How to tile in the bathroom: step by step instructions
Tile is the best material for decorating the bathroom. It is resistant to mechanical stress, protects walls and floors from moisture, easy to clean. A variety of shades and prints allows you to choose a decorative coating for every taste. Tile laying is an expensive pleasure, but if you wish, you can do without the help of specialists. To understand how to lay tiles in the bathroom, you need to study in detail the entire process from surface preparation to the installation of fragments and finishing jointing.
Advantages and disadvantages of laying tiles in the bathroom
Ceramic finish has many advantages over other materials - wood, wallpaper, plastic.
- moisture resistance - the tile is not afraid of steam and moisture. It is successfully used in the decoration of pools;
- strength and resistance to damage and abrasion;
- easy care and hygiene - pollution is not absorbed into the material, its surface is easily washed with water or using household chemicals;
- long service life - quality laid tiles can be used for more than one decade;
- environmental friendliness - toxic substances are not a part;
- safety - does not burn and does not contribute to the formation of static;
- wide field for design - on sale you can find materials of various colors, with a wide variety of prints and textures.
There is only one drawback - the high cost of both the material itself and its installation. High-quality laying is possible only with careful preparation of the walls and possession of special knowledge. There are many nuances that should be observed - the sequence of laying, the correct preparation and application of glue, the location of the tile on the wall so that it looks harmonious and impressive. If the costs of a specialist’s services are not included in the budget, carefully study the issue and do the facing work yourself.
The disadvantages include the difficulty of replacing individual elements. If there is no tile left in the store, and the store no longer sells it, you will have to choose an alternative or completely change the cover.
Appearance - colors, patterns, textures - determining criteria when choosing a tile. And this is natural - first of all, everyone wants to create an attractive interior. The size of the individual fragments is important - large ones minimize the number of seams. And most importantly, the quality of the material. Cheap tiles will crack and become worthless after a couple of years of operation. You should not save on this parameter. There are many nuances of the correct selection of material that will help create a stylish and modern, and most importantly, durable interior of the bathroom.
Color, pattern and texture
The trend for tiles with a variety of patterns, flowers and abstract prints is a thing of the past. Increasingly, designers give preference to materials that mimic natural textures - stone, wood, leather or concrete. Laying out patterns from tiles of contrasting colors also looks outdated. Transitions from one shade to another should be done in the internal corners, or on multilevel surfaces.
The area around the bathtub or inside the shower cabin should not be laid out with tiles with a pronounced relief. The protrusions and crevices are quite difficult to clean, and they will become more polluted in these areas.
For the bathroom, choose matte tile options. Imprints and traces of water are not visible on such a surface. It will not create annoying glare. Gloss lovers should confine themselves to glossy walls. Rough tiles on the floor give confidence in their own safety - the risk of slipping is almost zero.
Size, shape and type of tile
To choose the right tile size, consider the dimensions of the room. Owners of a spacious bathroom can not limit their imagination and choose a tile of various sizes - from mosaics to large tiles. A variety of compositions and combinations are appropriate.
To the decoration of small bathrooms come with more caution. Too small with a colorful pattern or vice versa - large tiles with a pronounced decor will further narrow the space. The same effect will be when breaking large square or rectangular segments with a contrasting fugue. In a small bathroom, use a medium-sized tile - 20x20 or 20x30. Rectangular details adjust the space - the ceiling is moved away or the walls are expanded. Laying diagonally "breaks" and visually expands the space.
In any room, large-format tiles without a bevel look perfect. Cut edges hide the seams and give a uniform surface.
Popular ways to lay tiles on the floor and walls
There are various patterns of ceramic coating. They are designed to demonstrate the beauty of the tile, emphasize the dignity of the room, leveling its flaws. Consider the most popular styling methods.
Tile layout options:
- Direct laying - allows you to avoid unnecessary costs for materials and difficulties in work. The tile is placed in even rows parallel to the lines of the floor and walls. For this method, square and rectangular tiles are suitable. Using the latter, you can also adjust the space. This layout method is popular among beginners and is best suited for do-it-yourself execution.
