Last Updated on July 13, 2021
Are you wondering how to tile a kitchen wall? You’ve come to the right place.
Tiling your own walls can be one of the best ways to save some cash on your kitchen or bathroom project. Although the thought of applying your kitchen wall tiles might seem daunting at first, it can be a fun and exciting process with the right guidance.
Provided you have the right tile adhesive, a good set of ceramic tiles, and a little time to get your wall tiling process absolutely right, you’ll be on your way to a job well done in no time. Today, we’re going to cover some of the basics of how to tile a kitchen wall.
How to Tile a Wall: Wall Preparation
The first thing you’ll need to do before you start applying your wall tiles is to make sure your tile surface is flat and smooth. Get rid of anything on your kitchen walls that might cause the tiles to look uneven. It might be helpful to sand away any of the tile adhesive or similar products left behind by your previous design before you start tiling.
The same step applies when tiling walls and floors.
Once you’ve got the wall looking great for your tiling project, you can begin to measure how many wall tiles you’re going to need. Taking the time to measure the kitchen wall, wet room walls, or even the walls and floors in your bathroom will ensure you have plenty of materials for your project. When choosing the right number of tiles, you’ll need to calculate the space of the area you’ll be covering. It means measuring the height and width, then multiplying the figures.
Remember, you can subtract things like cupboards and door areas where you won’t have access to any tiling surface from your total. Next, think about the size of the tiles you’re going to be getting. You’d need a larger number of smaller tiles to replace the wall in your kitchen if your old tiles were larger.
If you’re unsure how many tiles you’re going to need exactly, it’s usually best to have too many rather than not enough. Having around 10% extra for your tiling job is usually a good idea, just if anything goes wrong.
Where Do You Start When Tiling a Wall?
Most people have their own preferences when it comes to how to apply wall and floor tiling. In general, however, it’s a good idea to start tiling your grid in the middle of the wall and working outwards. Whether you’re using mosaic tiles or basic tiles, this will help keep your pattern symmetrical when building out a horizontal or vertical line of tiles.
There’s also a chance that as you continue to apply your wall or floor tiling, you’ll notice that there’s a little extra space on the edge of the row, which means you might need to cut a tile down slightly to fit. Usually, if you’ve worked from the middle, the excess tile you’ll need on both sides will be approximately the same size. While it’s tempting to start by placing your first tile in the corner and working outwards, this is more likely to end up in a mess.
When you’re ready to begin, scoop up some of your tile adhesives with a notched trowel and press it onto the surface or wall. Start spreading in the corner formed by the wooden batten, and spread outwards, working with horizontal strokes. Hold the edge of your notched trowel at a slight angle to help ensure you get the coverage right.
You don’t need to cover the entire surface with adhesive at once. Try working on a small space of around one square metre at a time to stop the time adhesive from hardening and ruining your neat finish. From your central tiling point, you can press your first tile into place. You can use grout float and tile spacers to ensure you have the right distance between your tiles when creating a vertical line or horizontal line in a pattern. Try to wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp sponge so it doesn’t stain any natural stone or ceramic.
When applying mosaic tiles from a central vertical line, tap the board lightly using a rubber mallet while the powder adhesive is still wet to give it a flat finish. Put tile spacers into the corners of each tile and make sure you adjust positions when needed before ensuring you tap the tile firmly into place.
Tiling Your Wall
Once you’ve gotten started with your tiling process, the process becomes much easier. You can place each new tile alongside existing tiles, paying close attention to the tile joints and the distance between them. Continue applying your wall or floor tiles until you’ve covered the entire surface. You can use a spirit level to make sure that everything is even. It’s also worth ensuring the internal corners and external corners are properly lined up.
Remove the vertical timber batten and fix your tiles to the remaining section of the wall. You can then fill the edges and corners of the wall. If the edges of the wall require smaller tile cuts, you may need to use tile trims and a tie cutter to fill these spaces.
Remember, before using your tile cutter, use your tape measure to determine exactly how much you’re going to need. It’s best to be very cautious with your tile cutter and make small cuts as a starting point.
Finishing the Tiling Process
Once all of the tiles have been applied and the adhesive has fully dried, the next point in your step by step guide for tiling is to start grouting. Remove the tile spacers sticking out of the ends of the walls at each corner with a slight twisting motion. Next, press a small amount of grout onto the tiles, starting at the bottom corner. Don’t try grouting the entire area at once, as just like your adhesive, your grout may dry too quickly for you to manipulate it properly.
Use a grout float or spreader to spread the grout over the surface, make long strokes, and work into the tile joints carefully. Make sure you’re extra cautious around the tiles you used your tile cutter on. Once you’ve completed filling all the grout lines for your tile mountain and the grout joints, look even. Go over the tiles gently with a damp sponge.
Then, leave the grout to dry and rub it over with a dry cloth to remove any leftover adhesive and wayward grouting. After that, you can apply the sealant to your tiled area to give the whole wall or floor a finished effect. The silicone sealant and grout will work together to make your tiles look as even as possible. Once you’re done, get rid of your remaining tile backer boards, excess grout and anything else that might remain of your tile mountain.
Start Tiling Your Kitchen Wall
Now you know how to tile a kitchen wall, you can get the job done yourself instead of hiring a professional. It’s relatively easy, and once you get started, you will definitely get the hang of it.
Just remember your spacers and don’t try to work too fast; just one tile at a time!