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How to Install Basic Wall Tile (page 2 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:

Measuring to Fill Gaps and Corners

Allow the completed area of tiles to dry fully — for at least 12 hours, but ideally overnight. Then remove the horizontal furring strip by prying out the nails with a claw hammer (Image 1).

Measure the remaining gap at every point where a tile will be placed, since widths may vary along the wall. Remember to allow space for grout joints (Image 2).

Applying Cut Tiles

Mark the measurements on a tile using a felt-tip pen (Image 1). If you have planned correctly, you will need approximate half-tiles, rather than slivers.

To score the tile, grip it in your tile cutter, with the glazed surface facing upward. Push the lever away from you to score along the marked guide line (Image 2).

Depending on the cutter design, either position the tile in the cutter's jaws or below its mechanism, before applying downward pressure to the lever to split the tile in two (Image 3).

Smooth any rough edges with a tile file (Image 4). Before placing cut tiles, spread adhesive on the back of the tile. It is easier to add adhesive to a cut tile than to the wall space.

Position the tile on the wall. To complete the wall, continue along the row to fill the horizontal gap (Image 5). Remove the vertical furring strip and repeat the process, working upward.

Grouting Tiles

Wearing a glove, use a damp sponge to wipe off any excess grout while it is still wet (Image 1). Avoid rubbing the grout out of the tile joints.

Use a grout shaper or finger to neaten the grout line (Image 2), then wipe again with a clean, damp sponge. After the grout has dried, polish the tiles with a dry cloth to remove any residue. Shape the grout to give a smooth, even finish.

Alternative Measuring Techniques

Measuring by Hand (Image 1)
For pinpoint accuracy, turn the tile face inward and mark the edges, allowing for grout joints.

Using a Measuring Jig (Image 2)
Tile cutters often have a measuring jig that quickly calculates widths plus grout space. This is then inserted into the cutter as a guide.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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