, you’re just beyond excited and overwhelmed and cannot wait to be luxuriating in your new bath!

BUT take a moment, as tiling is like the icing on the cake, and you need to take a deep breath and ensure you have the details correct to achieve your dreams.

We’ve checked in with our fabulous community of renovating women and here are their top bathroom tiling tips to help this final stage run smoothly >>>

Top Tiling Tips To Help Your Bathroom Reno Run Smoothly

1. Verify your tiler

It seems a no brainer but I’m still going to say it straight up – make sure your tiler is qualified and you have checked previous references and quality of work.

2. Is that tap in the right place?

Ensure the plumber and electrician have placed all plumbing and electrical points all in the right location – you don’t want to have to rip down tiles as a tap was in the wrong place!

3. Check & mix tile boxes

Ensure your tiler mixes up the tiles from different boxes in case there are variations in colour. Also check the batch number on the boxes to try to ensure they come all from the same batch.

4. Check how they clean up - early!

Check how they intend to clean up – don’t have any waste washed down drains (grout will block the drains causing BIG issues). Also ensure all existing fixtures and fittings are properly protected – you don’t want them standing in an unprotected bath scratching it with tile / grout waste.

5. Tile Layout

Check the tile layout – make sure you know where your cuts are going and what your tiler has planned. You don’t want an odd thin piece left to one corner of the wall if it is at all possible.

Confirm they know exactly which tiles go where. This seems so incredibly simple however the last thing you need is to arrive home and find your feature wall is the wrong tile!

6. Grout - oh so important!

Be 300% right the tiler has the correct grout colour and that it matches what you have selected.

If you want wall and floor grout lines to match up make sure you are very clear to the tiler so they can do the layout correctly and discuss any issues with you before they start.

Whilst you’re checking the colour, also check grout width. With the beautiful Zellige tiles grout width is best kept to a minimum so 1mm is recommended. Make sure your tiler knows your preferences.

Tiles of Ezra Zellige Tiles Grout Width Terracotta Tiling Tips
Zellige Tiles; Tiles of Ezra

7. Junctions, edges and corners

Discuss and decide on your junction and corner details BEFORE you start. This is very important around windows, bathroom niches and shelf edges

Do you want a mitred tile edge? Or are you happy with metal edge trims? What colour metal edge trim? 

Personally I love mitred tiles for a niche however in some instances a white metal edge can be installed so it is literally invisible and it helps protect the edge from chipping…

8. Niches

And this leads to NICHES – if you have larger format tiles make sure you are clear how you wish to have your niches tiled. One full tile at the back of the niche or are you happy to have a grout line running through it? 

Don’t assume your tiler will know what you want. Do a little sketch of how you want your niche to look so it is clear.

Bathroom Niche Design Tiles Best Tiling Tips Just In Place Sydney Bathroom Renovation
Detail of Niche Tiling; Just In Place Sydney


9. So many patterns...

Give your tiler photos of examples of the tile pattern you wish to use and be very clear with your desired pattern layouts. 

I’m having a french-pattern travertine tile laid in our ensuite and laundry. To help with achieving the final look AmberTiles have been fab in supplying me with a tiling tip sheet for the french-pattern to pass to the tiler. They’ve had problems in the past with grout lines + the pattern being laid incorrectly so have put it together. If you have particular pattern in mind, remember you can always ask your tile supplier for tips to help your tiler. 

10. Drainage choice impacts your tiler

Ensure you consider the drain options and how these will work with the size of your tiles and how you need to drain your shower or bathroom.

I’ve designed a wet room style bath + shower for our new bathroom and to ensure I have correct fall and no sitting water I’m planning on installing a long strip / linear drain.

Long strip drains are also desirable for large format floor tiles. Saves on all those fiddly cuts to achieve correct fall.

Remember: keep in mind tiles don’t bend so you will need some cuts to achieve the correct  fall across your floor to drainage.

11. Check, check, check

Do check in with your tiler throughout the job to ensure you are happy. Make sure you check tile layout and when they first start as it’s good to pick up any errors early (tiles on wrong walls or wrong patterns). 

As you can see from our tiling tips above, the devil really is in the detail. Ensure you hire a qualified professional and take your time clearly explaining the work you want done with the desired finish. I find chatting to your tile supplier can really help as they love seeing their tiles installed correctly and they normally know all the best installers. 

If you would like help with your bathroom renovation then check out our fabulous trade directory for local Sydney verified bathroom experts to assist you. 

For more goodness and advice on bathroom renovations check out our articles here

OR get social with our amazing FB community and ask away for advice and support xx

Leave a Reply

  1. Val

    Hi Marissa,
    Thanks for the informative post! I needed some of these tips…
    How would you protect your bath and fixtures from getting damaged? And when a builder is in charge of the tiler, would it be safe to assume that he would ensure that grout doesn’t get put down the drain😬

    1. Marissa Listing Owner

      Pleased you like the blog Val! Re the builder – you would hope but it would just be worth a passing comment along the lines of ‘Can you make sure all waste is disposed of ‘here’ and not down the pipes? thanks’. With your bath I would ensure it is clean, no grit etc in the bottom that can scratch and then protect it with a collection of old towels & sheets or even any furniture moving pads if you have access to them. With the toilet I would just ensure covered, same with vanity top (and vanity itself). Once they are installed and tiler is finished I would double check these and make sure any grout residue is removed before it becomes too hard to clean.

  2. Underfloor Heating North Shore

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