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How to Prepare your Wall for Tile Installation?

Posted on: Apr 14, 2021, 9:02:00 AM

You can install fresh tiles on any surface, as long as you prepare your wall properly. It is important to make sure the surface is free of moisture, dust, or dirt and is level enough. By doing that, the installation material – a good quality one - will stick on your wall properly and last longer.

BEFORE YOU START

_ Measure the area square footage

_ Calculate the number of tiles you will need for the job, add an extra 10% to cover in case of damages.

_ Choose the right installation material for your project:

  • Ready-mix tile adhesives – recommended for DIY
  • Standard powdered – require mixing with water
  • Rapid set multi-flex –Dry off very fast

(Please read product instructions and recommendations carefully.)

Tip: You should use a waterproof membrane for your bathroom or any wet rooms.

_ Level your wall: the easiest way is to use a long piece of flat timber to check the wall for bumps. Any bumps that exceed 4 or 5mm will require extra care.

_ Understand the surface: tiling will require proper preparation for specific surfaces such as concrete, plywood, drywall, or painted. It is recommended to use tile backer board for block work, raw brick, and cement. It offers fire resistance and waterproofing for your project.

TILE ON TILES

There are two options: you could chisel off the entire wall or stick with your old tiles and do your best to tile over them. Make sure that you treat old tiles with a grinder to provide a proper surface to apply adhesive.

Check for "hollow" tiles by knocking each piece and listen to the sound. If you find one, remove it and fill the cavity. It is essential that the surface is clear from chemical products or dust before applying adhesive.

TILE ON DRYWALL

 For new drywall, you don't have to tape the joints before tiling. Simply apply primer and use medium-grit sandpaper to achieve a rough surface for adhesive to bond. Then vacuum, use a damp sponge to wipe the surface and make sure it is completely dry before the installation.

TILE ON OLD PLASTER

Make sure you ask a professional to check the condition and age of the wall, which maybe not in a good condition to support a fresh tile installation. It is highly recommended to apply an acrylic primer before adding adhesive.

TILE ON PAINTED OR TEXTURED DRYWALL

You can begin with removing signs of paint not firmly and fill in any cracks or holes to create flat area. Then vacuum to remove dust, use dry cloth to ensure everything is completely clean.  Again, remove remaining dust and grease from the wall with tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or an ammonia-based cleanser. The wall should be completely dry before tiling.

TILE ON WALLPAPER

We always recommend our customers remove wallpaper and glue before tiling because of the shiny and smooth finish. It is also recommended to use the strip or sand method to prevent the risk of water damage. As usual, make sure the area is dust, moisture and grease-free prior to applying adhesive.