- Flip - each row shifts half the tile. This masonry resembles a brick. A design made of rectangular segments, such as a “boar”, looks advantageous. Among the shortcomings can be identified an increase in the number of waste and the difficulty of maintaining symmetry with respect to the center of the wall.
- Diagonal - a spectacular and at the same time complex styling scheme. The tile is located at an angle of 45 degrees relative to the line of intersection of the floor with the wall. The minuses can also include an increase in the number of scraps, and the cost of repairs. Styling requires serious knowledge and experience.
- Modular - uses tiles of different formats with multiple sides. This method gives a spectacular and original pattern. The scheme often finds its application in the design of the floor. It requires accurate calculations of the amount of material. Scheme of the future layout on a scale will help.
Features in the choice of mortar / glue
When choosing glue, preference should be given to materials with:
- moderate ductility - the glue should lay down with a layer of sufficient thickness and not spread excessively;
- sufficient spreadability - should be able to fill existing voids for better adhesion to the wall;
- increased ability to adhesion - especially relevant when installing large-format, heavy tiles;
- lack of accelerated water return - makes it possible to adjust the position of improperly fixed tiles.
Glue options for composition
- Cement-based - affordable, hypoallergenic, sold as dry mixes. They contain polymer components that enhance their ductility, water resistance and adhesive properties.
- Dispersion - have increased adhesion, are excellent for working with non-standard surfaces - plastic, wood, metal, drywall. They are characterized by low consumption, but their cost is much higher.
- Epoxy - a super-resistant composition, which must be handled very carefully - it practically cannot be removed. Indispensable in rooms with high humidity and does not deteriorate when exposed to chemicals.
Often the question arises - which material to give preference to - dry mix or finished composition.
The former are more affordable, but the latter provide increased traction. Is it worth it to overpay if the dry mixes have sufficient properties to hold even large-format tiles on the wall. When using the finished polyurethane adhesive, it is necessary to level the surface with special care, which will entail additional costs. A composition prepared independently can also be used as plaster. The increased stability of the finished glue has a reverse side - dismantling the tiles glued to them is extremely difficult. The process requires the use of a puncher and hours of breaking tiles into separate fragments.
How to calculate the number of tiles
Accurately calculating the amount of tile required is not so simple. Inexperienced builders often return to turn in or buy out some of the material. It is especially difficult to calculate the right amount of tile if you plan to use different colors and decorative elements in the design. And if you surrender the surplus is a small problem, then buying a tile is quite difficult. Identical products from different lots may vary in color. And if you do not notice this in the store, then at home the difference will immediately catch your eye.
To determine the exact amount of material, pre-measure the area of the walls and floor, and find out in the store if there is enough product available. Find out the size of the tile and proceed with the calculations. Draw a diagram in a detailed plan of your bathroom. It will help to calculate the exact number of whole and trimmed elements, to calculate the required number of products of different colors.
How to prepare a bathroom before laying
The first stage of work is the preliminary preparation of the premises. Take out furniture, remove shelves, heated towel rails, hangers, hooks and other wall accessories. Remove the taps, sink, bathtub, toilet bowl - if the room is combined with a toilet.
Necessary materials and tools
The next step is the removal of old tiles, leveling surfaces, installing waterproofing, marking, laying new material. These works require the use of special tools.
You will need:
- building level;
- hammer drill;
- nozzle for mixing solutions;
- tile cutter;
- container for mixing glue;
- notched trowel;
- sponge or microfiber cloth to remove excess glue;
- grinding corundum stone to align the trimmed edges of the tile;
- rubber mallet;
- mounting crosses;
- adhesive for tiles and ceramics;
- fugue to fill the seams.
High-quality materials and tools will greatly simplify the work process, and more than justify their own value.
Dismantling old tiles
At repeated repair it is necessary to remove an old covering. The easiest way is to remove the tiles from the wall using a punch. Protect your eyes and hands - glasses and gloves will protect you from sharp shards. Pieces of tile can fall on your foot, so wear stiff shoes.
Beat the first tile with a hammer or chisel. Then put the drill into punch mode and insert a drill under the lower edge of one of the fragments. The coating can fly off together with the old mortar and plaster, but in any case they will have to be disposed of.
