1. Install Extra Noggins For Your Railings
Have you ever reached for a towel off a railing, only to have the railing come away from the wall?!
This is because no timber noggins have been installed behind the railing and they are just hanging off the plaster behind the tile. When installing a railing to tiles or plaster, it may seem strong enough when it is first installed but after pulling at it a number of times, it will always come loose and fall off.
I see this happen way too many times and the solution is very simple and takes very little time.
When you are at the frame stage of your bathroom renovation and all the plaster is off the walls, install timber noggins wherever you're going to screw any railing to the wall. This gives you a strong backing for your railing to pull against, and as long as its done right, it will never fall off!
Take photos of where your noggins are positioned by using a tape measure so they are easy to find when they are covered up by plaster and tiles.
2. Straighten Walls
You're obviously renovating your bathroom because it is old and needs updating. Well the timber frame in the walls is old too and over time has most likely twisted or bowed.
I always say, "the tiling is only as good as your walls." Yes your tiler can work with a little bit of a twist or bow by using thicker glue here and there to help straighten it, but he can only do so much. If you want your tiles to be perfect, you need to make sure your stud walls are straight. This will also make life much easier for your tiler.
There are two ways to do this and choosing which way really depends on how bad the wall frame is.
Your can get a straight edge that runs from top plate to bottom plate and hold it against your stud to see if there are any gaps in it. If there are you either need to plane them down or use packers to pack them out (depending if the stud bows in or out). If you need to pack out, just use Masonite packers and nail them to the stud (I don't recommend using any more than 2 packers thick).
The second way is to install brand new studs that are laminated next to the old ones to straighten them up. Your new studs are what your plaster will now fix to. This is the more expensive way to do it, however it is easier to install and more accurate in getting a better finish. You would obviously select this option when the walls are really not straight and cannot be fixed through packers.
When you buy your new timber studs, always check them and select the ones that look the straightest. This saves you doing any packing out later on.
3. Silicon your tile edges
Did you ever notice your grout cracking and falling out in the corners of your old bathroom?
This is because there really should not be grout in the corners and edges. Your tiler should be leaving the grout out of all corners and edges of the tiles, and instead apply silicon to these areas.
Silicon is put in for two main reasons:
1. Grout just cracks too easily when there is a little bit of movement in the house.
2. Silicon seals your corners to stop any water getting behind the tiles and causing major problems.
You can get silicon colours that match your grout. Visit your tiler shop and get them to assist you with selecting matching or similar grout and silicon colours.
When installing the silicon, spray it with water first and then scrape it with an icy pole stick for a nice finish.
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Please note this article is based on my personal experiences within the building industry. It is a guide only, and all steps may not apply to your job. Please be sure to check with your assigned Building Practitioner, Engineer or Surveyor for the relevant advice for your project.
Always use licensed and registered trades.