- If you have the walls stripped down to old studs or building a new wall check how straight the walls are with a level or straight edge, square and tape measure. Each stud should plane evenly on the side where you will be attaching the backer board. If not then adjust the framing member by moving it, trimming it, or adding furring strips.
- Next, each perpendicular surface should be square. Or the degree it was intended to be, 45, 22.5 etc. If not then adjust the Framing members again by moving, trimming, or shimming them. Again check that the studs plane out evenly.
- Lastly before attaching the backer board check the walls (or studs) with a 4' level if they are plum. If the walls are plum your tile will look square, straight, and professional. Otherwise you will be trying to fit square tiles onto a wall shaped like a trapezoid and have grout lines that look unlevel.
Getting tile to look good takes more than just an experienced tile installer. It all begins with framing the walls perfectly and making sure the floor is level. If the floor and walls are not prepared properly an expert installer will have difficulties setting the tile and the end result may not look good. The following tips will help a finished product look perfect.
Floor tile: When installing tile on the floor be sure the surface is level and smooth before laying down the Hardibacker. Something as little as one nail head protruding could throw off the whole install leaving tiles uneven. If the floor is beyond repair by using shims then consider using a self leveling compound to smooth out any imperfections.
One extra tip before laying tile - I always inspect the tile for different thicknesses and make sure they are square, sometimes they vary in size and shape. This is only becomes troublesome when your grout joints are tight leaving little room for any adjustments. If you find the tiles to be inconsistent then make your grout joints 1/4" or larger depending on the variations.