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PREPARATION OF INTERNAL AREAS AND TILES
Remove all loose and friable material from the back of the tiles.
A few tiles may have small chips and blemishes; these are generally used for cuts. An allowance of 5-10% extra on your room measurements should take into account for cuts and to cover reasonable breakages or mishandling.
Cutting should be done with a diamond cutter.

SETTING OUT
It is recommended that the tiles are mixed prior to installation to achieve a harmonious appearance of colours and shades as colour variation always occur to some extent, even in the same batch.
Tiling should be set out from the centre of the walls, either the centre of a tile in the centre of the wall or the joint between two tiles in the centre of the wall, whichever option will avoid small cuts of the tiles. Make a gauge rod using a length of straight timber. Along the length of the timber, mark out the width of the tiles, leaving a gap at least 2mm wide between each tile. Set out the horizontal position of the tiles so that the same size cuts are made either side of windows etc, avoiding any small cuts. At the lowest point of the wall to which you are tiling, such as the skirting board, work surface etc place an uncut tile and draw a line along the top of the tile. Nail a batten below this line, using a spirit level to make sure that the line is straight. Start tiling at this centre point.

TILING TO PLASTER WALLS – PREPARATION
New plaster should be a minimum of 4 weeks old (including backing coat) and 1 week old for just a skim coat. It must be ensured that the plaster is sound, in good condition and firmly bonded to the background. Tiles should only be fixed to finishing plaster, not to the plaster backing coat. Any loose of hollow sounding areas should be cut out and made good.
If the plaster is dusty or has a shiny finish, it should be thoroughly dry brushed using a stiff bristle brush and the dust wiped from the surface, prior to the priming with a suitable primer diluted 1:4 with water. The maximum weight of tiling which plaster is able to support is 20kg/m2, generally equivalent to a ceramic tile with a maximum thickness of 8mm or natural stone with a maximum thickness of 7mm.

TILING TO PLYWOOD WALLS – PREPARATION
The plywood should be dry, securely fixed and rigid with no protruding fixings. It should be a minimum 12.5mm thick when fixing to timber framing or battening and fixed in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.
The maximum weight of tiling should not exceed 30kg/m2 (including the weight of adhesive), which is generally equivalent to ceramic tiles with a maximum thickness of 12mm and natural stone with a maximum thickness of 9mm. Plywood is not generally considered to be a satisfactory background for tiling in frequently wet areas. Tanking with wet seal membrane is required in these areas.

TILING TO PLASTERBOARD WALLS (UNSKIMMED) – PREPARATION
The plasterboard should be dry, securely fixed and rigid with no protruding fixings and face to receive decorative finish exposed. It should be a minimum 12.5mm thick when fixing to timber framing or battening and fixed in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.
The maximum weight of tiling should not exceed 32kg/m2 (including the weight of adhesive), which is generally equivalent to ceramic tiles with a maximum thickness of 12.5mm and natural stone with a maximum thickness of 10mm. Plasterboard is not generally considered to be a satisfactory background for tiling in frequently wet areas. Tanking with wet seal membrane is required in these areas.

TILING TO BACKER BOARD – PREPARATION
The tile-backer board should be dry, securely fixed and rigid with no protruding fixings and must be fixed in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.
The maximum weight of tiling should not exceed 40-50kg/m2 (including the weight of adhesive), which is generally equivalent to natural stone with a maximum thickness of 20mm. It must however be ensured that heavy tiles are fully supported until the adhesive has fully dried.
Consideration should be given to tanking with wet seal membrane in areas subject to wetting.

TILING TO BLOCKWORK WALLS – PREPARATION
The blockwork must be at least 6 weeks old to enable movement caused by drying shrinkage to have taken place before either direct tile fixing or application of a sand: cement render coat takes place. The blockwork must be fair-faced and sufficiently flat to receive a tile finish, if in doubt then a cement: sand render coat should be applied.
Lightweight or medium weight blockwork is not suitable to receive a tiled finish in external conditions or installations which may be subject to wetting, in these instances, a cement: sand render coat should be applied. There is no specific guidance on weight limit of tiles for blockwork, it is generally considered that tiles up to 20mm thick are suitable giving a weight limit of 40-50kg/m2.
Lightweight and medium weight block-work should be primed with a suitable primer diluted 1:4 with water prior to tiles being fixed. In all instances it must be ensured that the block-work is clean, dry and free from dust, laitance or any contaminants which may act as a release agent and prevent the adhesive from bonding to the surface. If the block-work is dusty, dry brush with a wire brush and remove the loose dust. Brush apply primer diluted 1:4 with water, to seal the surface. Allow to dry.

TILING TO RENDER WALLS – PREPARATION
The render must be at least 2 weeks old to enable movement caused by drying shrinkage to have taken place. The render must be clean, dry and free from dust, laitance or any other contaminants which may act as a release agent and prevent the adhesive from bonding to the substrate. If the render is dusty, dry brush with a wire brush and remove the loose dust. Brush apply primer, diluted 1:4 with water, to seal the surface. Allow to dry. Tiles up to a maximum of 20mm thick may be fixed to cement: sand render backgrounds in good condition. It must be ensured however that the tiles are fully supported until the adhesive has fully dried.
There is no specific guidance on weight limit of tiles for blockwork, it is generally considered that tiles up to 20mm thick are suitable giving a weight limit of 40-50kg/m2.