Tiling onto plaster is relatively straightforward, provided you have prepared properly and use the right tools and products.
Make sure you plan ahead to prevent any mistakes – take care with your setting out and ensure the surface is clean, dry, sound and flat.
Before you start tiling, ensure that the tiles you are using are suitable for the surface you are going on – and that includes plaster.
Bear in mind that gypsum plaster has a maximum weight tolerance of 20kg/m2 and that includes the weight of the tile and the adhesive.
If the wall has recently been plastered, you should allow 4 weeks drying time, before brushing with a stiff bristle brush and priming with Dunlop Tilers Primer (diluted 1:1 with water when using ready-mixed or two neat coats when using cement-based adhesives).
If the plaster is old, ensure that there aren’t any loose material, cracks and hollows – you can check this by tapping the plaster and listening for any hollow sounds.
It is vital that any areas of damage are repaired with a filler or even re-plastered if necessary!!
Building-up of the background may also be necessary to achieve SR1 (surface regularity) so there is no lippage. SR1 is a maximum of 3mm of deviation over a 2m straight edge.
If you need to build the walls out to achieve SR1, then it is advisable to use a product such as Dunlop Rapid Rescue Repair Filler.
When tiling in a wet area, water sensitive backgrounds including plaster, will need to be waterproofed (or tanked).
This will ensure that the tiling project conforms with British Standards which state: “The use of impervious grouts and adhesives is no substitute for a tanked installation.”
A perfect product to achieve this would be Dunlop Shower Waterproofing Kit.
Dunlop’s Shower Waterproofing Kit has been especially designed to make the job of waterproofing a shower area quick and easy.
Simply use a brush or roller to apply the Waterproof Primer to the shower area walls (and floor if required) to the required height and leave to dry. Using the Dunlop waterproofing coating, paint any areas which require tape such as internal/external wall corners, board joints, along the tray or floor junctions, pipe, penetrations and outlets.
Cut the Waterproof Tape to the required length and push into the wet coating – just remember to ensure there are no voids left behind the tape!
Now apply a second layer of the Waterproof Coating over the tape and remaining wall area up to the required height.
Dunlop Matting is also included in the kit and should be applied over the floor area as per the tape, before applying a second waterproof coating over matting to achieve complete coverage.
Just be aware that Dunlop Shower Waterproofing Kit should not be used as a finished or wearing surface.
Depending on your tile type, you can either fix with a ready-mixed adhesive such as the Dunlop RX range, or a cementitious adhesive, such as Dunlop Flexible Slowset Floor & Wall Tile Adhesive.
The Dunlop RX range is perfect for fixing small ceramic wall tiles (300mm x 300mm or similar). Easy to spread with high grab and great bond strength, the RX range makes tiling onto plaster easy – priming is only needed if the plaster has a polished, shiny appearance. Ready-mixed adhesives on waterproofing will take longer to dry.
Where the tiles are porcelain, natural stone or larger ceramics, a cement-based adhesive should be used – as a ready-mixed adhesive will not set with non-porous or larger tile types.
Again, make sure you prime if the plaster is shiny or polished.
Grouting can be achieved with a flexible wall and floor grout, such as Dunlop GX-500 and matching colour sealant such as Dunlop FX-90 for internal corners, shower tray and where movement joints are required.