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How to Install Basic Wall Tile (page 1 of 2)

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions on how to plan, prep, cut, install and grout tile in a kitchen or bathroom.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Step-by-Step Instructions:

Before you start tiling, make sure you have planned your tile arrangement. Generally, you can tile from furring strip to ceiling in a day using the method shown here. If you do not use rigid plastic spacers flat against the wall, you should tile to a height of 5 foot, then leave the adhesive to dry for at least 12 hours before continuing. Allow the adhesive to dry fully before grouting.

Attach the Furring Strips

Nail the horizontal furring strip to the wall at your chosen starting point. Use a level to keep it straight (Image 1), and use a wire detector to check for wires before hammering the nails. Make sure you will be able to remove the furring strip easily.

Place the vertical furring strip at the edge of your design, marking the start of the first vertical row of complete tiles. Nail the second strip at right angles to the first (Image 2).

Placing the First Tiles

Apply the adhesive with a notched trowel, pushing it into the right angle created by the furring strips. Cover no more than 10 sq ft (1 sq m) at a time (Image 1).

Spread the adhesive by pulling the notched trowel's serrated edge through it, several times if necessary, to make sure it is even. This improves the adhesion of each tile (Image 2).

Place the first tile in the right angle of the two furring strips. Place the second tile beside it, remembering to leave a sufficient gap between them for the first spacer (Image 3). Press firmly, with a very slight twisting motion.

Place the spacer flat between the inside top corners of the two tiles (Image 4). Stand a spacer at right angles to the wall at the bottom of the gap between the two tiles.

Building Up the Tile Levels

Add further tiles, building up the levels as you progress across the wall, adding spacers between the tiles. Use a level to check regularly that the rows are straight (Image 1).

As tiling progresses, check that the tile surface is even. Hold a furring strip with a straight edge across the tiles, and see if it lies flat on every tile (Image 2).

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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