Project Overview

Laying wall tiles in a herringbone pattern isn’t that much harder than other patterns. This easy step-by-step guide shows you how to dry lay the tiles, measure, mark and cut them to size, mix the mastic and how to cut the tiles so that they fit around power points and pipes. 

Continue to Step-by-step instructions.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark the centre point
2 Dry lay the tiles
3 Work out the 45o angle for the first tile
4 Lay the next tiles
5 Mark the tiles that need cutting
6 Cut the tiles
7 Number the tiles
8 Mix the mastic
9 Apply the mastic to the wall
10 Glue the first tiles to the wall
11 Cutting tiles with an angle grinder
12 Cutting a tile to fit along the benchtop
13 Cut and glue the tile
14 Tiling around a power point
15 Mark the tile
16 Cut the tile
17 Fit the cut tile
18 Tape the tiles in place
19 Measure for around pipes
20 Cut the holes in the tiles
21 Fit the tiles around the pipes
  • Step 1. Measure and mark the centre point

    The first step in laying a herringbone pattern is to find the centre point of the wall. Measure the length of the wall and mark the halfway point.

  • Step 2. Dry lay the tiles

    To make it easier to work out the herringbone pattern, lay your tiles on the ground before gluing them to the wall. Lay a piece of heavy duty cardboard onto the benchtop and use the spirit level to mark the halfway point from the wall onto the cardboard.
  • Step 3. Work out the 45o angle for the first tile

    Set the square to a 45o angle. Lie it flush to the wall near the halfway mark. Place the first tile along the square, so that its corner is lined-up with the halfway mark.
  • Step 4. Lay the next tiles

    Lay the next tile at a 90o angle to the first tile. Place spacers in between the tiles. Continue laying the tiles in this pattern, until you need to cut your first tiles.

  • Step 5. Mark the tiles that need cutting

    Mark on the edge of the tiles where they need to be cut. Put the next tile and spacers in place. Mark on this tile where it needs to be cut. Use the square or a ruler to draw lines on the tiles where they need cutting. Scribble on the tile to indicate what is waste.

  • Step 6. Cut the tiles

    Use the tile cutter to cut the tiles to the correct length. Then sandpaper the edges where they’ve been cut. 

  • Step 7. Number the tiles

    Put the cut tiles in place on the cardboard. Number them in the order that you’re going to lay them. This will make it easier to remember the order when you stick them on the wall.

  • Step 8. Mix the mastic

    Mix up the tile mastic in a bucket with water, until it is the consistency of toothpaste. Don’t make too much mastic to start with.

  • Step 9. Apply the mastic to the wall

    Use the tiler’s trowel to scoop up some mastic. Hold the trowel at a 45o angle and apply it to the wall. By holding the trowel at an angle, it spreads the mastic more evenly. Clean up any excess mastic from the benchtop
  • Step 10. Glue the first tiles to the wall

    Line up the corner of the first tile with the halfway mark and stick the tile to the wall. Then put the second tile in place, putting spacers in-between them. Place the third tile in place, with spacers between the other tiles. To make sure the tiles are bedded in, give them a push and slight wiggle to help the mastic stick. Continue laying full tiles until you need to cut some more tiles. 

  • Step 11. Cutting tiles with an angle grinder

    If you only need to make a small cut to a tile, use an angle grinder. Put on your safety equipment and place the tile on a saw horse. Hold it firmly and trim the tile. Sandpaper it to make the edge smooth.

  • Step 12. Cutting a tile to fit along the benchtop

    Measure from the corner of the tile to the benchtop and deduct 1.5mm off that for the grout line and spacers. Mark the distance on the tile. Set the set square to 45o and mark the line on the tile.

  • Step 13. Cut and glue the tile

    Use the tile cutter to cut the tile. Sandpaper the cut edge to make it smooth. Put glue on the back of the tile and place it on the wall with spacers between it and the other tiles.

  • Step 14. Tiling around a power point

    Measure from the wall to one edge of the power point. And from the wall to the other edge of the power point. Write those measurements down. Measure from the benchtop to the bottom edge of the power point and then the top edge of the power point.

  • Step 15. Mark the tile

    Place a full tile over the power point, with no glue on it. Mark the four measurements onto the tile. Take the tile off the wall. Use the set square to mark where the tile needs cutting.

  • Step 16. Cut the tile

    Use the tile cutter to cut the two edges of the tile. Save these offcuts. Use the angle grinder to cut out the rest of the tile. When using the angle grinder to cut out a hole in a tile, cut it smaller than necessary, just to be safe.

  • Step 17. Fit the cut tile

    Sandpaper the tile’s cut edges. Check that it fits around the power point. Put glue on the back of the tile and stick it to the wall. Glue into place the two offcuts from the tile. Place spacers between the tiles.

  • Step 18. Tape the tiles in place

    As you start to lay the tiles up the wall, they may start to sag. Use masking tape to hold them in position until they set.

  • Step 19. Measure for around pipes

    Measure from the edge of the tile to one edge of the pipe. Then measure from the edge of the tile to the other side of the pipe. Mark those measurements on the tile. Draw a semi-circle linking the two marks. Repeat this process for the other tiles that will go around the pipes.

  • Step 20. Cut the holes in the tiles

    Put on your safety equipment and use the angle grinder to cut out the holes in the tiles. Sandpaper the rough edges. If you don’t want to use the angle grinder you can use a pair of tile nippers to cut out the holes.

  • Step 21. Fit the tiles around the pipes

    Place the tiles around the pipes to check that they fit well. Apply glue to the back of the tiles and put them in place, with spacers between them. Continue tiling to finish the wall.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

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