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Step 5: Laying tiles

Floors

Place some adhesive on the floor with a spatula and spread the adhesive using a notched trowel. The label on the adhesive container will specify which size trowel to use. Hold the trowel vertically to the floor to spread the adhesive evenly. Spread enough adhesive to cover 1 square metre of floor space (at a time). Place the tiles on the adhesive as soon as possible and settle them into position with a slight twist, avoiding any air pockets. Use nylon spacing crosses to achieve even spacing and proper alignment of tiles. If the tiles are slightly uneven or vary in dimension, keep a straight line (using a string line) to keep the tiles aligned. Make sure no corners are protruding or raised.
Clean off any excess adhesive.

Walls

Apply adhesive to the walls using a notched trowel as per manufacturer’s instructions, held at an angle to the wall. Do one square metre at a time and if the adhesive dries, scrape with the spatula and reapply fresh adhesive. Using a spirit level, periodically check that the tiling is level both horizontally and vertically. Cut any tiles as required, leaving a space at every corner ie. between the tiles and the ceiling, between the tiles and the floor and where the 2 walls meet.

Cutting around fixtures / accommodating for plumbing

Set the neighbouring tiles first, and use those to line up the tile you're marking. Make the cuts using tile nippers to avoid taking off more than you need. Cut straight lines with a tile cutter. There is no need to be too perfect as most plumbing fixtures come with escutcheons that'll cover up the rough edges. Apply to wall by buttering the adhesive to the back of the tile. After the tile adhesive is dry you can install the fixtures. Use masking tape to hold these pieces in place until the adhesive or silicone dries.

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