Before starting work, it is necessary to carry out a number of preparatory operations: thoroughly clean the surfaces of whitewash and old paint, remove sagging, make notches on smooth areas, prepare the necessary equipment and inventory. Look carefully at the tile, put aside rejects and chips (they will still serve you for cutting and sealing inconspicuous areas). Separately set aside borders (friezes) and tiles intended for decoration and decoration.
Knowing all the “charms” of domestic construction, it is useless to hope that at least one wall of the room will be strictly parallel to another. Let’s agree right away: we will not rely on any “horizontals” and choose them as guides, for example, a plinth or ceiling level. We will thoroughly measure all walls in length and height, note the angles from which the rows of tiles will begin. Keep in mind that trimmed tiles are best placed in the least attention area (for example, above the front door) or in the corners where furniture and some equipment will be located. It is desirable to distribute the tiles in height so that there is a whole tile at the floor. If you are going to install from the bathroom level, then the whole row of tiles should start from the top level of the bath. If an apron is provided around the bathtub, then first we lay it out, and then a whole row of tiles. Try to keep horizontal rows of tiles also converging in the least noticeable places. If you plan to decorate the walls with borders and decorative inserts, do not forget to mark their location..
Let’s assume that a bathtub is already installed in our room. On the basis of the bath, we set a flat rail strictly horizontally in level, the so-called rule. Ideally, the width of the rule corresponds to the width of the frieze, which is placed between the bathroom and the main array of tiles. For better fastening, we will fix our rail with self-tapping screws. Place another plank perpendicular to the horizontal guide at the edge of the area to be veneered – this will be the guide for the vertical row. We will not be lazy and will install horizontal and vertical guides on all working walls. We start laying the tiles. We take a wide spatula and, starting from the corner formed by the guides, apply a layer of adhesive solution to the wall slightly more than the height of the first row. Then we take a comb trowel and level the mortar, pressing the teeth well against the wall. We try to use the same force so that the teeth are the same height.
Take the first tile, support its edge on a horizontal bar and, aligning it vertically, press it against the mortar. And so we will install all the tiles of the horizontal row. We do the same on the adjoining wall. Please note that we join tiles with dividing projections, and for tiles with even edges we use spacers. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that the tile lies flat, without distortions and sinking. As often as possible, check the level of the planes of the laid out rows horizontally and vertically. If a tile “falls out” from the general row, it must be corrected by gently tapping and moving to the right place. After laying out the first row, lay out the tiles in the corners of the walls. If necessary, put a plastic corner. Make sure that the size of the corner groove is slightly larger than the thickness of the tile.
Then we continue from the corners to the middle of the wall and so on to the very top. Please note that the vertical rails must be removed before laying the end tiles. Measure and mark each end tile carefully before trimming it. To trim tiles, you can use a platform machine, or you can do it manually. When laying the end plates, do not spread on the wall, but on the back of the tile..
Usually, tiles are not laid out to the full height of a wall in one day. It is advisable to give time to the tiles to “grab” the wall. Therefore, one day you can set the rule and lay the tiles up from the level of the bath, including the adjoining walls, and the next day you can remove the guides, rearrange them on other walls and move up from them, and where the rules were removed, we move down the wall. If the solution gets on the front surface of the tile, it is advisable to immediately remove it with a damp cloth – it will be much more difficult to “fight” with dried.
At the end of the work, clean the seams from the remains of the solution, pull out the spacers, carefully seal the joints with sealant. I recommend using acrylic silicone sealant for filling tile joints. It does not adhere as strongly to tiles, hands and tools and is easy to wash off with water. Consider, when using a sealant, the thinner the joint between the tiles, the better, when using grout, the opposite rule applies. I hope my advice will help you to organize your work correctly and emerge victorious in the difficult struggle for arranging a comfortable life.