Make sure that walls are smooth, any cracks have been filled and the substrate can support the weight of the chosen tile finish.
Substrate Prior to tiling
Gypsum plaster Leave new plaster for 4 weeks. Brush shiny plaster with stiff bristled brush and remove any dust. Prime with BAL Prime APD, diluted 1:1
with water. Ensure old finish coat plaster is sound prior to fixing tiles.
New dense concrete,
concrete blocks & bricks
Leave for 6 weeks.
Check for suitability prior to application.
Existing tiles Check they are well bonded and free from grease/oily deposits. Score existing tiles
to aid adhesion.
Plasterboard, fibre or cement boards Boards should be securely screwed to a timber framework at 300mm centres, horizontally and
vertically, to provide a rigid substrate.
Paintwork or wallpaper Loose paint, emulsion paint, loose plaster and all
wallpaper must be removed before commencing
tiling. Score any gloss paint. Remove any flaky
paint mechanically (do not use paintstripper).
As a general rule, tiling should be set out from the centre of the wall. This means that there are two options:
1. either the centre of the tile in the centre of the wall, or
2. the centre joint between the two tiles positioned either side of the centre line.

A measuring gauge will help you plan the position of your tiles. To make the measuring gauge, take a length of timber and mark the width of your tiles including the spacers along it. Check each option to see which gives the most advantageous cuts to the ends at each side of the wall, the window and the border design. Fixing battens will help you to keep the tiling straight.

Find the lowest point you are tiling to, e.g. a skirting board, position the
nearest full tile at this point, mark above the tile, and using a spirit level, draw a level line. Nail a batten to the wall below the line to work to. Ensure that the batten is level because your first row of tiles will rest on it. Draw your centre line as a start point with the help of a spirit level to check the vertical line is straight. Either fix a vertical batten as a guide or use your pencil line to tile up to. Start your tiling where the two vertical and horizontal lines meet, in the centre point chosen on your wall.


To spread the adhesive, hold your trowel at a 45 degree angle. Apply the adhesive to form straight ribs. Apply an area of adhesive to cover several tiles but no more than you will be able to tile within 20 minutes.


Press the tiles firmly and evenly into the adhesive using a twisting/sliding action ensuring that the adhesive forms a strong bond to the back of the tile.
If the adhesive forms a skin before you have managed to place a tile, remove and replace with new. Remove any guide battens and spacers carefully after 12 hours.
Use a tile trim to give a neat finish at tile edges and corners. Tile trim is available in various thicknesses to accommodate the different depths of tile and is bedded into the tile adhesive.


You are now ready to tile the areas requiring cut tiles. To cut a tile, mark the front of the tile and score the glazed side of the tile to break the glaze using a tile scriber and a rule or use a thin rail cutter. Tile nippers and saws can be used to cut corners or curves out of tiles.
If you have completed all the tiling and allowed the adhesive to dry out for 24 hours (or 72 hours minimum when tiling onto tile) you are then ready to start grouting. Check that the joints are dry and free of adhesive residue or dust.
Working in small areas, use a grout float to fill the joint with cementitious or
ready-mixed grout. Clean off the grout using the grout float, strike off excess grout at 45 degree angle using a clean fine sponge. Polish tiles with a soft, dry cloth.

NB: Epoxy grouts (recommended for use on worktops) require a different type of application, refer to the packaging instructions.

Showers should not be brought into service for 14 days after grouting.


Joints between tiles and baths, sinks, worktops etc. should be sealed to prevent water leaking behind fixtures with a BAL Silicone Sealant. Sealant should also be applied to all internal corners. Allow a bead width of 6mm for the sealant.
Walls and Floors Walls and Floors