Plumb, level flat and square are essential when tiling walls. In this video, veteran construction pro Sal Diblasi shows why. Watch the full video for all of Sal’s thoughts on the importance of keeping true to the plane, and then check out our tile tip below.
Slavatore “Sal” DiBlasi has been in the flooring trade since 1984. He started out installing ceramic tile, VCT tile, Carpet, hard wood, and many other types of flooring surfaces. In about 1989, he decided it was time to work for himself and started out on his own. Sal has been self-employed in the Boston North Shore area ever since. He is a believer in doing things right and never cutting corners or rushing to finish a job.
Sal originally uploaded videos to his YouTube channel so that he could embed them onto his website, to show off his work and attract new customers. At some point he saw that he was getting quite a few views and decided to go with it and create some how-to videos. That was about 5 years ago. Now he has just shy of 700 videos.
Thanks for sharing your videos and experience, Sal!
Plan the layout
Before starting any tile project, it’s important to check that the floor is level and the walls are flat. Use a level and straightedge to see if the floor is level. If the floor slopes, find the lowest point and mark it. Then hold the straightedge against the walls in the areas you plan to tile. If you find low areas, fill them with setting-type compound to flatten the walls before you start tiling.
Another thing to check at this stage is how your cap tile will look when it butts into your window and door moldings. If the cap protrudes past the moldings, one fix is to add a strip of matching wood, deep enough to hide the end of the cap tile, around the moldings.
Arrange rows of tile on the floor, including the spacers. Shift the rows left or right to determine the width of the end spaces and the locations of the plumb lines. Then stack a column of tile, starting with the base and ending with the cap. Use this mock-up to determine the finished height of your wainscot.