Wall and Partition Facings, Why use wall and partition facings

Wall and Partition Facings speaks to why use wall and partition facings, what are wall and partition facings.

It is the fact that the vast majority of gypsum board partitions are finished with several coats of paint.

Ceramic tile facings, are often added to walls for reasons of appearance, durability, sanitation or moisture resistance.

In a thickset mortar bed application, tile is applied to a base of Portland cement mortar. Thickset applications are used where the face of the partition or the surface of the floor is cracked, coated, rough, unstable, or so uneven as to make it unsuitable for direct bonding of tile using thin set methods.

Depending on the quality of the substrate, metal reinforcing of the Portland cement mortar base may or may not be required and the mortar base may or may not be isolated from the substrate with a layer of paper acting as a slip sheet. Thickset mortar beds for wall tilling are typically ¾ to 1 inch (19-25 mm) thick, while those for floors are typically 1 ¼ to 2 inches (32-50 mm) thick.

Lower cost tile wall facings eliminate the mortar base and are thin set onto tile backing boards also called backer boards, most frequently made of fiber reinforce lightweight cement or glass mat faced water resistant gypsum board, similar to a common floor tile assembly. Cement backer board is more water resistant but is more difficult to cut and handle than lighter weight gypsum board.

Water resistant paper faced gypsum backer board, used in the past for low cost thin set tile applications, is no longer considered sufficiently durable for tile backing applications, particularly in wet areas such as shower surrounds.

Tiles are bonded to the backer board with a variety of compounds, the most common of which are dryset mortar, latex/polymer modified Portland cement mortar and organic adhesive. Dryset mortar is a mix of cement, fine sand and water retention compounds that allow the thin mortar layer to cure properly. Latex/polymer modified Portland cement is similar to dryset motor but with additives that improve the cure mortar’s freeze thaw resistance, flexibility and adhesion.

Organic adhesives, various proprietary synthetic polymer adhesives, are used for light dutytile applications. After the tiles have become fully adhered, a cement grout of any desired colour is wiped into the tile joints with a rubber faced trowel. Thin set compounds and grouts formulated with epoxies or furan resins which are colourless highly volatile solvents distilled from wood, may also be used for tiling applications where greater strength, impact resistance or chemical resistance is required.

In showers, steam rooms and other wet locations, a waterproofing membrane should be added to the tile assembly to prevent water from seeping through the tile and into the wall behind. Either liquid applied or flexible sheet membranes may be used, positioned either behind the base material or between the base and the finish tile.

Facings of granite, limestone, marble or slate are sometimes used in public areas of major buildings. Wood wainscoting and paneling may be used in limited quantities in fire resistant buildings. They are mounted over a backing of plaster or gypsum board to retain the fire resistive qualities of the partition.


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