There are several steps involved in putting ceramic tiles on walls. The correct materials should be on hand before beginning the projects, and the manufacturers information on installation should be read. Putting ceramic tiles on walls is a project that can add a decorative accent, or it can completely transform the look of a room.
Installing the Wallboard
When putting ceramic tiles on walls, you will first have to put up a cement backerboard. It is important to use cement for this task because an area with high moisture will not cause it to crack. Kitchens and bathrooms, the rooms most likely to have tile installed, are exposed to a lot of moisture, which can crumble sheetrock.
When installing the wallboard for putting ceramic tiles on walls, use galvanized screws, installed six inches apart. This will be sufficient support for the wallboard, which should be a half an inch thick or thicker. This is the minimum thickness to support the weight of the tiles.
Prep the Wallboard for Tile Installation
Once the wallboard is installed and secure, the seams should be taped. Fiberglass mesh tape is a good tape, as it will not shrink or bubble. When putting ceramic tiles on walls, always draw lines to guide you in your placement of the tiles, beginning with a small area, about 3 by 3 inches.
Using a tape measure and a level with ensure that the lines are straight. Once each small area is finished, start a new 3 by 3 area. Once finished, you will have a line grid that covers that area that you will be tiling.
A tile adhesive must then be applied to the wallboard. This is what actually keeps the tile in place. Apply the adhesive in small areas, just as with the 3 by 3 areas above. When putting ceramic tiles on walls, it is important to go slowly and to not try to cover the entire wall at once.
Placing Your Tile
Once your small section of adhesive is in place, you can begin putting ceramic tiles on walls by pressing the tiles into the adhesive. Spacers should be used to keep the grout gaps even. When putting ceramic tiles on walls, make sure to follow the lines that were drawn and to check frequently to make sure that the tiles are being laid are straight.
When laying a tile wall, you should also remember that there will be a few places that will not have tile on them. If you want a wall mirror, or a wall soap dish, leave those areas without tile. Any areas that have pipes will need to have the tiles cut to fit around them.
When one area has been tiled, use a sponge or a rubber-bottomed float to put some grout over the top of the tile. If you are putting ceramic tiles on walls in a bathroom, a waterproof grout should be used. The grout will go onto the float, and will then be wiped across the tiles. The float or sponge can then be used again to wipe the excess grout off the tiles.
The final step in putting ceramic tiles on walls is to fill in spaces between the tiles, called the joints. Se a latex or silicone chalk caulk for your tile. Caulk can be smoothed with your finger as you put it in the joints. After the caulk has dried, use a utility knife for trimming away the excess caulk.