Installing wall tiles in a kitchen or bath creates a beautiful and durable wall covering. Wall tile can be installed over many types of wall materials like, cement backer board, drywall, cement blocks, and concrete depending on the use of the room.
This article teaches you how to install wall tiles.
In this article, you will find information about:
Recommended Wall Substrate Materials: The surface under your tile is as important at the tile on top so you need to be sure to install the correct backer for your new tile. If you are simply installing a tile backsplash over a kitchen or bathroom counter top then you will be fine sticking the tiles to the existing drywall.
These are the most common areas for wall tiles and the recommended substrates:
Existing Backsplash Conditions: Another consideration is the possible need to remove the existing 4" backslpash that was installed with the counter tops or a row of wall tiles on a tub surround. If there is an existing backsplash you will probably want to remove it before installing the new wall tile backsplash. If the counter tops are plastic laminate and the splash is formed into the counter top then you will need to keep the back splash in place and start the tile on top of it.
Determining where the tiles and tile joints will start and stop on the walls is important, especially if you are installing a tile medallion or simply want a balanced look. There are several ways to pick the perfect tile layout depending on your walls and the design or look you want to achieve.
Where you start sticking the tile to the wall depends on whether you are installing a tile feature like a medallion or you are simply installing a more simple row of tiles that can start at a corner. Make sure you have your tile layout starting point marked well and try to not cover too much of the marks up when you put tile mastic on the wall.
Have the tile saw set up and make any necessary tile cuts as you set the tiles, like when you bump into a electrical outlet and need to cut the tile around it. There are several tools used to cut tile. To find out a detailed explanation read the article How To Cut Tile. These are the most typical types of cuts to make on ceramic and stone tile and the best tool to cut with.
Make straight cuts: with a manual tile cutter or a wet tile saw.
Curved areas or inside corners on a tile piece like around a electrical outlet are most easily cut with a wet saw.
Cutting small pieces of tile off a larger piece for round cuts are best cut with tile nippers or a wet saw by holding the tile at an angle against the saw blade.
Wait over night and then get ready to grout the tile. Grout comes in two flavors, sanded or non sanded. The sand in the grout helps strengthen the grout when it needs to span larger grout joints, just like stones in concrete.
Mixing Grout: Mix the grout according to the manufactures instructions. It should be creamy and pliable like pudding.
Spread Grout Into Tile Joints: Use the rubber trowel to spread the grout across the face of the tiles and into the grout joints. Spread the grout into the tile joints by pushing the grout at a 45 degree angle to the tile joints. Make sure to push the grout in different directions on each joint so that you are sure to embed the grout the full depth of the joint, making sure it is stuck to both sides of the tiles on each side of the joint. Don't worry about some of the grout joints having more grout than others, we will create uniform grout joints in the next step with the wet sponge.
Sponge Work: Use a wet sponge to wipe across the surface of the grout joints. Don't scrub the tiles, rather you should pull the sponge across the surface of the tiles and grout joints in one sweeping motion. After each pass you should rinse the sponge out in water. This grouting trick will create uniform grout joints and a much cleaner tile surface that is easier to clean up.
Clean The Tile: Let the grout dry over night and then use a clean damp rag to wipe down the tile, there will be alot of grout dust on the surface and grout sealer will bond the dust with stone tiles and make it a bit harder to remove from ceramic tiles.
Grout and Tile Sealer: After the tile is clean and the grout joints have dried it is important to apply grout sealer, and /or tile sealer if you are using a stone tile like travertine. If you are using ceramic tile you only need to apply sealer to the grout joints. Grout sealer helps the grout repel water and dirt or food.
Grout sealer should be re-applied yearly to keep the grout joints in good condition.