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Measure 11 and 7/8" down from the top of the tub deck and make a mark. Set the laser level at this height.
Attach a batten board to the tub deck. The board supports the row of tiles from slipping down.
Mix a bucket of thinset to a peanut butter consistency (Image 1). Back butter the tiles with a 3/16" square-notch trowel (Image 2).
Set the tiles along the batten board using spacers to ensure even placement (Image 3).
To determine the size of the tiles around the top of the tub, set the tile on top and use a level to make sure it is flush with the front (Image 4). Scribe a line across the top of the tile so that the tile will fall just under the lip of the tub (Image 5).