Finishing work

I want to make a renovation! Bathroom: aligning the walls (part 3)

Our bathroom has a high-quality, even, possibly even warm floor. It’s time to line up the walls. Why should we talk about this at all? The fact is that even walls in houses built in the last century are a rare occurrence. And if you are a happy owner of an apartment in a new building, you may face another problem. Often these apartments are sold without finishing work. And then the owner’s concern will be leveling the brick wall to such a state that will allow you to put tiles on it..

Is it so important, smooth walls? The bathroom is more important than any other. Tile, a traditional bathroom decoration material, should form straight seam lines when laid. If the base for the tiles is not even, this will become very noticeable at the seams. Smooth walls give the room a strict, neat look and allow any design ideas to come true.

How can you align the walls in the bathroom?

This article will go into three ways in detail. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing about them, the owner can decide which technology is most suitable for a given room..

Regardless of the method chosen, it must be remembered that the bathroom is a very humid room. Only moisture-repellent materials are suitable for leveling the walls..

Leveling walls with plaster

Plaster is the classic method of leveling walls. A couple of decades ago, this method was the only one. And today, many owners prefer it. For plastering rooms with high humidity, a cement-sand mixture is used. You can buy it ready-made, or you can do it yourself. Recommended ratio of cement to sand for wall plastering 1: 4.

What is needed for work besides the cement-sand mixture?

We expose beacons

Walls cleaned to bricks or concrete slabs must be carefully primed. Is the primer dry? Beacons can now be installed. These are special thin metal strips that are used as guides for leveling the plaster. They are reinforced at a distance of 100-120 cm from each other and 20-30 cm from the corners of the room. Each lighthouse is exposed strictly vertically, in level.

It is convenient to attach the plank to the wall using alabaster mixed with water. The mixture should not be thick, but not liquid either. You do not need to breed a lot of alabaster, it hardens very quickly. We strengthen the lighthouse from above and from below pointwise. We quickly check the vertical using a level or plumb line. After making sure that the guide is aligned correctly, fill the space between the wall and the lighthouse with a batch of alabaster.

 Important! All guides of one wall must lie in the same plane.

How to apply a cement-sand mixture?

This job requires certain skills. Usually, the cement-sand mixture is thrown onto the wall using a special plastering bucket. It’s not easy, it takes practice. On small bathroom walls, you can do without a ladle. The plaster mortar can be spread on the wall with a trowel (if the layer is small) or with a half-trowel (if the layer is 1.5-2 cm thick). A thicker layer must be applied in two times.

No matter how the mixture is applied to the walls, the space between the beacons should be mostly filled. The plaster should slightly protrude beyond the level of the plane of the beacons. We remove the excess solution with the rule, pressing it to the beacons. We carry out the rule from the bottom up, while making short movements to the left and to the right. The excess solution is, as it were, cut off. It turns out the basis of the plane we need.

Of course, in order to manipulate the cement mix in this way, you need to make it soft, pliable, like melted butter. It depends on the amount of water in the solution. Too much water – the mixture runs down the wall. And if too little, the rule pulls out pieces of new plaster..

So we consistently fill the spaces between the beacons. For further work, you need to allow the solution to set, harden, but not dry.

The wall becomes flat

The result is a wall with a flat base. But now the gaps have to be filled. And there are many of them. Cracks, cavities, shells. This time we will make a slightly more liquid solution. It is convenient to apply it with a polisher. It is necessary to ensure that the plane of the wall does not build up, but only the defects are leveled. After applying the leveling layer, you also need to pause. Let the solution harden.

The wall is getting prettier before our eyes. It remains only to make it smooth. To do this, you need a plastering foam float. It is necessary to moisten a part of the wall with water and rub it with a float, where necessary using a small amount of liquid solution. Don’t rub very hard. The fresh plaster layer may be damaged. After the plaster dries, it is primed. The wall is ready for finishing.

Plasterboard wall alignment

Modern technology for leveling walls using drywall can well be used in the bathroom. For wet rooms, moisture resistant drywall is produced. It is mounted on walls in one of two ways: on a frame or using glue.

How to make a frame for drywall

A wooden frame cannot be used in the bathroom. For the frame, galvanized profiles are needed. So what is needed for this job?

Measured and cut guide profiles are fixed to the ceiling and floor. This can be done using a screwdriver and quick fixing screws. The lower profile is attached strictly under the upper one. The same profiles are mounted to the walls perpendicular to the one being repaired. The profiles on the walls are set strictly vertically. The frame will be fixed to the resulting rectangle.

Next, you need to cut the CD profile. Its length is equal to the height of the room. To stiffen the inner corners, the first profile is placed so that it forms an angle with the first profile of the adjacent wall. Further, there should be a distance of 60 cm between the midpoints of the profiles. This is important because the width of the drywall is 120 cm, and the sheets should be joined in the middle of the profile. At the junction points, CD and UD profiles are fastened together with a self-tapping screw.

For structural rigidity, each rack profile must be attached to the wall in several places. For this, direct suspensions are used. The design of the suspensions allows them to be strengthened both before the installation of the racks, and after, under them. Suspension brackets are fastened to the wall with dowels and screws, and to the profile – with fleas.

In places of horizontal joining of drywall sheets, the frame should have transverse sections of the profile. The crossbeams are attached to the uprights using sibling connectors. The people called them «crabs». Parts are fastened «flea beetles».

Important! Consider in advance where in the bathroom there will be hanging furniture, a heated towel rail and a mirror. To fix them securely, a transverse profile is required at the attachment point..

Strengthening drywall

Before fixing drywall, you need to lay electrical wires for sockets and lighting.

Plasterboard sheets are fastened with black self-tapping screws 25 mm long. Their cap should be recessed 2-3 mm deep into the sheet. The extreme lines of the drywall and its middle are fixed. Self-tapping screws are screwed in at a distance of 15 cm from each other.

To cut off a piece of drywall sheet, you need a construction knife and a long ruler. A piece of profile can be used instead of a ruler. On the label, using a ruler, we make an incision along the front side of the drywall sheet. The sheet breaks easily along the notch towards the wrong side. With a knife from the seamy side, cut the second layer of cardboard.

After strengthening all the parts, you need to putty the place where the sheets are joined (preferably gluing the reinforcing mesh). The recessed caps of the self-tapping screws are also closed with putty. The finished plasterboard wall must be primed.

Or you can do it without a frame

Plasterboard on walls with slight irregularities can simply be glued. To do this, use a special adhesive mixture. The mixture is mixed with water with a construction mixer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There is no need to start a lot of glue at once. The mixture hardens rather quickly. Don’t forget to prime the wall. For this technology, this is the key to success. Wiring must be done in advance.

The glue is applied pointwise, every 20-25 cm along the entire seamy part of the sheet. This is done with a trowel or spatula. No need to save. After the drywall is pressed against the wall, each «point» should be 10-15 cm in diameter. It is especially important to grease the edges well. The glued sheet is checked with a level and rule. The plane must be flat. This is regulated by the thickness of the glue layer. That is why drywall is mounted this way only on relatively flat walls..

After installation – putty and primer. If everything is done carefully, the differences between frame and frameless installation are not visible..

What’s next?

The time comes for finishing work. The installation of water and sewerage pipes and plumbing equipment is still to be done. For information on how to continue renovating the bathroom, read the series of articles under the general title «I want to make repairs. Bathroom».