Guide to Wall Tiling

Thoroughly clean the surface to be tiled.

Find the lowest point on the floor line or skirting and fix a wooden batten to the wall with its upper edge a tile-width above this point. Use a spirit-level to make sure that the batten is perfectly horizontal.

The batten can be continued around the room if you are tiling the other walls.

If you intend starting the tiling half-way up the wall, fix the batten on your starting line and make sure that it is horizontal.

Using two tiles with spacer lugs as a guide, mark off a number of tile-widths on a spare length of wood and use this as a measuring staff.


With this measuring staff, mark off the batten on the wall. If there is a window work from the centre line below it; if not, work from the centre of the wall. In this way you will avoid narrow cut tiles in the centre of the wall or window.

Plan the tiling so that it is arranged symmetrically around windows and doors, where any narrow cuts will be particularly noticeable.

Decide on which end of the batten you wish to start tiling. Use a spirit level or plumb-line to establish a true vertical at the point where you intend to start, and mark this line on the wall in pencil. Nail a batten along this line to act as your vertical guide.

Check the angle at the intersection of the two battens by placing some tiles loosely in position; they must sit perfectly square.

If your adhesive has to be mixed (most are supplied in a container ready for use), read the instructions on the packet carefully and follow them when mixing.

Use a knife to spread the adhesive over approx. 1 sq m (1 sq yd) of the wall. Use the notched spreader to form ridges in the adhesive, pressing it hard against the surface so that the ridges are the same height as the notches on the tool.

In confined spaces where this procedure would be difficult, the adhesive can be buttered on to the backs of the tiles.

Start the tiling at the end of the batten and work in horizontal rows. Press the tiles into the adhesive with a slight twisting action. Tiles must touch the spacer lugs of those next to them or have matchsticks placed between them.

Before spreading another sq m. of adhesive, check the vertical and horizontal edges of the tiled area with a spirit level to ensure they are accurate. Finish the main area of tiling before returning to fill the odd spaces at the ends of each row.

The top edges of sink units, baths and window-frames are seldom perfectly level, so fix a wooden batten at the height of the nearest line of tiles above the fixture to act as a horizontal guide.

Use a pair of pincers and a tile cutter for cutting L-shaped tiles to fit the corners of doors and windows and around light fittings.

Mark and score the tile with a tile cutter.

Nibble out the waste in small bites with a pair of pincers.

Clean up the edges of the cut with a carborundum stone or file (pincers and a round stone or round file can be used for round or odd-shaped cuts).

When the main area of the tiling is complete, remove the battens.

Level raw edges of cut tiles before fixing them to the wall . Use a carborundum stone, or file if necessary.

When fixing round-edged tiles at external corners, make sure that you allow for the thickness of the tile and the adhesive on the other side of the angle.

To measure tiles for the remaining areas, place a tile, back to front, over the space it is to fill and mark the cutting edge at two points on the back.

Transfer these marks to the face of the tile and score a line across the glazed surface with the cutter. Place a matchstick under the tile so that it runs back, from the edge, along the line of the cut. Press down gently on the corners of the tile with your thumbs — the tile will break cleanly.

Apply adhesive to the back of the tile and fit the tile with its spacer lugs up against those of adjoining tiles .

Tiles to fit along the bottom edge of the wall may have to be trimmed slightly to enable them to fit. Use a pair of pincers and an abrasive stone or file.

Bathroom accessories are fixed in the same way as tiles.

Leave a space in the tiling to take the accessory. Spread adhesive about 1.5 mm (1/16 in) thick over the back of the accessory and press it in place. Keep it there with tape until the adhesive has set.

Allow the adhesive 24 hours to set before filling the gaps between the tiles with grout. Rub it well in with a sponge and remove the excess with a damp cloth after it has started to dry out. Work over only about 1 sq m. at a time or the grout may dry before the excess can be cleaned off.

Run a piece of wood with a rounded point along each joint to give it a smooth finish. Allow the grout to dry and then polish the tiles with a soft, dry cloth.

22. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Tiling | Tags: , | Comments Off on Guide to Wall Tiling


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