DIY How To

Tiling Walls

Wall tiles have been around for many years, the main rooms where wall tiles are used are in kitchens and bathrooms. Today's range of tiles offer an attractive water resistant, wipe clean surface and come in an abundance of sizes, colours and finishes.

Laying Wall Tiles

Planning how to set the tiles out is the most crucial part of tiling. Ideally you will obtain a balanced look to each tiled surface, with the tiles centred around a focal point, this ensures that any cut tiles are of similar size. No tiling project is complete without first visiting The Tile Depot for a wide selection of top quality wall tiles.

TipWhen tiling the top of a window recess use masking tape to hold the tiles in place until the adhesive has set.

Draw line

If you are tiling down to the floor or skirting, then to make sure you have a horizontal base from where to start, draw a horizontal base line around the room. Use the tile gauge to make sure there will not be any unsightly cuts between the floor, ceiling and any focal points such as windows. If there are going to be some small thin cuts adjust the base line up or down accordingly. Make sure that the base line is not more than a tile high.

Fix batten

Once you have your base line, part-drive nails into a batten until the points start to come through the other side. Offer the batten up to the base line and hammer the nails in until they secure the batten. Leave the nail heads protruding so the battens can be easily removed afterwards.

Mark centre line If there is a focal point such as a window, then draw a centre line and using the tile gauge, check there will be no unsightly cuts along the edges of the window and both edges of the wall. If there is more than one focal point along the same wall, try and select a starting point which suits all focal points.
Notched trowel

Once you have worked out a starting point, spread the tile adhesive using a notched spreader. Not more than a square metre should be covered with adhesive at a time.

Fix first tile

Place the tiles into the adhesive using a firm twisting motion so that a good even contact is made between the tile, adhesive and wall. If the tiles do not have spacer lugs on the edges, then use plastic tile spacers to give a uniform spacing. Butt up the tiles on each side of the first tile and then build up three or four rows.

Check tiles are flush

Spread more adhesive approximately a square metre at a time and add the tiles and spacers as required. Every three or four rows check with a spirit level that the tiles are sitting flush and also that they are vertical. Fix all the whole tiles before doing any cuts, its a lot easier and you will waste fewer tiles.

Tile internal corner

When tiling internal corners, the tiles on one wall need to overlap the other wall. Plan which wall is going to overlap the other before measuring and cutting the tiles. Offer two loose tiles up and select which way is least noticeable.

Fit edge trim

There are various ways to tile external corners, there are plastic edge trims that are bedded into the adhesive before the tiles are fitted. Take care to make sure they are fitted vertical, otherwise you will have problems when you come to add the tiles.

Tile external corner

Most wall tiles have at least two glazed edges, this makes it possible to finish an external corner with a glazed edge. Where a sink or bath is set into a tiled top, the tiles on the horizontal should overlap the ones on the vertical.

Tile window recess

In window recesses line the tiles in the recess with the tiles on the main wall. The tiles in the recess should also overlap the tiles on the main wall unless an edge trim is used.

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