Pre-alignment of walls and floor
After the wall has been completely cleaned, measurements need to be taken and find out whether surface alignment is required. We measure angles using a square - they should be 90 degrees. With the help of a plumb line, we reveal the unevenness of the walls and their deviations from the vertical. An insufficiently strong wall is recommended to be primed. Next, we fix the beacons with an adhesive and expose them according to the level. We fill the gap between the lighthouses and the wall with the solution. Avoid sagging.
We prepare the solution - you can use the usual cement mixture, adding one part of the tile adhesive to it for strength and flowability. Spread the solution with a trowel and distribute using the rule with short zigzag movements. The excess solution is sent to the container.
After drying, we remove the formed bumps with the help of a trowel, and wait for the complete setting of the material.
Gender may also need correction. Produce it through beacons or using a self-leveling mixture.
Detect for uneven floors. The best assistant in this business is the laser level. For deviations of up to 5 mm, alignment can be dispensed with. If the indicators exceed this number - tune in to work. We install the beacons in accordance with the line on the wall and check their level using the rule. Pour the solution and leave to dry.
Waterproofing - moisture resistant surface treatment
A bathroom is a room where there is always a risk of leaks. Therefore, reliable waterproofing should be provided. Multi-layer protection will do the job best.
Coating waterproofing is the most reliable. This technology avoids the formation of joints. Bituminous mastics are used for this purpose. Suitable mixtures for waterproofing pools. The composition is applied in several layers with a brush. It is necessary to distribute it not only on the floor surface, but also to capture at least 30 cm of the wall area. After drying of the coating material, a waterproof, durable film is formed, fixed on the walls and floor. It is recommended to reinforce the corners with strips of rolled waterproofing. This must be done after the first coat. If such a measure does not seem reliable enough to you, make an additional layer before laying the screed. Take a waterproofing roll and stick it on the mastic. Place sheets with an overlap of 15 cm with an exit to the wall to a height of 30 cm. Coat all joints with liquid waterproofing.
Prior to laying the tiles, prime the base. This procedure will improve the adhesion of the adhesive to the surface of the walls and floor. The choice of primer depends on the surface material. The compositions differ in penetration depth and the presence of additional qualities - fireproof, antibacterial. Antiseptic properties are very relevant for the bathroom, as they protect against the formation of mold and fungus, which most often appear in damp rooms.
Treat the walls and floor with a composition with a brush 2-3 times. Before applying the next layer, you need to wait until the previous one has completely dried.
Marking is the final stage of surface preparation. It is produced as follows:
- a tile laying scheme is being developed. Particular attention is paid to the angles from which the work begins. With a diagonal layout, this is the most important point. The scheme will allow you to evaluate different options and calculate the amount of necessary material;
- choose the angle from which the process will begin. It doesn’t matter whether it’s left or right - the main thing is that it is farthest from the door. If the door is centered, you can start from any angle;
- measure the height of the first row and install the rail to hold the second;
- Possible differences are determined on the floor, plumb lines are installed, a rough layout is performed taking into account the seams and the position of the tile is planned.
The correct preparation of the adhesive composition is the key to reliable tile fastening and the durability of the ceramic coating.
Pour the right amount of water into a suitable container. To determine the dosage, read the instructions with a detailed description of the preparation of the solution on the package. In small portions, introduce the dry mixture into the liquid and knead with a construction mixer or a special nozzle on the drill. Gradually falling asleep will prevent the formation of lumps. Add the mixture until the solution begins to resemble thick sour cream in consistency. Such glue is well distributed on the surface of the tile, and at the same time does not drain from it.Prepare the composition in small portions, as it quickly hardens.
Laying tiles and grouting
We arm ourselves with a notched trowel and apply glue to the tiles. We start laying from the second row, which “supports” the rail. Carefully press the cladding fragment to the wall so that the composition is evenly distributed. Check the side edge with the help of a level. We perform the same manipulations with the next tile. At intervals, insert mounting crosses, which will prevent the displacement of elements and help to make the seams even and the same. Clearances are necessary in order to prevent cracking of the tiles during thermal expansion.
