How to Tile a Wall using Tiles Fixing Adhesive
There is nothing as beautiful as a well-designed tile wall. Tile walls are normally found in bathrooms or the splash guards of kitchen cabinets. Yet, they can be used decoratively anywhere you want to tile a wall. Although the idea of installing a tile wall on your own may be daunting, the process is relatively simple when broken down into steps.
1. Take your measurements.
In order to make sure you get the exact number of tiles for your location, you need to take precise measurements of the area of wall you’ll be tiling. To find the area of your wall, multiply the ‘length x width’; divide this number by the size of the tiles you are using in order to determine how many to purchase.
- Keep in mind that when you purchase your tile, it is best to buy a bit extra rather than too little.
2. Prepare your walls.
Just like tiling the floor, you must prepare your walls to be tiled. Start by washing down the walls with soap and water, and wait for them to air-dry completely. Take down any wallpaper, sand-down glossy walls, and patch any holes that might be present. If you’re tiling in a bathroom or on a wall that comes into regular contact with water, you’ll need to put a backing of cement fiber-board on the wall to protect it.
3. Select a pattern for your tile.
When placing your tile on the wall, you will do so in a pattern. You can test each style of the pattern out by laying your tiles out flat on the floor. There are two general patterns that people choose to use for tiling walls:
- Jack-on-Jack Pattern: this pattern involves rows of tiles lined up like a checkerboard. Every-other tile is the same color, but the rows and columns are aligned. This is the easiest pattern to accomplish.
- Running Bond Pattern: this pattern has an imaginary vertical line in the center from which all the other tiles are aligned. The pattern switches between each row so that the vertical line is going between two tiles, or it goes through the center of one tile. Overall, the appearance is that each tile is offset by a few centimeters.
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4.Find the center of your wall.
Because it is unlikely that your walls are perfectly square, you’ll need to start tiling in the center in order to create a pattern that is symmetrical. Determine where the center of your wall is, and mark it with a pencil. You can also use a laser level to mark your vertical/horizontal starting points for the tiles to be placed.
- Mark off any areas that you intend to hang cabinets or other wall attachments where you do not need tile.
5.Cut your tiles.
You may not actually want to cut all of your tiles till later on in the process, but keep in mind that you will likely have to cut some of your tiles to fit your wall. For large
, you’ll need to rent a tile-cutting saw from a local home and garden store. Small tiles (1-inch or so) can be cut with ‘nippers’ – a shears-like tool used for cutting small pieces of glass. Measure all your tiles prior to cutting to make sure you’ve got the precise sizes of everything.
6.Install a support board.
Unlike tiling a floor, when tiling a wall, gravity is not working in your favor. In order to prevent your tiles from sliding down the wall, you’ll need to install a temporary board for support. This is just a small strip of wood that goes along your wall horizontally at the center. When you’ve finished the top half of the wall, you’ll remove the support strip and finish the bottom half.
7.Apply your adhesive to the wall.
If necessary, mix your tile adhesive prior to use. Otherwise, scoop out a bit of the adhesive onto a notched trowel. Spread the adhesive in a thin layer (the smaller the tiles, the thinner the layer) over the starting section on your wall. Hold the trowel at about a 45-degree angle from the wall, applying consistent pressure as you spread. This will create the necessary ridges in the adhesive to allow for the tile to stick to the wall.
8.Apply your first tile.
Carefully line up your tile with the location on the wall it will go, and press it into the adhesive. Wiggle it back and forth a little bit to help create suction, so that it does not slide or move from its position.
9. Continue adding tiles.
Work your way along the wall, following your pre-set pattern, and add adhesive and tiles to fill up space. Any adhesive that oozes out between the tiles should be wiped off with a damp rag as soon as possible. Use small spacers between each tile to guarantee even spacing over the entire wall.
- Some tiles have built in spacers; make sure you know whether or not yours do before you start tiling.
- When you’ve finished the top half of the wall, remove your support board and move onto the bottom half.
10.Finish tiling around the edges.
Using the tile that you have cut to fit, carefully work around the edge of the room, applying the tile in the remaining spaces. If you are working in a bathroom or kitchen area, you will need to add waterproof caulking around the seams on the wall.
11.Apply your grout.
Grout is the finishing touch to a tile project; it fills in the space between each tile, protecting and securing them onto the wall. Choose a grout that matches your tile and color scheme, and mix it according to the package directions (if necessary). Use a grout float to spread it over the entire surface of the wall. The grout will cover up the color of the tiles, but don’t worry; you’ll wipe this away later. Wait 30 minutes for it to set.
12. Clean off your tiles.
Use a large sponge soaked in water to carefully wipe down the surface of the tile. Don’t worry about scrubbing all the grout off yet, simply wipe down all the excess. Wait about an hour after this for the grout to continue setting, and then clean off the rest of the grout covering the tiles.
13.Apply a sealer.
You don’t have to apply a sealer to your tile if you don’t want the added step, but it is particularly helpful in a room that has high levels of moisture. Follow the directions with the sealer to apply it correctly to the tile wall. Allow for it to dry completely before putting the room back together and into use.