This coming year, are you looking to update your ordinary bathroom walls with subway tiles? Installation is quick, easy and cost-effective. You do not have to hire a professional, you can easily do this yourself.
These types of tiles are great for walls and always look good against a floor with terracotta tiles.
In this article, we give you a step-by-step guide on how to install white subway tiles.
What You Will Need
- Safety glasses
- All-purpose cleaner
- Electric screwdriver
- Wet tile saw
- Tape measure
- Rubber float
- White tile caulk
- Caulking gun
- Microfiber cloth
- White subway tiles
- Premixed thin-set mortar
- Painters tape
- Notched trowel
1. Prepare Your Walls
If there are any old tiles, start by removing them first and use sandpaper to make the walls smooth. You will need to have a flat surface to ensure that your tiles will stay even. Clean the walls with an all-purpose cleaner, unscrew all the outlets with your screwdriver and switch covers. Use painters tape to mark outer boundaries for where you plan to install the tiles.
2. Attaching the tiles
Apply thinset to the wall with the help of the notched trowel, then stick a tile on the thin-set by pressing it in with your hands or use the grout float. Scoop up some thin-set using the flat side of the trowel and spread the thin-set evenly on your wall using the notched side. Comb the thinset to make parallel lines, and apply it in small parts. There may be areas where the trowel might not fit, when this happens just apply an even layer of thinset on the back of the tile.
Every time you finish laying a row of white tiles, wipe them down using water and a sponge. Also, remember to check the level of every row prior to setting a new row, or your work may appear uneven and sloppy.
3. Cutting Tiles
For the corners where you have gaps, you will have to cut tiles using a wet tile saw. This wet saw prevents the tiles from breaking or splitting. Anybody who is used to using power tools will not find this task intimidating, but new DIY-ers may find this task scary.
Start by measuring out the size the tile needs to be after being cut, then use a pencil to mark where the cuts need to be on the tile for resizing. Hold the tile firmly as you cut it beneath the wet tile saw blade. While cutting account space for the spacers.
The cut tiles will have weird straight edges, therefore to avoid clashing with the other smoother edges on the existing tiles, use sandpaper to soften those edges. Set every cut tile along the edge using the thin-set mortar. Line up all individual pieces with the outside edge.
4. Insert Tile Spacers
Ensure all your tiles are parallel by inserting 2 tile spacers on every tile side. Wiggle the tiles to ensure the spacers fit properly.
5. Leave to Dry
Clean any unwanted thin-set on your tiles and leave them to dry overnight.
6. Take Out the Spacers
Remove all the spacers and wipe down your tiles using the microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner to remove dust.
7. Apply Some Grout
Use the rubber float to scoop up grout, and apply it over very tile at a 45º angle. Do this over and over again from different directions until the grout is packed evenly.
8. Clean the Tiles
After you have applied the grout, wait for an hour before you clean the tiles. Fill your bucket with some warm water, and clean out the grout with the sponge and water.
9. Apply Caulk
You need to apply caulk wherever the tiles meet a countertop and beneath any cabinets. Use painters tape to mark out the areas and use an applicator tool to place the caulk. Remove the tape as soon as you’re done before the caulk is dry.
Have you learnt something new from this article about designing your home?
Author Bio: Richard Fong is the founder and CEO of BlissDrive.com, a Los Angeles-based SEO agency.