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How to install wall tiles in your bathroom?

How to install wall tiles in your bathroom?


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To revamp your bathroom, you have decided to replace your wall covering with tiles, or to cover your old tiles with a new one. Great idea: robust and resistant, it is one of the most suitable materials for dressing the walls of wet rooms. But for the pose… You fear to pull your hair out. Do not panic ! Tiling the walls of your bathroom is relatively easy, and accessible to DIY beginners. Follow the guide !
  1. Choose your bathroom tiles: wall tiles or porcelain stoneware?
  2. Tile adhesive, cleat, cross bars: the essential material
  3. Prepare its support for laying wall tiles
  4. Successful installation of your wall covering: the steps
  5. Take care of the finishes: the laying of the tile joint

1. Choose your bathroom tiles: wall tiles or porcelain stoneware?

The tiling protects your walls from bumps and scratches. Its colors stand up well to time, and it is very simple to maintain. The range is very wide, with a wide variety of textures and finishes, as well as formats. In short, he has everything to please. But which one to choose? For the bathroom, porous tiles such as terracotta or sandstone are avoided, which could lead to infiltration and detachment of the tiles. Let us note an exception: porcelain stoneware, this clay-based ceramic often used for tiling. Very resistant, it does not fear shocks, scratches or stains, wonderfully imitates natural stone or other textures, and has a very low porosity, even without special treatment. In addition, it is very simple to maintain! It is therefore an ideal tiling to revamp your bathroom. Another option: earthenware! If it is too fragile for the floor, it is ideal for wall tiles. Resistant, it is easy to clean. The wall tiles are magnificent in frieze, on a whole section of wall or for a specific corner like that of the shower. But if you are an aficionado, why not the whole room? Note that you can also use glass paste to make mosaics, or natural stone for an authentic atmosphere. When you buy your tiles, plan a sufficient quantity: for safety, add 5% to the total to anticipate possible errors or breakage. To calculate the number of tiles needed, there are many online tools that ask you only the dimensions of the room and that of the chosen tiles. To tile, beware of differences in color between batches. Before starting the work, open all the packages and mix the tiles to obtain a harmonious result.

© Lapeyre

2. Tile glue, battens, cross bars: the essential material

You have chosen your tiling: what material do you need? With the right equipment, laying tiles is accessible to everyone, including novice DIY enthusiasts. You will therefore need: * A bubble level * One meter * A pencil (to mark out the marks) * Wooden battens or wedges * Special tile adhesive for walls: for plastered walls, prefer glue in paste or thin-set mortar; for brick or cement walls, choose the adhesive mortar. Note that one kilo of glue covers approximately 1m2 of tiled surface. * A notched trowel (essential for drawing grooves in the glue) * Braces for tiling joints * Jointing mortar (mixture of cement and aggregates) * A trowel (to spread the mortar) * A rubber mallet ( to tap on the tile and perfect the gluing) * A tile or a tile cutter (to make straight cuts) * Parrot pliers (for rounded cuts) If you do not have all these tools on hand, do not hesitate to ask around before rushing to a DIY store. A friend or neighbor may be happy to help!

© Saint-Maclou

3. Prepare its support for laying wall tiles

Before starting work, some prerequisites are essential. First, wash your support: carefully remove the wallpaper or any other wall covering (pickle, sand, smooth and remove all residue). If you are laying tiles over the previous one, scratch the tiles with a grinder. Then apply a preparation product, the bonding primer, to further strengthen the adhesion of your wall support.Then ensure the waterproofing of your walls: if they have cracks longer than 3 or 4 mm , fill them with a plaster or plaster. To prevent any problem of infiltration, you can apply a special treatment to your walls. For shower tiles, we even recommend the installation of water-repellent plates to protect the walls from runoff and humidity. Better known as "placo", it is a cardboard support on which is stretched plaster, which can be glued or screwed on a wall. Be careful to choose your mortars, glues, plasters and joints, which must also perfectly resist humidity. Finally, prepare your laying plan (or layout). When laying a wall tile, the first tiles should be well placed, because the following will line up on it. If they are leaning, you can imagine that it is a catamaran! As the wall angles are rarely square and the floor is never perfectly flat, it is better to start by gluing or screwing a horizontal strip (check at the spirit level), on which you will have drawn marks: a line for the width a tile, to which the thickness of a joint is added. A second cleat, vertical and perfectly perpendicular to the first, defines the height of the tiles. Then use a square to draw the horizontal marks. If you have planned visual effects such as fresco, checkerboard, or a particular installation method (diagonal, chevron, etc.), obviously take this into account. The first square is placed at the intersection of the two battens, then we progress from bottom to top and from left to right. A good laying plan is essential for a successful installation, both aesthetically and economically ... Indeed, it would be a shame to have to buy tiles because you were wrong! Even successful, the cuts are obviously less aesthetic than full tiles, so set them aside for the least visible places. Anticipate, and do your little calculations to have the least amount of cutting to do.

© Leroy Merlin

4. Successful installation of your wall covering: the steps

Are you ready? Let's go ! Here is the procedure: * Glue: on a surface equivalent to 3-4 tiles, spread the glue horizontally in a single pass, and paint it from top to bottom with your notched spatula, so as to obtain grooves. If your tiles are really large, also glue them on the back. * Lay the first line: place the first of your tiles in the angle formed by your cleat and the wall and continue horizontally, from left to right, remembering to place a cross between each tile for the tile joints. Press your tiles hard against the wall to distribute the glue well, tap it with the rubber mallet, and remove what overflows with a squeegee. * Check that you are tiling straight: regularly, make sure that your collage is horizontal and flat, using the spirit level. Is your wall tile tilting? It does not matter, use the mallet to put it straight. * Continue laying, always starting from the left cleat, or on the line you have drawn vertically. On the outside corners, you can stick finishing profiles, these rounded brackets make your work easier, while being very aesthetic. * Remove all the braces. * Let dry for 24 hours. * Remove the cleats and lay the first row of tiles, the one that is flush with the ground. Unless incredible luck, you will have to cut your tiles. In this case, measure the space available, from which you will remove the two thicknesses of joint, indicate the cut in pencil on the tile and use the electric tile. You may also have to make rounded cuts to go around the sink, the fittings… In this case, use the parrot pliers. What if a pipe reaches the middle of a pane? In this case, you will need a scroll saw, and make your cut on a flat surface to avoid breakage. * Clean all your equipment well with a damp sponge before the glue dries!

5. Take care of the finishes: the laying of the tile joint



© Leroy Merlin Before tackling the finishes, leave your tiles well to dry. For the preparation of your jointing mortar, follow the instructions for use to the letter and respect the dosages. Do not prepare too much mortar at once, as it dries very quickly. Immerse your trowel in the bucket and apply a nice layer of mortar on the interstices. With the squeegee, pass several times over the tiles to fill the joints well and remove the excess mortar. To smooth the tile joints, gently run your finger over it. Every quarter of an hour, clean the area you have just worked with a damp sponge. If you wait too long, the mortar will have dried and the residue will be very difficult to remove, so do not drag! When you are finished, clean the entire surface with a sponge and a cloth, then possibly apply an anti-mold product to your tiles to protect it from the attacks of humidity. Once your tiles have been laid successfully, maintenance is done with soapy water, and sometimes with a little warm white vinegar to remove traces of lime. Easy !