How to Tile a Bathtub Surround - Page 2

  • Step 3 : Cut the tile to size

    Cut the tile to size

    A tile cutter (for sale and rent wherever you buy tile) makes multiple straight cuts easy. It consists of a metal frame with an adjustable fence that holds a tile. Simply score the glazed surface of the tile with the cutter, press down on both sides of the tile to snap the tile in two pieces.

  • Step 4 : Apply adhesive

    Apply adhesive to tile

    Spread a small section of the wall with adhesive, working out from one side of the center vertical line. Avoid covering the layout lines with adhesive. Spread the adhesive into the wall with the smooth edge of the trowel then use the notched edge to spread uniform ridges over the area. The size of notches on the trowel depends on the tiles and adhesive you're using.

  • Step 5 : Set the tile

    Set the tile

    Set the tile in place using a twisting motion to ensure full contact between the tile and the adhesive. Place the first tile on the batten against it. Work outward, setting the tiles and work in small sections so that the adhesive doesn't skin over. Most ceramic wall tile has tiny spacers along the four edges that automatically space the tile, creating 1/16-inch grout joints. If the tiles you use don't have spacers, or if you would like to have wider grout joints, you can use X-shaped plastic spacers that are removed before grouting. Scrape any tile adhesive out of the grout joints or between the tile and the tub with a craft stick.

  • Step 6 : Apply the grout

    Apply the grout

    Mix the grout according to the directions. Use a rubber float to spread the grout over the entire tiled area which is much quicker than trying to apply grout to each individual tile joint. To remove excess grout and push it into the joints between the tiles, pull the squeegee at a 45-degree angle over the tiles.

  • Step 7 : Strike the grout and clean up

    Strike the grout and clean up Strike the grout and clean up

    When most of the grout has been removed from the face of the tile use the handle of an old toothbrush to strike the tile joints and force the grout deep into the seams.

    Strike the grout and clean up

    When the grout is firm, use clean water and a large damp sponge to wash away excess grout. A slight haze is left on the tile after the grout has dried. Use clean towels to buff the dry haze.

  • Step 8 : Caulk the tub tile joint

    Caulk the tub tile joint

    Use a tub/tile caulk at the joint around the tub. Apply the caulk with a caulk gun or choose a tube of caulk with a built-in application nozzle.

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