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Tiles are versatile, practical, and available in a variety of sizes and materials – ceramic, porcelain, stone and glass. Traditionally used in kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms, tiles are now an increasingly popular decor choice for other rooms of the house.
This project provides detailed instructions on how to tile a wall – a relatively simple procedure but one that requires attention to detail and patience to allow for drying times. Some specialized tools such as a tile cutter or tile saw may be required.
Before starting to lay tile on a bathroom or washroom wall, make sure that the walls are covered with moisture-resistant gypsum board and that the surface is smooth and flat.
If you are tiling over a painted wall, lightly sand the surface first.
Decide on the pattern and layout of your tiles: straight or diagonal design, square or rectangular tiles, or other combinations. If your tiling project is simple and straightforward, you do not necessarily need to make a plan. However, if you want to include patterns or borders, or if your walls are not completely straight, it is best to draw a tiling plan to ensure trouble-free installation. Measure the wall and draw a scale plan on graph paper (1 square = 1 sq. ft.). Include all important elements such as windows, doors, shower, bathtub, sinks, mirrors and cabinets. Consider the various layout possibilities, taking into account the size of the tiles and any other decorative wall features. The purpose of planning your layout is not only to achieve a harmonious and symmetrical look but also to ensure that you have the correct quantity of tiles.
As a general rule, you should place as many full tiles as possible in the most visible areas and locate cut tiles in the least noticeable places. You may therefore need to adjust your reference line to avoid having very small pieces of tile at the edges of the room. Move the central reference line to the left or right as necessary so that you have as many full tiles as possible and the most symmetrical pattern.
All the grout lines in the room should be the same width or thickness and well aligned.
Calculate the surface area and add a percentage to allow for breakages and spares. Add 5% for tiles laid out in straight lines and 10-15% for a diagonal layout, which involves more wastage.
Follow the recommended curing times. The adhesive needs to set for at least 24 hours. The grout must also be left to dry for 24 hours before being sealed. Finally, you should wait at least 10 days before caulking the expansion joints.
1.1 Dans une pièce à haut taux d’humidité, installer de préférence un placoplâtre (gypse) hydrofuge avant de poser les carreaux.
Pour une pièce telle la cuisine, un mur de gypse régulier est suffisant. La surface doit être propre, sèche et plane.
1.2 Sur un mur peint, sabler légèrement la surface à carreler.
1.3 Sur un mur de céramique existant, brosser la surface avec un dégraisseur ou avec une solution de 50 ml d’acide muriatique dans un litre d’eau.
Rincer et laisser sécher. Utiliser une colle à base de latex plutôt qu’un adhésif régulier.
1.4 Enlever le courant des prises électriques.
1.5 Protéger le comptoir ou autres surfaces avec du papier journal et du ruban-cache.
1.6 La surface à carreler doit être propre, sèche et plane.
1.7 Conserver un seau d’eau et une éponge à portée de la main.
2.1 Snap a vertical chalk line in the centre of the wall to show your starting point.
2.2 Snap a horizontal line, perpendicular to the first, to indicate the top edge of the base row of tiles.
Make sure that this line is level and square, and that the first row of tiles will not be touching the floor.
2.3 Mark a vertical reference line for each end of wall section to be tiled.
Ideally, you want to have full tiles or wide pieces of tile at the ends, rather than small pieces.
3.1 Using a notched trowel, spread the tile adhesive over a small section of wall to one side of the vertical centre line.
Hold the trowel at a 45o angle. Make sure that the reference lines are always visible. For large format tiles, use fast setting mortar. Bear in mind, however, that this type of adhesive dries very quickly, so the tiles need to be installed without delay.
3.2 Cover an area of three to four linear feet at a time.
3.3 Make grooves in the adhesive using the notched side of the trowel; the grooves should all be facing in the same direction.
For tiles measuring 4" × 4", 4" × 6" and 6" × 6", use a 3/16" trowel. For tiles measuring 8" × 8" or more, choose a ¼" trowel.
3.4 Dampen the adhesive if it starts to harden.
4.1 Install the first tile near the centre of the wall, twisting it slightly to embed it in the adhesive.
4.2 Use the reference lines as a guide to make sure the tile is positioned correctly.
4.3 Check the tile for level and adjust as needed.
5.1 Lay the other tiles, starting from the centre and working outwards, in a pyramid or step-like arrangement.
Keep an eye on the reference lines.
5.2 Use plastic spacers to ensure even gaps between the tiles.
The spacers must stay in place while the adhesive dries, to prevent the tiles from moving. Do not push the spacers in too deep.
5.3 Continue one section at a time until the entire area is covered.
Incorporate any borders that you planned in your design. If necessary, cut the tiles nearest the wall to the correct size.
5.4 Use a level to ensure that the tiles are flat and even.
You can also use a piece of 2" × 4" rolled in carpet to do this. Once you have completed a section, lightly tap the tiles with a rubber mallet to ensure that they are firmly embedded.
6.1 When all the tiles have been installed, wipe off the excess adhesive with a damp sponge.
6.2 Wait 24-48 hours before applying the grout.
6.3 Remove the spacers and dampen the tiles with clean water.
Note that the adhesive must be completely dry before beginning this step.
7.1 Dampen the tiles with clean water before starting to apply the grout.
That way, the mixture will be easier to apply and will have less tendency to stick to the surface of the tiles, which makes them easier to wipe clean afterwards.
7.2 Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions.
The grout should be evenly coloured and the consistency of toothpaste.
7.3 Pour some of the grout directly onto the tiles and work it into the joints with a rubber float.
7.4 Apply the grout section by section, covering a surface no bigger than 10 sq. ft. at a time.
Keep the float at a 45o angle.
7.5 Do not apply grout to gaps separating the tiles from another type of material, a bath, the floor or room corners.
These gaps must act as expansion joints and will be sealed later.
Since grout dries fairly quickly, it is a good idea to have someone help you at this stage; one person trowels in the grout while the other wipes off the excess a few minutes later, both working in the same direction.
7.6 Use the float to remove the excess grout from the tiled surface.
7.7 Clean the surface with a damp sponge, smoothing it diagonally over the tiles.
Rinse the sponge often, using as little water as possible so as not to dilute the grout. Remove as much milky residue from the tiles as you can.
7.8 After 24 hours, when the grout is completely dry, apply grout sealer to the joints.
Avoid spreading the sealer onto the tiles. Apply another layer thirty minutes later.
7.9 As an alternative you can use epoxy grout, which is both stain and mildew resistant and easy to clean.
This type of grout is more difficult to apply, however, because it sets very quickly.
8.1 After about ten days, caulk the expansion joints with silicone sealer.
8.2 When the silicone is dry, clean the tiles with a soft, dry cloth.
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