Planning your Ceramic Tile Layout, Using A Batten Board.

planning your ceramic tile layout first makes tiling a wall much simpler and it also makes for a more professional looking tiling job. This plan works great 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. When tiling bathroom walls or installing kitchen wall tiles keep in mind that for areas of the walls that will be exposed to water you will need to use either backerboard or fiberglass board tile underlayment to lay your tiles onto.

In most cases cases you can simply lay your kitchen wall tiles directly to the drywall, but tiling bathroom walls is a bit different. Bathroom walls include wet areas such as showers and tub surrounds. When tiling bathroom walls these areas will definitely need a cement backerboard or fiberglass board tile underlayment.

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 won't stay on this size batten board, you can simply use a wider board.

To start your ceramic tile layout we'll first need to work on your horizontal batten board wall layout. Later we'll be using a second batten board to plan out your vertical wall layout.

If You are tiling a floor and tiling a wall, It's best to complete the job of tiling a floor first. This is so you can continue the grout joints up the wall in the same pattern as your floor.

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

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

1 Planning The First Row for Your Ceramic Tile Layout

Use a bubble level to find the low part of the floor. Place a spacer there, and then place a tile on top of the spacer. If you plan on using trim tiles for your bottom row of tiles this will be the tile you should be using.

Mark the top of the tile, then use your level 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 The Batten Board

Measure The wall from left to right, and mark 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.

Now we'll go back to the horizontal line you drew in step one and attach your batten board to this line. Use drywall screws to temporarily attach the batten board, and make sure the boards top edge is up against the horizontal line.

3 Dry Lay Your Tiles

Mark the midpoint of one of your tiles, and set it on the batten board so that it is centered over the vertical line. Dry lay a row of tiles to the left and right of this first tile on the batten board. Put spacers between each of the tiles, If you are using self spacing tiles as shown here they'll have lugs on their edges that will create the spacing for you.

Check End Tiles For Cuts

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 of tiles, so you can achieve half cuts or better.

Re-lay your 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 smaller which will produce thinner grout lines or larger spacers for thicker grout lines. The important thing is that you stay with a look that you like. and spacing that's approved by the tile manufacturer.

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

Use a pencil to mark the locations of both your centered vertical line and your tile locations to your batten board, then remove the tiles from the board. Transfer the marks you just made from the batten board onto the wall.

Remove the batten board from the bottom of the wall and attach it near the top of the wall. Keep the board level and transfer all of your tile locations from the batten board to the top of the wall as well, Be sure to also transfer the centered vertical mark.

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 cut a new batten board to the height of your tile job. This we will call your vertical batten board.

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

Temporarily screw the vertical batten board to your centered vertical line located in the center of the wall. Mark the location of your bottom horizontal line. Also mark on the vertical batten board any points where you plan to install trim or specialty tiles.

Unfasten the vertical batten board from the wall and lay it on the floor. Lay your tiles across the vertical batten board. If you are using spacers and specialty tiles, lay them on the batten board as well. Mark your tile locations onto the vertical batten board

Pick up the vertical batten board and temporarily screw it near the left side of the wall. Align your bottom horizontal line with that located on the wall.

Transfer the marks from your vertical batten board onto the left side of the wall, and do the same for the right side of the wall. You can later use this same 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 lines between your marks every two feet or so. 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 12 inch wall tiles you'd snap chalk a guideline for every other tile, and for eight inch wall tiles every third.

You now have your reference lines for your stone or ceramic tile layout and are now ready to begin

installing your wall tile.

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