Before you can install tile on your bathroom walls the walls themselves must be prepared properly. Find out how to prepare bathroom walls for tile with help from a government contractor in this free video clip.
Hi, my name's Ned Patton. I've been building or rebuilding every house I've ever owned, this is number six. Today, we're going to talk a little bit about how you prepare your bathroom walls for tile. I've got some examples, I got a lot of tile already up on the wall, but I'm going to show you a little bit about how I prep the wall, because there's some parts of the wall that haven't really been prepped yet. When we built this, we had just studs, and I had to prepare the wall for putting ceramic tile on. What you do, most walls, you just put up sheet rock. But, if you're going to put up ceramic tile, especially if it's something like Travertine, like what I've got here, you put on this cement board or WonderBoard. And, this stuff, you can buy it at Home Depot in 3 X 5 sheets or 4 X 8 sheets. And, what it is is a layer of fiberglass on each side with cement in the middle. And, there's a smooth side, and a rough side. And, you can make your decision which way you want to go, with either have the smooth side out or the rough side out. I decided, for this job, to put the smooth side out, but I could have put the rough side out. The thin-set you use to put the tile down commonly sticks better to the rough side. And, especially, if you're going to put on something thick or heavy like granite, then you probably want to put the rough side out, but I decided to use this side, which is just fine, because the thin-set sticks to it. The reason you use this is because the thin-set is actually a cement product, and cement sticks to cement really well. In here, since the tile's fairly thin, and I wanted it all to come out very flat, I put the smooth side out. But, before I did all that, if you notice, this is my shower, and I'm going to have a bathtub over here, it's actually, it's a jacuzzi tub. In the shower area, before you even put the cement board on, you have to put on two layers of either building paper or a roofing felt. I used roofing felt, which is tar paper. And, you see the edge of it sticking out right here. I'll cut this off eventually when I finish this edge out. This tar paper goes from this corner, around the shower, and ends over about here. I ended it on wherever there was a stud in here to nail it to, because my shower door is going to be right here, I've got a shower seat, so I went outside the shower door. That's to protect the studs in case water gets through from the shower. And so, you always do that. What people used to do in the past is, they would, they'd build these walls almost like you build a stucco exterior wall, where you put lath on, which is the - it looks like chicken wire. First, you put down the building paper, or two layers of paper, and then you nail on lath, or the chicken wire-like stuff. And then, they would go up and down, and put actual stucco on the inside of a shower, and that's how they built them in the past. This new materials that we have work really well, and they're a lot easier to deal with, and you end up getting a nice, flat wall. What you're always worried about with tile is, what's underneath has to be flat, and it has to be exactly where you want it. That's how you set your plumbing fixtures so that they come out right. That's how you build the size of everything you do. And, that's also how you do your drain, you set it all based on where you want things to be. You have to pay attention to all those details. I hope you appreciated this. We talked a little bit today about how you prepare all the way from studs all the way out, how you prepare bathroom walls for ceramic tile.