ballvalve, thank you for your post.
cacher, the Gold Standard in tile backing was and is a floated coat. It's the quickest and easiest way to plumb and square out of line studwork - provided that
one has the relatively simple plastering skill required. The method is commonly used in the West and the Southwest: see michael byrne and johnbridge.com
I have demo'd floated shower walls from the 1920's where the tile ( read grout ) had failed long before, and yet no moisture had penetrated the backing to damage studs or structure, and this after 80 years of wear and Ca. earth tremors.
Going a little further afield, one might view sound, tile installations over floated backings in Rome and Istanbul that were fixed over a 1000 years ago.