Step 1: Prepare the Surface
Remove switchplates, or any objects attached to wall in area to be tiled. If tiling tub enclosure or shower, remove handles and plates from faucets and showerhead. Check for water damage, damp walls or plumbing leaks and make necessary repairs. Remove any wallpaper and adhesive residue from installation of wallpaper. Scrape off loose paint and lightly sand glossy painted surfaces to remove gloss. Install Appropriate backer board or waterproof membrane.
Step 2: Establish Working Lines
Horizontal: Using a level, locate the lowest point on a wall to be tiled. At the low point, make a mark on the wall the height of one tile plus 1/8″. Using a level, draw a horizontal line through the mark. Extend this horizontal line to any other walls to be tiled.
Vertical: Locate the mid-point of each wall to be tiled and mark it on the horizontal working line. Lay loose tile from the mid-point to the corner to check the width of the end tile. If the end will be less than half a tile, move the vertical reference line half a tile width either way from the mid-point.
Step 3: Installing the Tile
a) Apply a good thin set mortar or adhesive using your trowel. Use the correct trowel and setting products that are appropriate for your chosen tile and backer board. Please see manufactures recommendations or contact an expert.
Start adhesive or thin set application at the intersection between horizontal and vertical working lines and work towards one wall. Be careful not to apply more adhesive or thin set than can be covered with tile before adhesive/thin set starts to skin. Refer to directions on your setting products packaging. If your setting product starts to skin over before tile can be laid, scrape it off the surface and apply fresh adhesive/thin set.
b) From the corner where the horizontal and vertical working lines intersect, install whole tile working up and towards one corner to cover half the wall. Set tile into place with a slight twisting motion , pressing firmly.
As you tile, remove one periodically to check that you are getting good adhesive transfer (close to 100% coverage) on the back of the tile.
Repeat this procedure on other walls to be tiled.
Step 4: Grouting
After the tile is firmly set, apply a polymer wall grout. This grout just requires the addition of water, no latex additives, because it already contains polymer additive to improve strength, adhesion and flexibility. Mix to the consistency of heavy peanut butter. Using a rubber or sponge float, apply the grout working diagonally across the tile joints. Pack joints making sure there are no voids. Holding the rubber or sponge float at a sharp angle to the wall, but still working diagonally across the tile joints, remove as much excess grout as possible.
Wait 15 minutes to allow grout in joints to firm up. Then carefully sponge off excess grout on the tile using a DAMP sponge. Rinse sponge frequently and wring out thoroughly.
After 2 to 3 hours, polish the tile surface with a clean dry cloth to remove the slight film left by the previous cleaning steps.