How to prepare an uneven wall for tiling

uneven wall

If you are undertaking a tiling project, an uneven wall could make it is difficult to create a professional finish. Unfortunately, it is rare to find a completely straight and level wall, so before you start tiling it is important to prepare the surface. Thankfully there are many simple ways to ensure an unlevel surface is ready for tiling, and in our latest blog post we take you some easy-to-follow tips.

How to check if a wall is even

Even if you are not faced with rough plaster, small bumps, cracks or holes, it is important to check whether a wall is flat before tiling. A seemingly level wall may have moved slightly over time, which could cause tiles to protrude, otherwise known as lippage. The uneven surface will also make it difficult for the adhesive to grip the tile, and you may be left with gaps and cracks in the surface if the issue is not resolved before tiling.

The easiest way to check for any irregularities in the surface, which may not be visible to your eye, is to slide a level piece of timber across the wall. As you slide the wood across the wall, mark any areas where the wood meets bumps or dips, as it may be possible to fill or sand these spots to create a level surface.

1) Plaster the wall

If there are many uneven areas across a wall, it may not be feasible to fill or sand the surface. In this situation, one of the best ways to guarantee a flat surface is to freshly plaster the entire wall or to hang fresh plasterboard. However, experience is needed to achieve a perfect finish, so you may need to hire a professional plasterer.

2) Fill holes, gaps and cracks

If there are any nails, hooks, screws, wall plugs, holes or small cracks, always fill these with a suitable filler and sand flat. This will create a smooth and even surface without imperfections, which will help to ensure the longevity of the tiled surface.

3) Use tile backer boards

Tile backer boards such as our Baseboard panels can be used to cover existing walls and floors, making them a quick and easy option for those looking to create a stable, flat and even surface. These versatile boards are lightweight, easy to handle, waterproof and insulating, which makes them a great choice for those looking for a quick, simple and innovative alternative to plasterboard, ply or chipboard.

4. Use adhesive to level the surface

A thick set adhesive can be applied to both the wall and tiles, with back buttering used in areas where the surface needs filling out. However, we also recommend using a levelling system such as the LevTec kit, as it can be difficult to maintain a level finish from tile to tile. The levelling clips and wedges will force the edges of the tiles together to create a smooth, flat surface with no lippage. We recommend using a slow drying adhesive, so that you have plenty of time to lay and adjust the tiles to the surface before it sets.

5. Use small tiles

If you are tiling a very uneven surface and plastering or tile backer boards are not an option, try to use small tiles such as mosaics rather than large format tiles, as these do not have any flexibility. The smaller mosaic pieces will help to hide an uneven surface, especially if the adhesive is used to help level the surface. A great example can be found in our Weller range of mosaic tiles, which can be paired with many coordinating tiles in the Weller collection.

Quantum Group – Providing professional tiling advice & equipment throughout the UK & Ireland

Are you still wondering how to prepare an uneven wall for tiling? Whether you are tiling walls or floors, our team are always pleased to share their professional tiling knowledge. We also stock a wide range of tiling equipment and tiles, which are available on a wholesale basis throughout the UK and Ireland. To find out more about stocking our range or to find your nearest stockist, please contact our sales team today.