Ceramic tiles are most often used for finishing bathroom surfaces. The material is practical and resistant to aggressive microclimates, which makes it very popular.
However, unlike alternative wall cladding methods, tile installation technology is quite complicated for inexperienced craftsmen. Not everyone can afford to involve professionals, so in our article we will tell you how to start laying tiles in the bathroom, how to do the job right and get a good result.
Proper surface preparation is the key to successful wall finishing
In the technology of wall tiling, special attention is paid to the correct preparation of the surface, since the quality of subsequent work depends on it. Start laying tiles in the bathroom should be with an assessment of the condition of the base. Particular attention should be paid to the following points:
- material from which the walls are built;
- presence of the old finish and its appearance;
- strength of the plaster layer (if any);
- wall curvature;
If you are dealing with a flat concrete wall, cladding can be started immediately after priming. If there is an old finish, you will have to dismantle it, after which various irregularities may appear on the wall that need to be eliminated.
In houses with municipal finishes, bathroom walls are more often covered with paint. Before laying the tiles, it must be removed. Water-based formulations can simply be washed off, while oil-based formulations have to be cleaned off, which requires a lot of work.
If the paint is not removed with a spatula, before starting to lay the tiles in the bathroom, notches are made on the wall, after which the entire surface is covered with concrete contact.
Curved walls with a lot of flaws must be plastered and smoothed with putty. After leveling, the surfaces are coated twice with a primer layer.
Attention is also paid to the condition of the floor. If it is characterized by large differences in height or has many cracks, defects should be eliminated by installing a layer of new cement screed.
What tools and materials will be required during the work?
Preparation for laying tiles in the bathroom begins with the acquisition of the necessary materials and tools. Their list depends on the type of base and the presence of the old finish. The basic set is as follows:
- tile adhesive;
- plastic crosses for seams;
- deep penetration primer;
- concretecontact (if the surfaces are too smooth or covered with paint);
- compound for grouting.
If the base will be leveled, a plaster mixture will be required to work. In this case, the start of laying tiles in the bathroom will be delayed for several days until the plastered surface is completely dry.
From the tools you will need:
- comb for applying grout;
- grinder with diamond blade;
- maklovitsa (for applying a primer);
- building level;
- measuring tool;
- pencil or marker for marking walls and cladding;
- tile cutter (can be replaced with a grinder).
When leveling the walls, a plumb line and a long rule for applying plaster are used. If there are large irregularities, the plaster is applied over the beacons.
Base leveling technology
If the walls are crooked enough, moldy or have many defects, the question of where to start laying tiles in the bathroom has one correct answer: leveling.
The technology for carrying out these works consists of the following sequential steps:
- The old plaster and all loose elements are peeled off the surface.
- The walls are primed.
- The plaster composition is applied to the surface with a wide spatula and distributed over the entire wall using a wide rule. Work is done from bottom to top.
- If the walls have differences of more than 5 mm, the plaster is applied alonglighthouses. They are installed with a plumb line every 0.6 meters. After the solution dries, the beacons are taken out of the walls, the remaining grooves are filled with the same plaster composition.
When the plaster dries, the walls are primed. After that, you can proceed with the installation of tiles.
Pay attention! If the surface is sufficiently even, but too smooth (monolithic, blocky), be sure to cover it with putty or concrete contact. Otherwise, the tile with adhesive solution will simply slide down from the base.
Where to start laying tiles in the bathroom: from the walls or the floor?
You can start work on the installation of tiled cladding both from the walls and from the floor. In the first version, the masters explain their choice by the fact that in the process of working with the walls, the floor covering will quickly get dirty and lose its original appearance. A construction tool that accidentally falls from a height can completely disable a new tile, so you have to be extremely careful in the process of work.
If you start from the walls, you don't have to worry about the appearance of the floor, but you will need to take into account the fact that the tile and adhesive will certainly raise the level of the base.
Therefore, if you give preference to this installation option, the beginning of laying tiles in the bathroom on the walls will be a preliminary calculation of the height of the future floor. Based on the result obtained, the height of the first row of wall tiles is determined. Appropriate markings are made on vertical bases,from which the master begins the installation of the decorative coating.
Getting started: marking the work surface
Finishing walls and floors begins with a study of the project, which indicates the location of decorative elements and the direction of the layout. In most stores, the project is issued when buying tiles. If such a service is not provided, you can make a plan yourself. To do this, you need to take into account the perimeter of the room, the height of the walls and the dimensions of the tile itself.
The entire surface of the floor is marked with a chalk or marker. The tile is applied to the base, a mark is made. By moving the tiles across the floor, the entire base is marked. Walls are marked in a similar way.
Where to start laying tiles in the bathroom, the master determines based on the selected layout method. Tiles can be laid straight and diagonally. In the first case, work begins from the far corner, and in the second - between two opposite corners. Further lining continues above the first row and below it.
Floor Cladding Technology
You can start laying tiles on your bathroom floor from several places. The three main operating principles most commonly used are:
- Facing starts from the far visible corner. This is the most popular method. Its essence lies in the fact that the laying of tiles starts from the far corner, located opposite the entrance. However, if a bathtub or shower cabin is planned to be installed in the specified area, the expediency of such installation is lost.
