1 Reverso en español TEC Skill Set How-To Project Guide Shower Walls and Tub Surrounds 3 Steps to a Beautiful Tile Surface! 1. Prepare the surface 2. Set the tile 3. Grout and caulk H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.
2 BEFORE YOU GET STARTED Tools You May Need: Chalk Line Tool Tape Measure Framing Square Pencil Carpenter s Level Tile Nippers Rubbing Brick Tile Cutter Hole Cutter Tile Spacers Buckets Towels for Clean-up Caulk Gun Rubber Gloves Mixing Paddle 1/2 in. Drill Notched Trowel that corresponds to tile size Grout Float Grout Sponge Access to Clean Water Paint Roller V-Notch Trowel Straight Edge Choose your setting materials: Select the mortar (thin-set) that corresponds with your tile type. TEC Skill Set offers options for a wide variety of tile types including porcelains, ceramics, glass, stone, and other tiles. We also offer mortars that specialize in large tile applications.
3 Select your grout. Sanded grouts are used for floor applications for grout joints 1/8 in. to 1/2 in. Unsanded grouts are used for wall applications for grout joints 1/8 in. or less. Unsanded grouts are also used for glass tile OR and natural stone because these tile types can be scratched by the sand in the sanded grout. Grout joints still must be 1/8 in. or smaller to use unsanded grout. Products for showers and tub surrounds include Power Grout or DesignColor Grout with Grout Boost grout additive. Available in a wide array of designer colors. Stain resistant and easy to use. Select caulk that matches your grout color. As you follow the installation instructions in this guide, please note the special requirements for glass tile installation (below). SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR GLASS TILE * INSTALLATIONS Product Selection: For glass tile applications, use TEC Skill Set Glass Tile Mortar. Check with the glass tile manufacturer for grout recommendations (sanded versus unsanded). Typically unsanded grout is recommended with glass tile. *Glass backed tile only. Visit for glass tile bulletin Installation: Follow the glass tile manufacturer s instructions for cutting glass tile. The tools and techniques may be different than the instructions in this guide. After spreading mortar on the surface (substrate) and combing with the notched trowel to create ridges, use the flat side of the trowel to flatten the ridges, creating a uniform setting bed that fully covers the substrate. For sheet mounted tile such as mosaics, press the glass tile into the bed of mortar on the wall, pushing out any air bubbles and making sure 100% of the back of the glass tile is coated with mortar. For individual tile, use the flat side of your trowel to apply a very thin, uniform, continuous layer of mortar to the back of each tile (known as back buttering). This layer should not exceed 1/16 of an inch. After you verify that 100% coverage has been achieved, press the back buttered glass tile into the bed of mortar on wall. Make sure tiles are firmly set before grouting. 1. Prepare the Surface Surface preparation is one of the most important steps in the tile installation process. Remove shower and bath fixtures. Cover all surfaces that you are not tiling. For showers and tubs, waterproof the surface underneath the tile to prevent water from damaging the substrate. Approved substrates for shower walls and tub surrounds with a showerhead: Cement backerboard Fiber cement backerboard Mortar bed Glass mat water resistant gypsum backerboard Cementitious coated extruded foam backerboard walls Fiber reinforced water resistant gypsum backerboard Concrete or masonry Approved substrates for tub surround with no showerhead: approved substrates listed above water-resistant gypsum board Basic Substrate Preparation: Substrate (tiling surface) must be clean & dry. No grease, sealers, dirt, dust, debris, paint, etc. To patch holes, dips and cracks, select an appropriate patching product. Any section of wallboard or other surface that has been damaged by moisture must be replaced. If installing new backerboard be sure to follow manufacturer s instructions.
4 Shower/Bath walls : Must be dry, structurally sound and well-braced (maximum stud spacing 16 in. on center). Must be flat and should not flex. Make sure the substrate is securely attached to the wall studs. Maximum allowable variation is 1/4 in. in 10 ft. from the required plane. Note: Refer to the appropriate manufacturer s instructions (spacing, joint taping, etc.) for your type of backerboard. Ensure there are no holes or voids in the substrate. Use an appropriate patching product to repair voids. A waterproofing membrane (ANSI A118.10) is recommended for walls to prevent water damage and protect adjacent building materials. (See waterproofing) Shower Floors: Shower floor mortar beds must be properly waterproofed and installed to avoid water damage to adjacent building materials. Refer to TCNA handbook for shower floor substrate installation requirements. Waterproofing: Use TEC Skill Set Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane to prevent water from damaging the substrate underneath the tile. Follow label directions for application of this product. Wait 1 hr. Wait 3-4 hrs. Before tiling. 2. Set the Tile Layout - Shower Floors: 1. After the waterproofing membrane has dried, find the area center point (typically the drain) and, using a chalk line tool, snap a perpendicular line through it to divide into quarters. Check the intersection of the angles using a Framing Square; make sure they are square. 2. Lay out one vertical row and one horizontal row in a quarter (see picture); allow for even grout lines up to 1/2 in. wide for floor tile. Do the same if your tiles are mosaic sheets. 3. Adjust the starting line to find the best layout. Pieces less than half a tile wide are hard to cut and don t look good. If end tiles are less than half a tile wide, reposition the vertical center line. If the problem is unavoidable, try to position them in an inconspicuous area. Layout - Shower Walls and Tub Surrounds: 1. After the waterproofing membrane has dried, find the area center point and, using a chalk line tool, snap a perpendicular line through it to divide into quarters. Check the intersection of the angles using a Framing Square to make sure they are square. 2. Lay tile against a straight-edge. Draw a pencil line on the straight-edge at the beginning and end of each tile, allowing for grout lines up to 1/8 in. This is called a story pole. 3. Hold the story pole (straight-edge) up to the wall to see how many tiles are needed, adjusting it horizontally and vertically to find the best layout. Avoid layouts that create tile cuts that are less than half the width of the tile. Pieces less than half a tile wide are hard to cut and don t look good. If end tiles are less than half a tile wide, reposition the vertical center line. If the problem is unavoidable, try to position them in an inconspicuous area.
