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How To Lay Ceramic Tiles - part 3 - Wall Tiling

Wall tiling

Date created

Thursday, 12 May, 2016 - 13:05

Last updated

Thursday, 12 May, 2016 - 13:17

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When tiling walls you must start with a level surface and lay the tilles checking for level as you go. So whether you are tiling a kitchen splash back or tiling a bathroom wall the principles are the same - start level and stay level. Wall tiling is a simple but very accurate job that can be done by most people with an eye for detail. So how do you tile a wall?

How to Lay Ceramic Tiles, Part 3: Wall Tiles

This part of laying Ceramic tiles deals with wall tiles in a kitchen and bathroom. How to get a great job just the way you want it. The main key to laying wall tiles is to is to start with a level surface and a wall that is as flat and true as possible.


When tiling a kitchen splash back the kitchen is installed first making sure that the bench is level. Then using the level bench top the ceramic tiles are laid making sure that a small gap is between the bench top and the ceramic tiles.

Step one:

Spread the glue onto the wall (1 square metre at a time) and then sit the ceramic tiles on a 1.5mm spacer and press onto the wall. However if you have very large tiles you can spread the glue directly on the back of the tile. Step two: Press all your tiles onto the wall ensuring that they are straight and level using the spacers to make sure your job uniformed. As you go keep your joints clean so you do not have to clean up hard glue before grouting. Cut your tiles around windows as you come to them use a diamond blade. Make sure your tiles are laid level both horizontal and vertical

Step three:

Remove all spacers using a small screw driver and long nose pliers, ensuring you do not chip the tiles as you do. Make sure your tile joints are fairly clean with the glue cleaned out of them. Mix your grout and apply with a foam rubber grout trowel. Clean off the excess grout with a wet grouting sponge and when dry and set buff with a clean dry cloth. Do not use grout between the bench top and the tiles. It is best to use a flexible sealant like gap filler in the colour of your choice when the grout is set. (grout will tend to crack as the bench top expands will temperature)


bathrooms also follow the same principles as tiling a kitchen splash back however you do not have a level surface to start on as a bathroom floor is not level. So you must create a level surface.

Step one:

After the bathroom walls have been prepared, eg. Water proofed and joints set, a level piece of timber must be installed right around the room. 70mmx19mm maple DAR or pine would be a good choice. Minus 50mm off the height of your tiles and set a level line at that height. For example: if your tiles are 500mm in height you draw a level line at 450mm from the floor with the aid of a level. Then install timber from corner to corner right around the room. You must screw the timber at every stud and in the corners so the timber does not sag. Note: Your floor will not be exactly level so pick a point that is generally level to measure the 450mm up from.

Step two:

Tile as per normal up the wall to the ceiling or to the height you wish. Starting at the level boards installed around the room. Cut in around the windows and door. Use 1.5mm spacers for wall tiles (larger size spacers can be used if desired) making sure that the tiles remain level as you go.

Step three:

After you have tiled up to the height that you want and the glue has dried you can unscrew the timber boards and fill the holes with silicon. You are now ready to glue in the tile from floor to the 2nd row of tiles already glued on the walls. Measure up from the floor to the second row of tiles on both sides of the tile and minus 3mm from the measurement (this allows for the 1.5mm spacing top and bottom of the tile). Mark and cut the tile and glue into place. Do this right around the room and allow to set.

Step four:

Mix up your grout in the colour of your choice and push into the tile joints using a grouting trowel. Your grout should have the consistently of toothpaste. Clean down the tiles with a wet grout sponge. Allow the grout to set and dry and then buff the tiles with a dry cloth. Do not grout between the window or door frames and the tiles, use flexible gap filler for this.