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If you’re looking for a creative project to embark on this spring or summer, consider tiling one of your home’s walls.

Ceramic, glass or mosaic tiles can make an interesting focal point in any room, whether in your kitchen or bathroom as a backsplash, or in your living room or solarium as an accent wall.

While you may think wall tiling is the same as floor tiling, wall tiling actually comes with its unique set of challenges and considerations.

ADSR1932-Room-scene-scaled-1 How to Tile a Wall

Photo: Sarana Tile | Featured tile: ADSR Glass Mosaic

These useful tips will help you easily tile any wall in your home.

1. Use a Batten Board to Prevent Tile Slippage

Batten board is interior paneling that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, called “battens.” This will help keep your tiling secure and make it easy for you to start your bottom row of tiles. These boards are usually 1” x 4” or 1” x 2” in size, and can be screwed directly into your wall horizontally. It’s important to note that this board should not be installed directly on your floor. Instead, raise it to about three-quarters of the height of your tiles. Meaning, if you’re using four-inch tiles, your batten board should start three-inches off the floor.

2. Install Tiles in a Pyramid Shape

Now that you’ve installed your batten board and have your first row of tiles down, it’s time to proceed with the remaining tiles. There are no hard and fast rules about tile applications – afterall, it’s your wall and should be designed with your style in mind. However, the easiest way to install the remaining tiles is in a pyramid shape. If you’re using four-tile lengths, lay your first four tiles in a row. Then, every subsequent row follows the process of “draping over” the pyramid, back and forth following these steps:

  1. Tiles one, two, three, and four.
  2. Begin your first “drape” on either the left or right side of this row, and walk it up, over, and down the other side.
  3. Repeat your second “drape” in the opposite direction.

3. Check Your Floor is Level & Walls for Plumb

Most standard tiles are square, so it will be easiest to install them on a square wall that’s relatively flat and even. Using a bubble level, hold it straight against your batten board to ensure both your floor is level and your wall is plumb (i.e. vertical). This is unlikely, even if your home is newly-built. Luckily, this can be remedied using the following steps:

  1. If your level is off by more than half-an-inch, more serious construction work is needed to level your wall or floor.
  2. If your level is off less than half-an-inch, additional trim or baseboards can usually be installed to cover up any leveling problems.

It’s important to note that if your plumb or floor level is off by no more than half-an-inch over the course of eight-feet, it will show in your tile installation.

4. Use No Tiles Less Than Half-Wide

As you work to finish tiling your wall, you may find that you end up with spaces along the sides that aren’t large enough to accommodate a full tile. Thus, you would need to use a tile “sliver” to tile this area. Tile slivers are those that have been cut to less than half the width of the tile itself. It’s important to note that using these slivers will markedly call attention to the plumb of your wall, which can be problematic if your wall is uneven. As such, ensure that your tiles are positioned such that no slivers are needed on the outer parts of your wall.

If you’re tiling your wall as part of a larger home tiling project, ensure you tile your floor first, so you can continue the grout joints up the wall in the same pattern. Simply install a cove base and start your tiling above it. If you’re tiling adjacent walls, start with the wall that’s furthest back, as tapered edges on a side wall are less visible.

The duration of your tiling project will depend on the size of the wall (or walls) you’re tiling. A general rule of thumb is to set aside 30 to 45 minutes per square yard to prepare and set the tile. Before you begin tiling, repair any structural defects on your wall related to leveling, and ensure you’re comfortable with the DIY skills needed for this project (namely, wielding and reading a level, troweling, laying tile, and grouting).

You can find wholesale tiles in a variety of materials and styles at your local tile supplier. These experts at can assist you with all of your wall tiling needs, and ensure your wall tiling project is a success.