- General requirements for the frame
- Surface treatment, priming, wiping
- How best to cut tiles
- Starting row set
- Alignment secrets
When facing the bathroom, the strict geometry of false walls leaves no chance for error. The work should be done by the hands of a master who is at least familiar with the theoretical part of such a facing. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the instructions explaining the basics of laying tiles on drywall.
General requirements for the frame
Any building is subject to deformation. The older the building and the higher the seismic activity in the region, the stronger the movement of the walls in space and relative to each other. In multi-storey buildings, such phenomena are especially pronounced. For new buildings, the consequences of inevitable shrinkage are felt more strongly, which can last for several years.
Understanding such non-obvious processes is directly related to the topic of our today’s review: the process of creating high-quality tile cladding on drywall. Therefore, before giving a guide to action, we will formulate one important recommendation: if you have already decided to use the gypsum board to level the walls under the cladding, follow the technology of the “pencil room”.
In short, its essence lies in the creation of an internal “pencil case” of plasterboard walls, which is independent of the enclosing structures. The difference between such a system is in the method of fastening and the correct arrangement of the elements that connect the main frame to the walls of the building. In this case, any displacements are compensated for by the reversible deformation of the fasteners, but they are not reflected in the structure of the skin itself..
This is very important due to the characteristic features of the tile and its sensitivity to abnormalities in the base. Phenomena that are perfectly tolerated in other finishes can lead to serious aesthetic impairments to the finish. By creating a room within a room, you:
- avoid the influence of shrinkage;
- optimize your tile layout by avoiding short extensions;
- use the space that appears behind the false wall to hide communications, lay insulation and sound insulation.
As for the specific characteristics of the gypsum plasterboard system – profile dimensions, the number of plating layers, etc. – determine them in proportion to the cost of the tile and the budget for the bathroom as a whole.
Surface treatment, priming, wiping
The correct structure of the base determines the longevity of the cladding, at the same time, some nuances of surface preparation help to facilitate the work of the tiler and avoid poor-quality adhesion..
Ordinary drywall has excellent adhesion, but green moisture-resistant sheets have a lower moisture absorption and, accordingly, absorb glue worse. Since you practically cannot be sure of the quality and “freshness” of the adhesive mixture, you should play it safe and provide high-quality impregnation with a deep penetration primer, and immediately after its absorption – with a small amount of tile adhesive.
When wiping the walls with glue, as a rule, the joints between the sheathing sheets are sealed, but this is not accompanied by the laying of any reinforcing material. Rather, this is done for general leveling and compensation for shrinkage of layers of different thicknesses. Irregularities can also be observed on the surface itself, they are also leveled with glue under the rule.
How best to cut tiles
The first most important task of the tiling is to make an accurate mathematical calculation that describes in detail the layout of the tiles in the room with an accuracy of one millimeter. This is quite realistic, given that the calculation is carried out even before the installation of the frame for the cladding, and he, in turn, is assembled according to the exact dimensions obtained. We lead to the fact that all tiles are cut exclusively in advance (to reduce dust), and the scheme of its laying is carefully and repeatedly thought out beforehand.
The cutting method that is acceptable depends on the type of tiles. So, when cutting tiles “into a corner” you just have to use a disk tile cutter, while using corner joint profiles will allow you to get by with a hand tool. One cannot but give the most important caveat: the tile should never be cut to fit at the outer corner if it has two straight edges. Such ribs are incredibly traumatic, so the pairing must be done either with a chamfer, or with a special shaped decor, or with the notorious connecting profile for outer corners..
As for the figured cut, it is better to perform it with an angle grinder with a diamond disc, gluing the tile to the drywall with PVA glue and securing the workpiece securely. This avoids splitting and allows you to cut shapes with small bending radii. Drywall is then easily peeled off, while the tile retains excellent adhesion. This technique is extremely useful when cutting ends with visible joining, however, if the cut is covered with a decorative ring of the installation, there is no reason to use such complex methods..
When cutting a styling kit, try to minimize the number of cut edges, and orient those that are to the corner joints. If the extensions are already 50–70 mm, subtract one tile from the row and cut the additional elements wider by half the width of the whole tile. Such additional costs amount to no more than 5-7% of the total cladding area, but they will allow you to achieve the perfect appearance.
Starting row set
In addition to horizontal layout optimization, vertical layout is also carried out. Its purpose is to achieve that the plane of the stretch ceiling falls exactly in the middle of the upper row. Then you will get a perfectly snug fit and secure fastening of the locking profile, and the reflection obtained in the ceiling will be a logical continuation of the wall and will not distort your eyes.
Now, by adjusting the height of the stretch ceiling, you need to get such a tile layout in which the addition of the lowest row will be equal to:
- whole tiles with a small (20-30 mm) undercut;
- more than a third of the tile height;
- and at the same time less than half of it, so that you can cut one tile into two additional pieces.
In the resulting layout, the line common to the bottom edges of the second row tiles is determined. Along it, an even segment of the CD-60 profile is attached to the drywall, the length of the entire wall. Actually, it is advisable to enclose the room with a starting rail along the entire perimeter.
Tiles are laid on the batten without placing any wedges or spacers. All inconsistencies in the thickness of the seam are explained only by the geometric inconsistency of the tile.
It is necessary:
- beat off the top of the row with a laser level;
- find out the possibility of alignment with subsequent elements of the row;
- determine if other tiles have similar size discrepancies.
Based on the information received, make the best alignment decision. For the first row, this will most likely be the selection of a certain number of tiles with the most complete correspondence to the dimensions of the declared format.
Unfortunately, even an expensive exclusive tile sometimes suffers from dimensional deviations. The tiler has to constantly make a decision: where to narrow the seam a little, and where to expand, because this is the only way to achieve high-quality visual alignment.
In order not to be mistaken, each time measure the position of the joints of the completed bottom row and check the compliance of these dimensions with the design calculation. After a small adjustment, draw a line for the installation of the top row on the wall and mark on it with a pencil, two risks marking each seam.
The laser level makes it much easier to maintain perfect line tracking
The overall flatness of the finish is checked both with a long rule and with a flat block installed on the joint. In order for one tile to transition into another without a significant difference, the glue should be applied only under the comb, the size of which is determined by the potential curvature of the wall plane. The simplest alignment of tiles in a common plane is achieved using handles with suction cups.
For leveling tiles and laying in one plane, you can use special fasteners – 3D crosses, which make it easy to maintain the size of the joint and the position of the tiles relative to each other
Adhesive mixtures can also have a congenital defect, manifested in uneven shrinkage, even if all mixing rules have been followed. Because of this, unevenness on the plane can appear uncontrollably during the drying process of the glue, which is completely eliminated by the use of tile leveling systems.