Hot Topics: Tiling an Uneven Wall

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Sometimes (usually?) demo of old work leaves you with surfaces that are out of plumb, not level and otherwise uneven. So the challenge is how to blend your renovations with the original. Shortcuts at the start will leave you with an unsatisfactory finish. As the Forum will tell you, it’s all about prep. (BTW, “render” is a British English term for mortar and plaster.)

Original Post: Re-Tiling a brick wall

Paul Hedley Member


I am retiling a kitchen wall. I have removed the old tiles to expose the brick wall behind. The wall is now uneven with cement render and brick (see photo). Can I tile on top of this? And level with new adhesive as I go?

Highlights from the Thread

Eclectica Member

Level it up properly, thoroughly. When that's done, you can do whatever you desire.

Paul Hedley Member

Cheers for the reply, just to clarify: Should I level it with render and let it dry before tiling? Or can I level it with the tile adhesive as I go?

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

It probably depends on what you are using for adhesive. I doubt you could build it up with mastic but thin set would probably work ok. Getting it level first will make it easier to do a good job laying the tile. I don't know what 'render' is ... but I'm a painter, not a tile guy.

btw - welcome to the forums Paul!

czizzi Member

Skim coat it with a quick set patching compound will make installation of the tile substantially easier. The problem is that you are on a wall. Trying to float thinset will cause it to sag and give you all sorts of grief. A smooth wall and the use of a thinset designed for large format tile will minimize the sag. UltraLight or LFT both by Mapei are excellent.

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