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tiling a bathroom

From Habitat magazine - issue 03


Tiling a bathroom

You’ll need: Flexible tile adhesive; notched adhesive trowel; reinforced fibre mesh; brush and waterproofing system; grout (coloured to match tiles); tiles; plumb line; sponge; plastic spacers; flat rubber stamp; fine-tooth scraper; rotary tile cutter and/or straight nipper or wet saw; silicone; corking gun.

Tip: When buying tiles, measure your surface and allow 5-10% extra for wastage. Don’t be tempted to seal the grout, as moss and mould can grow under the sealer.

Step 1 Step one
Brush three-coat waterproofing system over surface. While first primer coat (50% strength) is still wet, apply reinforced fibre mesh to corners to create a continual membrane. Apply other coats (full-strength), allowing 24 hours drying time between them.
Step 2 Step two
To ensure even, uniform grout lines, lay tiles out, starting from floor centre and working outwards for an even edge distance. Use plumb lines on walls and floor to ensure straight lines.
Step 3 Step three
Use notched trowel to apply an even layer of adhesive to a one square- metre section of surface.
Step 4 Step four
Place the tiles onto adhesive, using plastic spacers to achieve even spacing. Do floor first, allow to dry overnight, then work right around walls a few rows at a time.
Step 5 Step five
Use a stamp (for mosaic tiles) or a level (for individual tiles) to ensure a flat finish.
Step 6 Step six
Once all tiles have been placed, remove spacers, and use a sponge and warm water to clean off any adhesive. Remove adhesive between tiles with a fine-tooth scraper.
Step 7 Step seven
Mix grout and apply with a trowel, pressing firmly into gaps between tiles. Do not apply to internal corners – these will be filled with silicone. Grout can be applied to a whole wall at a time. Allow surface to partially set, then wash with a damp sponge to smooth grout and clean off excess.
Step 8 Step eight
Next day, once grout is dry and clean, use a corking gun to apply colour matched silicone to all internal corners. Spray tiles with soapy water to stop excess silicone adhering to them. Use a plastic trowel or moist finger to smooth silicone into a continuous bead.

To finish your bathroom, paint the ceiling and any untiled walls in Resene waterborne enamels – Resene Zylone SpaceCote (low sheen), Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) or Resene Enamacryl (gloss). Porcelain mosaic tiles in 50x50mm module – colour beige. Other colours and modules available from Artedomus (NZ) Ltd. For more ideas on tiles, see

words: with thanks to Tony Hamilton
pictures: Lucent*Media

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