Planning your Ceramic Tile Layout, Using A Batten Board.


Planning your ceramic tile layout before actually tiling the wall makes for a more professional looking tiling job, And it works perfectly for tiling bathroom walls, installing kitchen wall tiles or any other wall you may be tiling.

 Before you start working on your layout plans, Be sure to prepare your walls for tiling first.


A 1x2 batten board will do the job of holding the tiles to the wall while you dry-lay your first row of wall tile. If your tiles don't stay on this size batten board, you can just use a wider board .A batten board is simply a 1x2 inch board that's used as a shelf to hold your tiles to the wall. It's  also used like a ruler. You first use the board to mark the placements of your wall tiles and then transfer the marks from the boards to your wall.

You'll need one batten board to cover the length of your walls and maybe four that are the width of your four walls. 

To start, we'll first need to work on your horizontal batten board so we can determine the pattern for how you'll be installing your tiles across the wall. Later we'll be using a vertical batten board to plan how you'll be installing them down the wall.

If you are tiling a wall along with other adjacent walls, start on your back wall, because tapered edge tiles will be less visible on the side walls.

This Method for working out wall tile patterns is not only for a ceramic tile layout. It works for stone wall tiles or any other type of tile your tiling a wall with.

1 Plan The First Row for Your Ceramic Tile Layout

Use a bubble level to find the lowest part of the floor. Place a spacer there, and then place one of your new wall tiles on top of the spacer. If you plan on using trim tiles for your bottom row, then place one of them on top of the spacer instead.

Mark the wall at the top of the tile, then use your level as a ruler to draw a horizontal line across the wall at that mark.

Make sure the bubble in your bubble level is in the middle of the glass of your level while drawing your horizontal line, as this ensures that your line is straight.

2 Install your horizontal Batten Board

Measure The wall from left to right, then make a mark in the exact center of the wall. Place your bubble level vertically on the wall and using this center mark as your guide, draw a vertical line on the center mark to the entire length  of the wall.

Now we'll go back to the horizontal line you drew in step one. Line up your batten board to this line,  And use drywall screws to attach the batten board temporarily to the wall, making sure that the boards top edge is up against the horizontal line.

3 Dry Lay Your Tiles

Mark the middle of one of your tiles, and set it on the batten board so that the mark you just made is matched up with that of the vertical line you made earlier.

 Dry-lay a full row of tiles to the left and right of this first tile you've placed on the batten board. Place the spacers you'll be using between each of the tiles, If you are using self-spacing tiles you don't need spacers. They have lugs on their edges that create the spacing for you.

Check End Tiles For Cuts Of Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Layout

Now that you've filled the batten board with tiles check to see what cuts you'll need for the tiles at each end of the board.

Whenever you need to cut edge tiles, your goal should always be to make the cuts no less than half a tile, because less than half cuts to tiles tend to look unprofessional.

If your end tiles on your batten board look like less than half tiles, it's best to try to adjust the row so that you can achieve half cuts or better.

You could try again and lay your new row of tiles, but this time, start with a spacer over the vertical center line instead of a tile. If this doesn't do the trick, you can adjust the size of your spacers to either a smaller or larger size which in turn produces thinner or larger grout lines.

The important thing is that you stay with a look that you like and the suggested spacing for your tiles by the tile manufacturer.

4 Mark The horizontal Layout Lines For Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Layout

Once you feel good about the arrangement of your row of tiles, Mark them to your batten board.
Use a pencil and mark the locations of both your centered vertical line and the locations for all the tiles in the row on to your batten board. Then remove the tiles from the board. Transfer the marks you just made from the batten board and onto the wall at the top edge of the batten board.

Remove the batten board from the bottom of the wall and attach it temporarily with screws near the top of the wall. Leave enough room on top to make marks. Keep the board level and transfer all of your tile locations and your centered vertical line from the batten board to the top of the wall as well.

Part 2 Of Stone Or Ceramic Tile Layout Installing And Marking Your Vertical Batten Board

Now that you've marked your horizontal lines to the wall, it's now time to use the  batten board that you specifically cut for the height of your tile job. We'll call this your vertical batten board.

1 Mark Vertical layout Lines For Your Stone Or Ceramic Tile Layout

Temporarily screw your vertical batten board your centered vertical line that you earlier made. Mark the location of your bottom horizontal line on the board. If you plan to add a row of trim tiles or decorative tiles, Include them too. Mark on the vertical batten board, any points where you plan to install your trim or decorative tiles.

Your tiles certainly won't stay on a vertically installed board. So you'll need to unfasten the vertical batten board from the wall and arrange your vertical tile arrangement on the floor.

Lay your vertical batten board on the floor. Lay your tiles across the vertical batten board In the same manner you did for the horizontal one. If you are using spacers, place them between the tiles and don't forget your trim and decorative tiles if you intend to use them.  Mark your tile locations onto the vertical batten board the same as you did for the horizontal one.

Attach Your Vertical Batten Board To The Wall

Pick up the vertical batten board and temporarily screw it near the left side of the wall. To ensure you have it at the correct angle, align your bottom horizontal line with the one located on the wall.

Transfer your tile locations from your vertical batten board onto the left side of the wall, Then move the board to the right of the wall and do the same.

Whew! Almost Done.
To keep yourself motivated just think of how professional your wall tile installation is going to look once completed.
And at least, you can later use the same vertical batten board for marking your wall tile plans to your adjacent walls.

2 Snap the Guidelines Between The Marks

Use a snap chalk tool to snap chalk the lines between your marks from the left side of the wall to the right. You don't have to snap chalk every line but every two feet or so should do.

Choose the appropriate marks on your walls surface depending on the size of the tile you're working with, for example, if you are working with twelve-inch wall tiles snap chalk a guideline for every other tile, and for eight-inch wall tiles a line for every third.

You now have your reference lines for your stone or ceramic tile layout. Use these lines as guides for your permanent wall tile installation.

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