DIY Network

How to Install a Slate Wall

A slate wall provides great acoustics for a home theater. Learn how to install your own slate wall with these easy steps.

More in Remodeling

lay tile out since slate tile will vary in color
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Make a Guide for Laying Tile

The first row is most important, so start off by measuring 12 inches from the floor and mark. Use a level to mark a straight line across the wall.

Take a 1x piece of wood long enough to fit across the wall and insert it along the line, making sure it is level before installing with dry wall screws. The 1x will serve as your guide rail.

Note: Tile layout is by choice, but for this particular project, the Man Caves team chose to use the staggered look.

use secured board across wall as guide rail

Step 2: Mix Mortar

Mix mortar in a bucket using a drill and mixing bit. Fill 1/4 of the bucket with water and slowly add the mortar mix. Continue mixing until you have a creamy (peanut butter) consistency. If it's too watery, add more mortar.

Note: You may want to use a lightly damp sponge to wipe down each tile before applying the mortar.

Step 3: Install Tiles

Using a slotted trowel, apply a small amount of mortar, also known as buttering to the back of the tile for full coverage. Place the first tile on the guide rail and along the edge of the wall. Proper placement of the first tile and row are crucial for a perfectly aligned wall.

To cut tile, use a wet saw and mark the areas that need to be cut with a grease pencil. Make sure you wear protective glasses and covering.

Tip: It may be best to cut tiles outside as this step could get a messy.

butter back of tile for full coverage of mortar

Step 4: Finish Laying the Tiles

Finish the bottom row of tile last, keeping in mind that some tiles may need to be cut since all floors are not always level.

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