A step-by-step guide to tiling a wall

01 August 2016

Tiling is an easy – and cost effective – way to update the look of a bathroom or kitchen. While tiling is a skilled job, with a little DIY know how you can do it yourself: you just need the correct equipment and materials. If you don’t have all the required tools, consider construction rental for items such as a tile cutter or specialised tile cutting drill bit. These step by step instructions should ensure great results:

  1. Preparation

The surface to be tiled should be clean, dry and smooth. Scrape away loose paint, fill any holes and sand lightly for an even finish. Allow to dry thoroughly before tiling.

  1. Plan your design

Measure the wall (width and height) before purchasing tiles to determine how many tiles you will need. Make allowances for cutting. If you want to create a feature wall using tiles of different colours, draw up a sketch (to scale) of the pattern you have in mind.

  1. Mark tile locations on the wall

Determine the centre line (both vertical and horizontal) of the wall to be tiled and mark using a spirit level, ruler and pencil. Use a gauging stick to determine tile placements, working from the centre line out, and remembering to allow for tile spacers.

  1. Cut tiles to fit

It is likely that at the top, bottom and sides of the wall you will need to cut tiles to fit. The wall measurements mentioned above should make allowance for this. A tool rental company, such as Talisman Plant and Tool Hire, can provide a range of construction rental tools for hire, including specialised items such as tile cutters.

  1. Begin tiling

Start in the bottom centre of the wall and tile up and out, using a spacer to support your first row of tiles as the adhesive dries. Use a notched trowel to apply adhesive to the back of each tile, pressing each tile down with a slight twisting (but not sliding) motion. To ensure an even finish, place a tile spacer between each tile. Once the wall is completely tiled, tap tiles lightly yet firmly with a mallet to lock them into place. Wipe any residual adhesive with a damp sponge as you work.

  1. Apply grout

Wait 24 hours for the tile adhesive to dry before applying grout. Mix the grout according to instructions, remove the tile spacers and pack grout into the spaces between the tiles. Use a damp sponge to wipe off any excess grout as you work.


Talisman Plant and Tool Hire offers a variety of power tools and equipment for rent, for both commercial and DIY needs. For information, contact us today.