The most important step in laying a tile is to pre-align the walls. Even minor irregularities under the layer of tile will be striking, creating a sloppy look.
Air will remain in the voids, which will soon lead to a backlog of tiles. To prepare the walls do not need special skills and equipment. 5 tips from experts will help align the walls correctly with minimal expense.
1. Do not ignore the preparatory work
Before working with putty, plaster or drywall, you should prepare the surface: remove all layers of the previous finish to the very bottom of the wall.
After that, it is easier to determine the curvature of the walls, to identify and eliminate irregularities. What you need to pay attention to:
- corners - the center lines should be flat along the entire height;
- joints of walls with floor and ceiling - always at right angles;
- the surface of the walls - for hollows and bulges.
It is better not to rely on the eye, but use a tape measure, building level, rail with right angles.
Small irregularities (up to 3 cm) can be smoothed without consequences with putty. Deviation from straight lines greater than 3 cm will require thorough alignment of the entire surface.
2. Choose a leveling method based on the quality of the base surface
The material of the walls plays an important role: in panel and monolithic houses, significant irregularities are rare, only in the case of a curvature of the building block.
In this case, a dense layer of plaster is enough.
In brick houses, especially in the old housing stock, noticeable bumps may appear over time, which you need to work with before laying the tiles.
Typically, plaster copes with problems, in difficult cases it is faster and more efficient to use drywall.
3. Align curvature to 5 cm with plaster
Putty is an excellent material for leveling curvature up to 5 cm. To make it evenly lay and hold well, it is important to prepare the walls:
- if there are deep cracks, they need to be covered with cement mortar;
- primer the entire surface (there are special compositions for materials of different porosity);
- protect plumbing with a construction film, work in closed clothing and a respirator mask.
Apply plaster with a wide trowel, check how even the layer is on the beacons. When the layer begins to dry, you need to remove traces of the spatula, stains and irregularities with a trapezoid rail.
After the walls have dried, primed again and you can begin laying tiles.
4. Use level beacons to verify alignment accuracy
Lighthouses are necessary for the wall to be really, and not conditionally flat. They are placed at a distance of 100 cm using a building level and a metal profile.
This is painstaking work, it takes a lot of time, but as a result, the efforts will be justified.
As plastering the walls, the beacons are removed, the holes remaining from them are filled with plaster until the material has grasped.
5. Hide irregularities greater than 5 cm with drywall
Drywall is used if the surface of the walls is very curved or the angles are far from 90 degrees.
Preparation is the same as before plastering. Remember that for the bathroom and the kitchen you need a moisture-proof drywall. Special glue is suitable for fastening, sometimes self-tapping screws are used for reliability. Drywall installation step by step:
- measure walls, cut sheets of drywall to the desired size;
- glue is applied in small drops around the perimeter of the sheet, then press it firmly against the wall;
- when the glue dries, the seams between the sheets are carefully hidden with putty;
- drywall is coated with a primer and after a set time interval is plastered with a thin layer.
The advantage of this method is that it is faster and cheaper compared to how much you would have to spend on fixing the same irregularities with plaster.
Aligning the walls is a must before laying the tiles, otherwise there is a high probability that the tile will lie sloppy and fall off over time.
Who had to level the walls: what methods did you use? Share life hacks in the comments.