Home Tiles
2 May 2018

How to spot a botched tile job

Before & After - Bathroom Tiles

A really good tile job will last for years – decades in fact, possibly longer. So if you’ve invested thousands of pounds in your new bathroom, kitchen or whatever, you want to rest assured that your investment is going to last until you decide you fancy a change, rather than you having to redo it.

So to help you out, here are some of the classic signs that whoever did the tiling work really wasn’t up to the job:

Crooked tiles – your walls may not be entirely straight but your tiles definitely should be. With the help of a spirit level, it’s a straightforward job to get right.

Consistent grout lines – grout lines must be straight, minimal width and uniform. If you use tile spacers, you will achieve a uniform width and by using a spirit level, your lines should be straight.

Overuse of grouting or sealant – if the tiles are badly cut, they won’t fit the space properly. Instead of recutting tiles to get a better fit, those who are trying to cover up their shoddy workmanship will fill the gap with grout or by the use of too much sealant, and that looks awful.

Uneven surface – all your tiles should be smooth. If the preparation is uneven, some tiles will stick out from the rest which will look unsightly and be more prone to damage. Uneven floor tiles will also be uncomfortable to stand on in bare feet.

Bad placement – tiles need to be placed centrally over feature areas such as windows and niches. On a blank wall, the best place to begin tiling is the centre of the room – people who start from the edge of one wall and the skirting board or ceiling could end up with spaces that need tiny slivers of tile which are (a) virtually impossible to cut and (b) look horrible. See below for a ‘how to’ video which explains more about positioning your tiles.

Fitted edges – where your tiles meet another material, e.g. skirting board, bath/sink, countertops etc, the join should be seamless and clean.

Ask advice from others

There are a lot of posts on the Houzz ad DIY forums where people post photos and ask for advice on whether or not their tiling has been botched or not. Although probably a good rule of thumb is that if you have to ask if it’s a poor job, the answer is probably ‘yes’! Take a look at some of these before and after botched job photos that really show the difference and why you must not put up with it.


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