Traditionally tiles were set making use of the 'wet method'. This involved soaking the tiles in water then letting all the excess water dry off. Even though the biscuit of the tile was still damp, mortar in the ratio 1 cement to 1 lime to 2.5 sand was applied to the back of the tile and fixed to the wall. The substrate (wall) was also moistened slightly to help it bond.
Nowadays, tiles are fixed making use of either a thin (3mm) or thick (6mm) bedding of adhesive. Cement based adhesives will need to be left to stand for ten minutes after mixing and then re-agitated before use. The adhesive is spread approximately one square metre at a time and also the tiles laid over. Bicatura tiles have a dry biscuit which is incredibly absorbent and will need to be moistened slightly or laid on a wet adhesive.
Joint widths between tiles really should be consistent and this is ideally achieved with plastic spacer lugs which are inserted at every corner. Spacers vary in width from 1 to 6 mm. Extruded tiles need wider joints although vitrified tiles look finest with narrow joints. Tiles that have dimensional irregularities, which is, they are out of square or vary in size, will require a wider joint to conceal the trouble.
Twenty-four hours later when the adhesive has set, the tiles may be grouted. A fast check of the joins to be sure that no excess adhesive has oozed to the top of the tiles will make certain a neat finish. Excess grout should be wiped clean to leave even and clean joints. Normal rinsing of the sponge will ensure a smooth finish. After the plumber has put within the toilet pans the tiler must return to grout around the base of the pans and to check all his work .
The three rules of tiling are that the tiles must be laid Plumb, Level and Square. This can prove hard when the walls are not plumb, level or square! Increasing the amount of adhesive will not usually solve discrepancies and in cases where the problem is excessive the plasterer will need to come back to rectify his work prior to tiling.
Timber or particleboard floors can be tiled over if a substrate of cement mortar 35mm thick with bird wire reinforcing is laid over a polythene sheet and the tiles are glued down with a highly flexible adhesive. Alternatively, a fibre cement sheet might be employed in place of the mortar substrate then the tiles glued directly to that.
To obtain a balanced and visually pleasing result the tiler must prevent narrow strips of tiles. This is most important in passageways, entry areas and either side of windows. For this reason the tile set-out really should be made only after all of the elements are considered.To create a good tile set-out, take into account:The location of floor wastes.
The shape of tiles. Rectangular wall and floor tiles won't enable joint matching between all the walls and floor.The location of windows and door edges.If patterned, tiles have to be matched.Mirror height may well affect the location of border tiles.
In passageways the set-out ought to be from a centre line running down the middle of the passage. This will guarantee even cuts on both sides. In entry areas tiles need to also be laid from the centre out. Since the entry is normally a little are and the tile imbalances will likely be picked at a glance, the tiler really should draw diagonals from every corner of the room to discover the centre point and begin tiling from that point out. Then all edge pieces will be equal in size on opposite walls.
The tiler really should use whichever approach allows for the largest pieces at the perimeter of the room. Alternatively, tiles could be laid at 45" to the walls. This won't only eliminate narrow strips of tiles at the edges but will also conceal the difficulty of out-of-square walls. If a border tile is used then of course this should follow the wall edge.
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