Tiling walls can obviously be more daunting than having to tile floors mainly because of gravity not working in your favor. However, this only means that it takes a little bit extra work and the right tools.
The tools you’ll need:
- 1677 1” mosaic tiles
- 1/8” spacers
- 1/8” notched towel
- Sanded grout
- Tile snips
- Grout float
- Assorted sponges, rags and buckets
Step 1: Preparing the surface
When you’re laying down floor tiles these need to be done with a good foundation of fiber and concrete, the same goes for wall tiles. If you are going to tile a small area of the wall you can get away with using tiling over a standard drywall board or even a green board.
However, for full length tiles like the urinal stall you’ll have to use a ½” fiber cement backer. Backer boards will go into similar to a dry wall and their seams will have to be mudded and taped in order to make the surface smooth for tiling. So, the smaller the size of your tiles the more smooth you’ll want the surface to be. Some sanding is all that is required to bring the surface down to an even finish.
Another thing you will want to do is to choose the right tile. If you have purchased translucent tiles you’ll require white tile adhesive. The other important thing is to roll a thick coat of white primer on the surface (wall) prior to tiling. This does not take a lot of time to do but if your adhesive is not spread properly it will hide this fact.
Step 2: Knowing Tile & Spacing
Your tiles need to be centered on the wall, or a section of the wall if you’re adding it to just a small portion. If you have half tiles they should be equal portions on both sides. If you have larger tiles this fact will be true for both horizontal and vertical spacing. However, the best method is to start from the top and then work your way down. As you lay down the tiles measure the space between every tile. So, you should be spending as much time measuring as you do laying out the tile.
Step 3: Now Stick It
This step will require the use of the notched towel, adhesive, spacers, and the spackling knife. If you are installing small tiles then a very small bit of adhesive should be used. The adhesive should be applied by first putting it on the spackling knife. The larger your knife is the more area you should be able to cover. If you are using a notched trowel with very small notches it will also help to evenly spread the adhesive.
If you have larger tiles you’ll require one with larger notches. Once the first piece has been installed you now have a reference point from which to work with. Use small spacers and you should be able to line up the tiles perfectly. The convenient thing about a paper fronted tile is the fact that you can make cuts in between the tiles to evenly space everything. For tiling around odd spaces like plumbing fixtures you’ll need to use your nippers.
Step 4: Taking off the covers
Now that you have tiled the entire space you should let it dry for around 48 hours. Then use a damp sponge to remove the paper. Run the sponge over the mosaic tiles after every five minutes. After a few attempts the paper should start peeling off. You’ll also probably notice a few tiles that have to be pried off prior to being reapplied to get the spacing right. If you spot imperfections in the alignment you’ll need to take out the tiles and reapply them using adhesive.
Installing mosaic tiles happen to be the easiest way to make your bathroom look as good as new. If you have old tiles that need to be removed then make sure to first remove them prior to sanding down the entire wall prior to using the method described above. Many manufacturers also have a list of installation instructions that come with their tiles that you can use in order to make the job a lot easier.
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Mark is a construction expert and interior designer with over a decade of experience. He is an expert with bathrooms and tile installations.