- Laying starts fromentrance door. In this case, the first tile is placed in the corner, which is located next to the entrance. This allows you to hide the cut pieces of tiles under the plumbing, and place beautiful solid tiles at the entrance.
- Tile is laid from the center of the room. This method is rarely used, as it is suitable for spacious rooms where the central part of the floor remains free. It is also advisable to use it in cases where the main pattern (decor) is located in the center of the room. Then the lining is carried out around the decor.
In the last option, it is very important to understand where to start laying the tiles. In the bathroom, marking the center is quite simple. To do this, the width of each wall is measured, a mark is made strictly in the middle. From the resulting 4 points, lines are drawn to the center of the room. The intersection of all segments will be the center of the room.
After marking, begin to lay the cladding. Glue is applied to the back of the tile with a notched trowel and spread over its entire surface. Next, the tile is laid on the base and pressed lightly.
If the floor is sufficiently level, use a minimal layer of adhesive. If there are differences, they are compensated by adjusting the thickness of the adhesive. In this case, the work is constantly monitored using a level.
In the instructions for laying tiles in the bathroom, special emphasis is placed on the arrangement of the first row, since the correct execution of subsequent work depends on it. It is important to accurately defineheight, especially in cases where the walls are tiled first, and not the floor.
First of all, the location of the side elements of the cladding is determined. If the whole tiles do not fit along the edges of the row, the trimming is shifted to the most inconspicuous corner, and only the whole tile remains visible.
Pay attention! When drawing up the layout, always take into account the thickness of the joints between the tiles. Otherwise, the lining will move to one side.
Next, they start laying tiles in the bathroom with their own hands. Detailed operation instructions include the following:
- A line is drawn along the bottom edge of the wall where the cladding will begin. A wooden plank or metal profile is attached to it. This element will point to the beginning of the row and will not allow the tile to slide down.
- The adhesive composition is mixed in the prepared container.
- Using a notched trowel, the finished mixture is applied to the base in an even layer. Tiles do not need to be smeared with glue.
- The tile is carefully applied to the wall and pressed so that there are no voids under the cladding.
- The second element is fixed in the same way.
- Plastic crosses are installed between two tiles to regulate the thickness of the seams.
- After fixing the first row, the lining should be tapped with a mallet. The correctness of the masonry is checked by the building level. Thus, the first 4 rows are laid out. Continue laying only after a short break, necessary for setting the mortar.
When the wallcompletely dry, the support bar can be dismantled and transferred to the next surface. All walls in the room are lined with a similar method.
Features of cutting tiles
When all whole tiles are fixed on the walls, proceed to work with pieces of cladding. To cut an element of the desired size, use a tile cutter or grinder. The first tool is suitable for a straight cut. It greatly facilitates the work when it is necessary to lay the tiles on the box.
It is advisable to start laying tiles in a bathroom with a large number of boxes with the manufacture of small elements. They are cut to the size of the walls of the box.
If you need to make a hole or a semicircle, use angle grinder. The work is carried out using a diamond wheel or stone disc. The tile is marked with a marker or pencil (on both sides). On the front side, a surface cut is made up to 3 mm deep. Then cut a hole on the back side. This method avoids chips and cracks on the decorative layer of the tile.
To make holes for sockets, it is more convenient to use a screwdriver with a crown of a suitable diameter. You can get by with a grinder, but it will be quite difficult for beginners to do such work.
When all the tiles are laid and the glue is dry enough, you can start grouting. For this, special grout mixtures are used,rubber roller or suture syringe.
First, the space between the tiles is cleaned of dust and glue residue. With a rubber spatula, it is filled with a grout mixture, the seams are leveled. If excess grout gets on the tile, they should be removed immediately with a damp sponge, as this is quite difficult to do after the mortar has dried.
After sealing the seams, they begin to work with the sealant. They process the joints of tiles with plumbing, pipes and corners of the room. If defects or chips appear on the coating during work, they can also be masked with silicone.
The joints of the floor and walls are decorated with a decorative plinth. It adds a finishing touch to the finish and prevents moisture from penetrating the walls.
Useful tips from professional masters
Technology for laying tiles in the bathroom and photos of laying tiles will help even beginners to cope with repairs. The advice of experienced professionals will also not be superfluous, since in practice difficulties often arise that are not provided for in standard instructions.
Experts recommend taking notes on the following information:
- Not all grouts guarantee the tightness of the joints, therefore, before filling the space between the tiles with grout, the joints should be treated with an antiseptic compound.
- When plastering bathroom walls, it is recommended to use cement compounds, as gypsum counterparts do not tolerate exposuremoisture.
- If the walls of the room are smooth enough, and the owner cannot afford the use of expensive concrete contact, the surfaces should be covered with a thin layer of tile adhesive (up to 5 mm). When the base is dry, you can start tiling the walls.
If the owner's budget is too limited, you can save on tiles. It is worth abandoning the laying of cladding on the floor under the bathroom and on the wall behind it, so the required number of tiles will decrease by 3-4 square meters. Even with the minimum cost of finishing material, costs are reduced quite significantly.
So, if you don't know where to start laying tiles in the bathroom, start by preparing all the surfaces. Remember: even the most experienced master will not be able to beautifully veneer curved and fragile walls. Proper preparation guarantees you a good result.