The idea of tiling your own walls may be a difficult possibility, but with the right preparation and by utilising the right tools, it’s a lot more uncomplicated than you might believe. If you’re a bit intimidated by wall tiling then don’t be as we’ve developed this useful guide that covers whatever there is to understand about wall tiling! You can utilise the buttons listed below to skip to the bit you’re interested in or simply scroll to check out the whole lot.

Before Laying Your Tiles

Prior to you begin, make sure the surface areas you’ll be dealing with are clean, dry and flat. If you’re tiling over wallpaper, strip it back to the plaster and fill in any cracks or holes. Check the brand-new plaster is dry before you begin, bearing in mind it can take a minimum of two months to set appropriately, and utilise Mapei Guide G to prime any permeable surface areas.

As with all Do It Yourself jobs, proper preparation and your safety come. Below is a list of products, protective equipment and tiling tools you’ll need to finish the job in a safe method and to a high standard:

Wall Tiling Preparation

How many tiles do you require?

The first step is exercising how many tiles you need, and to do that, you need to compute the location of the space, you’ll be covering. Measure the height and width of the space then multiply the figures.

Make sure to consider the area of any doors, windows or cupboards and subtract this from the total. To conserve confusion, it often helps to knock up a quick sketch with all the measurements made a note of.

Once you’re sure of the maths, you can go on and buy your tiles. Most ceramic tile loads cover a square metre, however we‘d advise having around 5-10% additional just in case.


It’s constantly recommended to start tiling your grid in the centre of the wall, as it’s simpler to make sure your pattern is balanced. It also indicates any half-tiles you may require can go at the end of each row and will be of matching size. While it’s tempting to begin in the corner, it might leave you with wonky rows and an untidy finish by the time you’re done.

Develop Your Design

As we mentioned previously, establish your vertical rows from the middle of your space. You can discover this merely by determining the height and width, and marking the middle with a pencil.

A gauge rod is a wise method to assist you with your row and end tile size. We recommend utilising a 50mm x 25mm piece of wood, although any will do, with a length of around 1.8 m depending on the size of your wall.

Set out a line of tiles with an area between them, then line up the batten edge with that of your first tile. Mark each tile and gaps on the rod with a pencil and number them. This way, it’s simple to see the number you need in each row.

Action 1

Hold the gauge rod in line with the centre of your wall and mark the tile positions across it:

Action 2

Check if the last tile requires to be cut in order to fit when you reach a corner. If less than half a tile will be needed we suggest adjusting your beginning position, as larger tiles look better when completed:

Action 3

Line up the rod at the initial mark and make a brand-new one midway between 2 tile marks if you do need to move your beginning point. This should suggest your end tiles you require to cut will be more than half a tile wide, and that your centre line and centre tile now match up:

Step 4

Hold the gauge rod versus your brand-new mark and, using a level to make ensure it’s straight, draw a line from side to side:


Creating Horizontal Rows

It’s time for the horizontal ones, as soon as you’ve established your vertical rows. We recommend utilising wood battens protected to the wall as a guide, as they’ll also assist prevent slippage while the adhesive is setting.

Step 1

With any luck, the wall and rod lines will match up and you won’t have to cut any tiles for the bottom and leading rows. If not, just cut in half the range between the wall and rod marks and, as with the vertical rows, make sure it’s more than half a tile wide.

Action 2

Step the distance between the two wall marks and include another halfway between them:

Action 3

Hold the gauge rod clear of the skirting/floor, then align one of its marks with the one you’ve simply made. Make another mark level with the foot of the rod. This will be where your horizontal row begins. Utilising a long straight edge and spirit level, draw the line throughout the wall from the mark:

Step 4

Inspect behind the wall for any cables or pipes, then nail your 50mm x 25mm batten. Use another batten for the vertical line.

Part-Tiling A Wall

If you’re just part-tiling a wall, a top horizontal row full of whole tiles produces a much cleaner finish, so we believe it’s really worth investing a long time to get it right.

Action 1

Use a gauge rod to exercise the position of the lowest horizontal row, then mark the leading row’s position on the wall:

Step 2

Fill the gap in between your bottom row and skirting/floor with cut tiles. Remember, you don’t want them too little, so move your top row if they’re less than half a tile:

Action 3

If you do not like the idea of cutting tiles and would rather prevent it, check to see if the skirting/wall is even. If it’s directly, you can utilise it to align your tiles rather.

Fixing Whole Tiles To A Wall

It’s really essential to begin laying your field tiles, so the faces are level. If any are uneven, eliminate them and either include or remove adhesive, so they all sit flush.

Bevelled or rounded glazed edge tiles usually suggest you won’t need corner trim. Tile the first wall right up to the edge of your space, then do the very same for the return, permitting the corners to overlap. Make certain to leave a space for grouting, too.

