Setting Out Your Wall Tiles
Now you’ve decided on your layout, let’s get to it and start setting them out.
By using your spirit level, determine the lowest point of the floor against any wall, if it's a bathroom, it's usually one of the shower walls. Measure up one tile from this point, then rest a batten on jacks or blocks. If there is no waterproofing (you cannot pierce this membrane), temporarily fix the batten to the wall 20mm below this spot, making sure it is horizontal by means of the level. Continue this right around the wall and tile from this point, up.
Once you have tiled the floor, you can come back to this bottom row and tile the last row around the wall. Almost every tile in this row is cut to allow for the gradient in the floor.
If you are starting part way up a wall, e.g. above the bath, determine a starting point by measuring up from the base batten with tiles and fix another batten horizontally to the wall.
Before you commit yourself to a horizontal level, we suggest you mark around the wall where each horizontal tile joint will go and if you find it is going to be necessary to have unsightly small cuts in any places, e.g. above the bath or vanity, you can adjust the level to avoid this. It may mean a little extra cutting around the bottom row but is worthwhile. The golden rule is, try as much as possible to avoid small pieces of tile, or, try to keep them hidden.
The same basic idea applies to the vertical lines of your job. Try to minimise any small cuts. It is best to start with a centre line and mark along your wall where each vertical joint will occur. From this, you can ensure there won't be any small cuts on either end, up the edge of a window, or at the end of a bath. To make this setting out easier use your measuring rod, marked with the interval between each tile and move it across the wall until you can see the best layout can be achieved.
Take time to arrange your layout! If you start with a full tile at the base, the lean on the sidewall will mean you'll have to fill in several centimetres of tile at the top.
Our Hot Tip: Remember! Most houses rarely have perfectly vertical walls. Use your plumb bob to make a vertical line to follow to ensure your tiling is at right angles to the base.