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Laying tiles in the bathroom: procedure

Renovating a bathroom is quite expensive. But you can save some money if you lay the tiles in the bathroom yourself. So, the work itself costs approximately the same amount that was spent on construction supplies and ceramics. You will learn how to do it yourself from our article.

It’s possible to lay tiles in the bathroom yourself

Preparation for installation

Removal of plumbing fixtures and tiles

First of all, you need to remove all the plumbing. You need to be extremely careful with old cast iron bathtubs, as this material is quite fragile and can break if subjected to a strong impact.

[note]Sewage connection points most often have a layer of cement, which can be easily removed by drilling out this part with a 2 mm drill. [/note]

Before laying new tiles in the bathroom with your own hands, remove the old ones. At this stage of work you will need:

  • hammer;
  • chisel;
  • protective glasses;
  • gloves.

When working with a hammer drill, you need to protect your eyes

It’s good if you have the opportunity to use a hammer drill.

When using a hammer and chisel, the chisel is positioned at a minimum angle to the wall. Work begins with small taps to determine how firmly the old tile is glued to the wall.

Working with a hammer and chisel

In addition to tiles, there may be a layer of paint or lime mortar on the walls. As a rule, plaster in old houses no longer has reliable adhesion to the walls and breaks off without much effort. Another thing is paint. If the chisel and hammer drill only make notches, then you should use a hammer and knock it down by tapping. You can also resort to using an angle grinder if you have one on hand.

Surface primer

So, the surface is completely cleaned and ready for priming. This is necessary so that laying tiles in the bathroom has a positive end result. The primer allows you to obtain a fairly reliable adhesion of the tile to the wall.

[note]If the walls are brick, then one layer of primer will not be enough, since the brick has a porous structure, and the liquid solution will be almost completely absorbed. In this case, it is necessary to prime several times or purchase a special solution that can be applied in one layer. [/note]

Leveling surfaces

Since laying ceramic tiles in the bathroom should be done on the smoothest possible surface, the walls and floor must be carefully prepared. Tile adhesive is quite expensive, and plastering will help to significantly save it and increase the quality of the masonry itself.

Any ceramic tile has a slight surface error. Even the highest quality material has minimal deviations from the nominal parameter. For mid-price tiles this deviation is about 1 mm. It is easy to calculate what the error will be after 10 or 20 ceramic sheets. And thanks to the flat surface, you can easily control the quality of the masonry and glue consumption.

The error in tile width can be leveled out by proper installation

Features of applying the adhesive mixture

The adhesive should be applied in one layer, which has the same thickness. If the layer is too thick, then when laying the next tile the glue will go under the previous one and push it away from the surface, rather than going into the gap as necessary. To lay tiles in the bathroom on a strictly vertical wall, you can use a hanger, and also apply the following technology:

  1. The wall is marked with vertical stripes, the outer ones should be at a distance of 10 cm from the corner. Usually the plaster is applied with a special tool - usually a meter long. Based on its size, the distance between the three stripes will be 85-90 cm.
  2. You should step back 50 cm from each strip and drill holes with a diameter of 6 mm.
  3. A dowel is inserted into each hole.
  4. Screws are screwed into the dowels.
  5. When sequentially screwing in and unscrewing screws, a rack level is used. They should be placed in the same plane, in which the layer of plaster will be located. In this case, the minimum thickness of the plaster layer should be 5 mm.
  6. The strip is pressed against the exposed screws.
  7. A thick layer of plaster should be hammered under the lath. If there are large differences in the wall, the layer of the mixture may not adhere well - in this case, the role of reinforcement can be played by strips of plasterboard, which are fastened together with a mixture of plaster.
  8. After several hours, the slats are removed and the strip is cleaned. This creates a guide.

Plastering works

So, before installation of tiles in the bathroom begins, a layer of plaster is applied to the surface. The mixture for these purposes should be cement-based, since gypsum is quite hygroscopic and, as a result, short-lived for the bathroom.

The mixture is applied to the walls with a spatula using sharp strokes. When using homemade mortar or cheap plaster, the surface is first moistened with water. After applying the mixture to the wall, it should be leveled according to the rule. At the same time, the hand is directed upward and at the same time makes translational movements perpendicular to the vertical guides.

Working with a rule

The more flaws there are on the walls, and the deeper they are, the more layers of plaster need to be applied. Between these layers, as a rule, a primer is applied, which must be completely dry each time. The finished, smooth wall is sanded and primer is applied again.

The floor is leveled using the same technology, only waterproofing is first laid with a slight overlap on the wall. There are special ready-made mixtures for this purpose.

Procedure for laying new tiles

Before installing tiles in the bathroom, you should mark the surface:

  • the washbasin is installed symmetrically to the tiles;
  • the bathtub should not cover the tiles;
  • the curb is not installed next to the faucet.

The tiles are purchased with a reserve, which is about 10% of the main quantity, since there will definitely be damage and trimming.

Surface marking

Laying tiles in a small bathroom starts with the walls. Moreover, you should pay attention to the first row, which may consist of cut tiles. In this case, the first row will be laid only after the floor is covered. The laying of the wall, therefore, will begin immediately from the second row, for which a support is placed along the entire perimeter of the room in the form of an even strip.

Operating procedure:

  1. Each row begins to be laid from the center of the wall - this way dimensional errors are minimized.
  2. The glue is applied with a special notched trowel with a rubber mallet, which is applied at an angle of 45%. The solution should have the thickness of sour cream.
  3. The tile is applied to the wall and lightly melted into the glue by lightly tapping it with a rubber handle.
  4. The glue that has come out is removed with a spatula, and the ends of the tiles are cleaned.

This is done with each tile. All gaps are leveled using small crosses made of plastic, which has a special tooth shape - the deeper the cross is sunk, the wider the distance between the tiles will be. Small errors between individual ceramic sheets are also adjusted using such crosses.

Crosses of various sizes


[note]It is also necessary to constantly monitor the evenness of the rows. The topmost edge should be on the same straight line. Only after one row is completed can you move on to the second. If you adhere to this principle, the seams between the rows are guaranteed to match.[/note]

There are places where laying tiles in the bathroom is quite problematic - corners. Here you need to resort to using a grinder or a ceramic disc, with which the tiles are cut to the desired size and shape. First, the cut piece is placed in the very corner, and the chips are covered with a whole tile, which lies on the other wall.

When tiling the floor, the cut parts are best hidden by laying tiles under the bathtub. It is better to use a regular spatula to apply the glue, rather than a notched one, as it can create voids in the solution. And this, in turn, will lead to rapid cracking of the tile during operation.

A day later, the seams between the tiles are cleaned of excess glue and unstitched. For this, a special mixture is used, which is applied to the seams using a small brush, rubber spatula or a regular piece of fabric. After about 20 minutes, the seam is wiped with a damp sponge. After another day, the grout is completely removed from the surface of the tile. To do this, wipe it with a damp cloth and then with a dry cloth. This completes the installation of tiles with your own hands.

By following these recommendations, you can independently carry out all the work on preparing the surface and laying tiles. And don’t forget that this way you can save a significant amount for the family budget.