These tiling notes are a reminder to myself and a way to share my mistakes
and experiences with others, in hope of avoiding further tiling
catastrophes. My notes are provided "as is" and I disclaim all warranties
with regard to these instructions. In no event shall I be liable for any
special, direct, indirect or consequential damages. Good luck.
- Do not underestimate the importance of tile quality. A lot of Home
Depot tiles such as the Marazzi wood tiles are imperfect and make planning
difficult (up to 1/16" variance in actual size). Porcelanosa makes
excellent tiles with precise measurements.
Tools and supplies
- Scrub brush:
When the day is over and you need to get mortar off your tools, you'll
need a good scrub brush.
At least two, one for the mortar, one for the cleanup. I fill the
cleanup bucket half-way and dump the mixer drill bit right after the
second pass of mixing.
- Joint knife:
I use a 4" joint knife to apply thinset in difficult areas and to do a
first pass at removing mortar off my tools at the end of the session.
- Measure your surface, draw it on your computer (I used to use
Omnigraffle, now I
mostly use AutoCAD)
and pre-cut all your tiles. When using software, set the grid to the
size of my grouts (e.g. 1/16") which allows me to move tiles on the
grid very quickly. Since the software shows all the areas sizes, it
makes cutting a painless experience.
Lite VS Regular mortar
- Unless you are concerned with the weight, go for regular mortar, the
product is smoother and easier to work with. I always find crystals
and various debris in all "lite" products.
- Always put on a protective mask. Mortar contains crystalline silica
which will irritate your throat and lungs for a few days after
inhalation. That's assuming you don't get cancer from over-exposure.
- A mixer drill is a lot better than a regular drill which might
overheat and burn (been there).
- Aim for a certain thickness instead of attempting a perfect
powder/water proportions. This will allow you to use partial bags
without weighing or measuring water.
- Take the time to read your mortar's technical doc: it contains
excellent tips and recommendations. If you plan on using the warranty,
you need to follow manufacturer guidelines.
- For ceiling and walls, go on the thicker side, it will avoid sliding
and will better keep the tiles in place.
Laying tiles on a wall
- Always lay the tiles from bottom to top. If you start
from the top, most tiles will slide down and you will struggle to keep
them where you placed them.
- Make sure the first line is level, then double check every few lines.
- Remove all excess thinset from your tiles and grout lines at the end of
the session. Once the thinset hardens, you'll spend hours doing the
cleanup before being able to grout.
- Do not leave any material or water on your tools, they will rust.
2017-12-03 13:49:39 EST