Surface Preparation for Skilled Tiling

Surfaces should be clean and free from grease. Irregularities should be smoothed down, cracks filled in and any screws, nails or other projections removed. If you are planning to tile on to new plaster, make sure that the surface is dry and free from dust. Apply a sealant to porous surfaces, to prevent the absorption of adhesive.

A painted surface, if sound, provides a good tiling surface, but gloss paint should be scored to assist adhesion. Any unstable paint should be removed by rubbing down with a medium grade of glasspaper.

Old tiles, where these present a firm, even surface, may be tiled over. These tiles are often 13mm thick, on an equally thick mortar backing. A bulky effect can be produced, particularly where the original consisted of half-wall tiling.

It is worthwhile to consider removing thick tiling. These may be chipped off with a club hammer and a bolster. Over a large area, a faster way of removal is to hire an electric rotary hammer, with a combing attachment.

Dry partition surfaces may also be tiled, provided these are rigid. It may be necessary to remove surface coverings, in order to reinforce framework or studding, to provide the necessary rigidity.

Plasterboard, plywood and chipboard should be fixed on battens of 75mm x 50mm timber, spaced at intervals of about 300mm, both horizontally and vertically.

Tile on to the ‘rough’ side of any board and seal the reverse side with a specified sealant for the material, though ordinary paint undercoat should prevent moisture seepage.

Expanded metal, if fixed at intervals of about 300mm, is also suitable to support rendering for tiling.

Setting out

Because floor levels vary and few corners or angles of rooms are accurate, some care is needed in setting out tiling, otherwise the results may appear uneven and irregular.

First, establish an accurate working reference or datum, then take a tile and place this at your lowest tiling level-the floor or the skirting board.

Mark the height, including the spacer lug, on the wall and use the spirit level to mark a straight horizontal line. Fix the top of the lath or batten accurately along this line, over the full length of the area to be tiled. As the batten is later removed, it should be fixed with the nail heads protruding, so that these can be pulled out easily.

Check that the batten level is accurate and stand one tile on end and run it alongside the floor beside the batten, to make sure that this is neither too high nor low.

From the centre point of the wall, mark the tile widths along the batten. This will ensure that equal cut tiles appear at the ends and help to avoid short awkward cuts. At each end, use a plumb bob or the spirit level to mark the verticals; these corres-pond with the point of each last full tile.

This procedure is repeated on any walls which adjoin the first. If the wall space does not allow an even number of tiles, it is better to increase the space between them slightly, to avoid having two cut pieces abutting in the same corner.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Surface Preparation for Skilled Tiling

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