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How to tile a wall

How to tile a wall

If you are looking for a creative project for this spring or summer, you should tile one of the walls of your house.

Ceramics, Glass or mosaic tiles can be an interesting focus in any room, be it in your kitchen or bathroom as a backsplash or in your living room or solarium as an accent wall.

While you may think that wall tiles are identical to floor tiles, wall tiles actually bring with them a number of unique challenges and considerations.

ADSR1932-room-scene-scaled-1 How to tile a wall

Photo: Sarana Tile | Selected tile: ADSR glass mosaic

These useful tips will help you to easily tile every wall in your house.

1. Use a slatted board to prevent the tiles from slipping

Slatted board is an interior cladding with alternately wide boards and narrow wooden strips, which are referred to as “slats”. This way your tiles remain safe and you can start your lower row of tiles without any problems. These panels are typically 1 “x 4” or 1 “x 2” in size and can be screwed horizontally directly into your wall. It is important to note that this board should not be installed directly on your floor. Instead, raise it to about three-quarters the height of your tiles. That said, if you’re using 4-inch tiles, your slatted board should start three inches off the floor.

2. Install the tiles in a pyramid shape

After you have installed your slatted board and put your first row of tiles down, it is time to continue with the remaining tiles. There are no hard and fast rules for tile applications – after all, it’s your wall and should be designed with your style in mind. However, the easiest way to install the remaining tiles is a pyramid shape. If you use four tile lengths, place your first four tiles in a row. Then each subsequent row follows the process of “draping” the pyramid back and forth, following the steps below:

  1. Tile one, two, three and four.
  2. Start your first “cloth” either on the left or right side of this row and go up, over and down on the other side.
  3. Repeat your second “cloth” in the opposite direction.

3. Check that your floor is level and the walls are plumb

Most standard tiles are square, so it is easiest to install them on a square wall that is relatively flat and even. Hold a spirit level with a spirit level straight against your slatted board to ensure that both your floor and your wall are vertical (ie vertical). This is unlikely, even if your home was rebuilt. Fortunately, the following steps can fix this:

  1. If your level deviates by more than half an inch, more serious construction work will be required to level your wall or floor.
  2. If your level is less than half an inch away, additional panels or baseboards can usually be installed to cover up any level problems.

It is important to note that if your plumb or floor does not deviate more than half an inch over a period of eight feet, this will be shown in your tile laying.

4. Do not use tiles less than half wide

As you work to finish tiling your wall, you may find that there are spaces on the sides that are not large enough to accommodate a full tile. Therefore, you would need to use a tile splitter to tile this area. Tile chips are those that have been cut to less than half the width of the tile itself. It is important to note that the use of these splinters clearly draws attention to the plumb of your wall, which can be problematic if your wall is uneven. So make sure your tiles are positioned so that no splinters are needed on the outer parts of your wall.

If you’re tiling your wall at home as part of a larger tile project, make sure you tile your floor first so you can continue the joints on the wall using the same pattern. Just install a bay base and start laying tiles over it. When tiling adjacent walls, start with the wall that is furthest back because tapered edges on one side wall are less visible.

The duration of your tiling project depends on the size of the wall (or walls) you are tiling. As a rule of thumb, 30 to 45 minutes per square meter are reserved for preparing and inserting the tile. Before you start tiling, fix any structural defects on your wall related to leveling, and make sure you have the DIY skills required for this project (swinging and reading a leveling device, leveling, laying tiles and grouting) are familiar.

At your local tile supplier you can find wholesale tiles in various materials and designs. These experts from can help you with all of your wall tile needs and ensure that your wall tile project is a success.

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