5 4. If tiling a tub surround, find the lowest point of the tub line and measure up from that point 1/4 in. (or an expansion gap) plus the height of one tile. This is your horizontal guideline. VERTICAL CENTER OR STARTING CHALK LINE INTERSECTION (STARTING) POINT HORIZONTAL GUIDELINE HORIZONTAL GUIDELINE GAP TIP For shower and tub surround applications, tile up to the ceiling if possible. If not, install tile one or two rows higher than showerhead. Applying the Mortar and Installing Tile Begin installing at the center point of the surface and move outward, one quarter at a time. For floors, work toward the exit to avoid stepping over freshly-laid tile. When this is unavoidable, kneel on a plywood sheet. 1. With the flat edge of the trowel, apply adhesive or thin-set at the intersection of the guidelines. Be sure to apply an even coat using the flat side of the trowel. Work only a three sq. ft. area at a time, or the area that can be covered with tiles before thin-set or adhesive loses tackiness to the touch (see picture 1). 2. Now go back and comb the material with the notched section of the trowel, forming ridges for better adhesion (see picture 2). 3. Press the tile into position at the intersection of the lines, in a direction perpendicular to notch trowel ridges (see picture 3). Do not slide the tile into place. Use spacers between tiles (see picture 4) to maintain joint width. Install tile in a step-like fashion, working upward and outward. This permits easier adjustment of tiles if there is an error (see picture 5). CENTER POINT TILING TIP You will want to position and cut the tile as you go. See measuring and cutting instructions in the next section called Cutting the Tile. Complete one quarter first before going to the next. If the mortar or adhesive starts to skin-over on the surface before you lay the tile on it, scrape it off and apply new adhesive. 4. Periodically check to see that joints are straight and even. Once aligned, tamp down tiles with a beating block and mallet to ensure tiles are level (see picture 6). If adhesive or thin-set oozes from joints, remove it from the joint using a tile spacer. 2/3 of tile thickness in the grout joints should be clean to allow for grout. 5. Clean tools with warm, soapy water while adhesive is still wet. 6. When tile are held firmly in place, they can be grouted; see product packaging for details on wait times. Installing Sheet Tile: When setting sheet tile, apply mortar to wall as outlined above. Apply sheet with mesh backing into mortar. If there is a protective paper facing on the tile, soak it to remove before grouting
6 Cutting the Tile 1. Place a loose tile atop the last full tile and position it to butt against the wall or corner (see picture 1). 2. Lay a second loose tile over the first and align it with the last full tile (see picture 2). 3. Mark the cut line on the sandwiched tile (see picture 3). Allow for grout lines and a gap of 1/8 in. to 1/4 in. where the tile butts walls and other surfaces. Due to variations in wall runs, each tile should be butted, measured and cut individually (rather than taking a single measurement and cutting a number of tiles at once) For straight cuts, use a tile cutter. Polish the edges with a Rubbing Brick. Cut openings around pipes, etc. using a power drill with a hole cutter attachment. 3. Grout & Caulk Before you start: 1. Follow the instruction s recommended drying time make sure mortar is dry and tile is firmly set. 2. Remove all tile spacers. 3. Tile should be clean and dry. 4. Expansion joints (where tile meets adjacent walls, floors, or fixtures) should not be grouted. Instead, use caulk (see Caulking Section). Installing Grout TEC Skill Set Power Grout or DesignColor Grout with Grout Boost additive are highly recommended. Both of these solutions come in a wide array of designer colors and are stain-resistant and easy to use. OR Refer to grout packaging for product capabilities, instructions and limitations. SPECIAL GROUTING TIPS: Many people pack the grout into the joints using the small end of the grout float (rather than the long end). This is an appropriate method, however, you should still use the long end to scrape excess grout off of the tile. Touch grout after 30 minutes. Grout should be firm, not soft. If there is no residue on your finger, grout is ready to clean. Use a damp sponge for the clean-up steps, otherwise you will likely just be pulling grout out of the joints. First, use a circular motion to loosen grout haze and tool the joints. For a second clean up, use the sponge to wipe the surface diagonally across the tiles and grout joints holding sponge flat to the surface. This should also help to smooth out the grout joints. Do not leave excess water pooled on the joints. Clean the sponge frequently and wring out as much water as possible each time. Replace the bucket of water frequently.
7 Installing Caulk Once grout has cured, fill gaps at wall intersections, around tub, fiberglass or acrylic shower bases and fixtures with TEC Invision Ready To Use Caulk. The caulk is formulated to match grout colors. 1. Apply bead along seam by drawing tube towards you. Maintain steady pressure on the tube. 2. Lightly smooth bead with a wet finger or putty knife. Caulk at wall intersections Caulk at base* *100% Silicone caulk is required at base of shower between floor and wall. Caulk at wall intersections Caulk tub surround TIP For areas prone to water damage, 100% silicone caulk is recommended. tecskillset_shwr-guide
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