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DIY Tips for Installing Ceramic Wall Tiles

DIY Tips for Installing Ceramic Wall Tiles

Ceramic wall tiles can create a beautiful space in your room. Painting a room can make it pretty, but the ceramic wall tiles will actually protect the walls where the paint does not. Most people hire professionals to do the installation of ceramic wall tiles, but you can do your own with a little instruction.

Your first priority will be to prepare the surface area that you are going to put the tiles on. You remove all of the switch plate covers, receptacle covers, trims, and nails that might be in the wall. Then you check to make sure the foundation is sound before proceeding. If the foundation wall is damaged it can cause your tiles to look bad, or worse it can cause them to crack and come loose over time. If you find any signs of weakness of the wall, then take the time to correct this problem before proceeding.

You will need a tape measure and a level to lay out the positioning of the tile. You start in the middle of the section and work your way to the outer edges so that you only have to cut tiles that will be on the very edge. You measure the length of the area and find the middle, then the width of the area and find the middle and that is your dead center where you should place your first tile.

You can use a chalk line to create the lines on the wall surface for you to follow. Nail a nail on one end of the wall you are working on and attach the end of the chalk line to it so you can pull the string taut and then snap it to leave a dusting of chalk where the string was. Your line will be straight but may not be perfectly level.

You will need to dry fit the tiles to make sure that you have the pattern you want and then you can measure the ones that need cutting. You will need to rent a diamond tipped wet saw to do this work with. If there is anyway that you can avoid having to cut the tiles it will be easier for you.

Use a long straight board, like a 1x4 to help you keep your first row perfectly straight and level. Screw the board on to the wall so that it is easy to remove when you are finished with it.

Mix your mortar according to manufacturer’s instructions. It is best to put the dry powder into the mixing bucket first, and then add small amounts of water at a time and stir it completely each time until you get the consistency you desire. Allow the mortar to set for 15 minutes, then stir again and you will be ready to go.

Spread the mortar on a 2x3 area and start to set your tiles in place. You need to apply the tiles with a slight twisting motion. If mortar squishes out around them, then you have too much and need to reduce the coverage.

Once the tiles are set and the mortar has dried to apply the grout using a trowel and a wet cloth to wipe any grout off of the tiles. Apply a grout sealer once the grout has dried to protect from mold and mildew.

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