We install vertical rails on both sides of the bottom row. Pull the thread between them at the height of the tile. She will act as a guide for the next row.
If you need to trim a tile, use a tile cutter. To cut a hole under the pipe, we take a grinder. We place the cut-off parts in the corners - there they are less noticeable.
It is better to lay the floor before wall cladding. The wall tiles will lean on the floor tiles, and will give a neat and even junction line. In this case, no rail is needed to support the second row. The gap between the floor and wall tiles should be 2-3 mm. A sealant or fugue is placed in the seam.
Floor laying starts from the back wall of the door. The height of the tiles is adjusted with a rubber mallet. If the fragment "lay down" too deep, you need to remove it and add glue.
The final stage of the facing is jointing. It is performed after the solution has completely dried, which takes several days. Pre-clean the tile from the remnants and drops of glue. We apply the grout with a small rubber spatula and immediately wipe off any excess.
Additional tips and tricks from professionals
If you do not have knowledge and skills in laying tiles, use the advice of experienced craftsmen.
Where better to start laying tiles
Bathroom cladding can start from:
- visible angle farthest from the door;
- from the threshold - if the far corner is closed by a bath or shower, this method is more suitable;
- from the center - the method is suitable for large bathrooms. If a shower drain is installed in the middle of the bathroom, you need to lay the tiles from this element. Cropped fragments will be located along the walls, where they will be successfully hidden by furniture and plumbing.
How to cut tiles
The quality of the cladding itself depends on the quality of the cut of the ceramic tile. For cutting tiles use:
- glass cutters;
- manual or electric tile cutters;
The choice of tool depends on the amount of work and the required functionality.
When working with a glass cutter, draw a line with a pencil or non-waterproof marker. Attach a metal ruler to the strip, draw a glass cutter once in the direction from the farthest point to you. After that, lay the tile on the table so that the cut line and the edge of the countertop coincide, and gently press the tile. The tile will crack, forming a smooth edge that can be sanded with an emery cloth.
For this work, use a roller tile cutter - it is more convenient to use.
Manual tile cutter is a special device for working with tiles. Marking is applied to the tile, after which it is placed on the base, with tubular skids. A carriage equipped with a cutting roller made of durable alloy goes along them. The roller is pointed at the tile, and an incision is made using the handle. For a break we use a T-shaped heel.
Electric tile cutter is a professional equipment that can cope even with thick tiles. The design resembles a modern circular saw. Devices are distinguished by cutting discs and the presence of baths for a set of water. On such machines, it is possible to perform a decorative cut with a slope, which allows you to dock tiles at an angle of 45 degrees without using mounting corners.
Grinder - you can cut not only in a straight line, but also make wavy and round cuts. A spoiled cutter can leave a lot of sloppy chips on the gloss. For the same reason, it is recommended to cut from the back.
How to join corners
There are various ways of joining tiles in the corners.
- Perpendicular - when the edge of one of the tiles is hidden behind the neighboring element. Hide the trimmed edge is not difficult. This option is suitable for external corners.
- Joining tiles at an angle of 45 degrees. A special device is required - an electric tile cutter. The performance of this work requires the possession of special skills - the slices must be impeccable. Minor irregularities can be hidden with tile glue and grout.
Using corners for tiles
There are special corners - profiles made of plastic, aluminum or brass for laying tiles in the corners - trims. They can have a U-shaped, L-shaped or represent a concave arc. The first make external corners, the second - internal. They allow you to most accurately and aesthetically connect the fragments of the coating, and easily lay the tile on uneven corners, completely hide visible defects. Trims are fixed on tile glue, which does not contain cement, sealant, liquid nails. If the edge of the corner is hidden under the tile, laying on a cement-containing composition is allowed. Trims guarantee accurate transitions from one wall to another, do not allow moisture to enter the seam and prevent the formation of fungus and mold in them.
The correct choice and calculation of the amount of materials, compliance with the order and rules of work will help you quickly and efficiently tile the bathroom with ceramic tiles.