Laying the Tile: Step 1
Mix enough adhesive to cover the size of a section you can lay within its working time (the amount of time it takes for the thinset mortar to set up and become unworkable). Work from the bottom up, spreading the adhesive evenly and combining it with the notched edge of the trowel. Start at the bottom, and using a batten, press the tile into the mortar with a slight twist.
Laying the Tile: Step 2
Continue laying the pattern of your choice, using spacers if your tile is not lugged. Note the placement and position of the spacers. Setting the spacers flush with the surface of the tile will make them difficult to remove. Inserting them in the manner shown above makes removal an easy task. When the field tile is set, cut and install the edge tiles.
Keeping the Tiles on the Wall: Step 3
If you’re not using a coved base and your layout results in cut tiles at the floor, tack a level 1x or 2x batten along the plane on which your first full tiles will be laid. The batten will keep the rows in place and prevent the tiles from sliding down the wall. Even with a coved base or a batten and spacers, you may have to take precautions to keep the tile on the wall while the adhesive cures.
- Drive nails partway into the wall at least every third of each tile’s length and tape the tiles with masking tape. If your layout calls for a coved tile base, install it first, leveling it with nylon wedges. Then tile up the wall.