Action 1

Beginning in the corner of your two battens, scoop up and apply some adhesive to the wall using your notched trowel. Then with a notched trowel, work far from the vertical batten in horizontal strokes, holding the blade at around 45 °. We’re searching for good ridges here, as they imply an equal amount of adhesive behind the tiles and a better possibility of them being straight. Work around one square metre at a time, so the adhesive doesn’t dry:

Step 2

Apply the very first tile to the corner where your battens meet so its edges protest them, and push its centre securely to the wall. Include the tiles above and next to it, making certain to leave a space between them:

Action 3

Add tile spacers to these spaces and change the tiles where needed. Push your spacers in firmly to produce an even grout and easier joints later on:

Step 4

Continue adding tiles up until you’ve covered all the adhesive, then carry on the process for the remainder of the wall. Wipe any excess adhesive from the tiles using a damp sponge as you go– it’s difficult to leave once it’s dried:

Step 5.

Scrape off the vertical batten and get rid of any excess adhesive that may have left from under the tiles. Then finish off the wall with the cut tiles required for the gaps:

Tiling Internal Corners.

Action 1.

The most convenient method to determine for cutting is utilising the last entire one in the row– hold a tile over it, location another versus the wall, and after that mark they overlap in felt tip pen. Otherwise, merely take separate measurements at the top and bottom of the area and cut the tile to fit:

Step 2.

Inspect the cut tile fits appropriately in the space and change with a tile file if required. If you’re going to tile the next wall too, you do not need to be completely precise here, but remember to leave enough space in the corner for grout if you’re just tiling one:

Action 3.

Apply adhesive to the back of your cut tile, utilising the narrow end of a notched trowel. Put it in place so it’s level, press to protect it, and utilise joint spacers to keep the gaps if needed:

Step 4.

Repeat the process for the next one as soon as you’ve finished your very first wall. Always strive for the neatest grouted joint possible where the two walls meet. This can be the difference in between it looking scrappy and a job well done:

Tiling External Corners.

For a neat finish on your external corners, corner trim is a must. It comes in a variety of materials and colours (anodised aluminium is popular) and sizes and helps safeguard your edges from knocks and chips.

Step 1.

Cut your corner trim to the best length utilising a hacksaw, then use a strip of adhesive to the return wall and press it in. Line up the trim with the tiles from your very first wall leaving space for grout in the future: Vertically apply more adhesive to the return wall with a notched trowel, making sure not to loosen or knock off any tiles from the other wall:

Action 2.

Repeat the process from the first wall, working away from the corner trim and remembering to leave room for grout. Use spacers to help you change the tiles you need to, and guarantee the range between tiles stays consistent. Double-check the trim hasn’t moved and readjust if needed as soon as you have actually ended up

Tiling A Splashback.

Tiling a splashback will depend nearly totally on the shape of your basin. If there’s a straight and even somewhat curved back, measure the wall’s depth in multiples of entire tiles. A more pronounced curved method you’ll require to cut tiles to permit and fit for a row of half-tiles closest to your basin. If there’s only a small curve, or the edge is absolutely straight, you can lay the first row level to it without needing to cut tiles. We suggest using either cardboard or paper spacers to guide you while the adhesive dries, which can then be removed and the join filled with sealant.

Step 1.

Step the width of your basin in whole tiles then mark the centre point on the wall:

Step 2.

Lay out a row of tiles and include areas and edging strips at either end. Cut a wood batten to the same length and mark the tile and sign up with positions on it. This will be your gauge rod, in addition to your lower batten for any half-tiles:

Step 3.

Draw a vertical line from the centre point up the wall using a spirit level:

Step 4.

To cut the bottom row of tiles, fix the batten to the wall with 50mm masonry nails in the centre of the vertical line. Examine if it’s straight utilising a level. If you’re uncertain, the upper edge needs to be around half a tile’s width from the top of the basin:

Step 5.

Apply the adhesive equally to the location with a notched trowel. If you’re uncertain, the upper edge needs to be around half a tile’s width from the top of the basin:

Step 6.

Start in the middle and attach your first tile in line with the batten’s marks. When you’ve ended up that row, continue above it fitting spacers as you go:

Action 7.

Use a moist cloth to rub out any excess adhesive:

Step 8.

Apply matching glazed trim to the side and upper edges, then mark and suffice to the ideal length. Cut the corners to 45 ° and improve with a tile apply for an especially smart finish:

Step 9.

When your edges are applied, remove the batten and determine the space listed below. Cut your tiles to fit, remembering to permit sealant between the sink and tiles. Then, when the adhesive is dry, apply the grout and seal the bottom space:

If that doesn’t answer your concerns about wall tiling then we don’t understand what will. To download this guide in PDF format, click the button below:.

The thought of tiling your own walls might be daunting possibility, however with the right preparation and by using the right tools, it’s a lot more straightforward than you might think. Lay out a line of tiles with space in between them, then line up the batten edge with that of your first tile. If not, just halve the range in between the wall and rod marks and, as with the vertical rows, make sure it’s more than half a tile large. Tile the first wall right up to the edge of your space then do the exact same for the return, permitting the corners to overlap. Cut your tiles to fit, keeping in mind to enable sealant in between the sink and tiles.

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