How to lay mosaic tiles

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How to lay mosaic tiles

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Project Overview

Mosaic tiles are a more decorative style of tiling that will improve the look of any room. Mosaic tiles come in a range of colours, designs and textures. Armed with the right knowledge, it’s a job you can do yourself. We’ll show you how to work out how the amount of tiles you need, how to mix and apply the adhesive and how to lay them to get a professional look.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure up the space
2 Work out how many tiles you will need
3 Check the level of the ledge
4 Cut the tiles
5 Mix up the adhesive
6 Apply the adhesive to the ledge
7 Lay Down Tiles
8 Line up the tiles on the wall
9 Cut around small obstructions
10 Measure up the wall
11 Apply adhesive to the wall
12 Lay tiles down on the wall
13 Cut around large obstructions
14 Finish laying the tiles
  • Step 1. Measure up the space

    Measure the length of the ledge where your mosaic tiles will be and mark the centre point as a reference, so that you can lay up your tiles symmetrically. 

  • Step 2. Work out how many tiles you will need

    From the centre point of the ledge, lay down a sheet of tiles and move it along the ledge to work out how many sheets of tiles you’ll need. 

  • Step 3. Check the level of the ledge

    Take your spirit level and use it to check whether the ledge is level. This will help you make adjustments when you start installing the mosaics
  • Step 4. Cut the tiles

    Lay a sheet of tiles on the ledge to mark how wide they need to be. With your safety gloves on, cut all of the sheets of tiles to the right width with a utility knife.  

  • Step 5. Mix up the adhesive

    Make your adhesive by adding the powder to some water in a bucket. Use the mixing paddle to stir and keep adding powder until you get a toothpaste-like consistency.
  • Step 6. Apply the adhesive to the ledge

    Apply the adhesive to the ledge with a notch trowel. Run it across the ledge and smooth it back with the grooved edge of the trowel, leaving ridges in the adhesive.
  • Step 7. Lay Down Tiles

    Place the mosaic tiles down on top of the adhesive from the centre point. Place spacers between the sheets of tiles to keep them even Then use the rubber grout trowel to press the tiles down and check that it’s all level before the adhesive dries.
  • Step 8. Line up the tiles on the wall

    Line up the sheets of mosaic on the wall so that they match the sheets on the ledge, which will ensure that you get a symmetrical look.

  • Step 9. Cut around small obstructions

    While measuring, take into account any obstructions, like a water outlet, and mark where it lines up on your tile(s). To cut the tile, pull it away from the sheet. Put on your gloves and cut the tile with your tile nippers. 

  • Step 10. Measure up the wall

    Using the spirit level, draw a line down from the centre of the ledge.  This will be your reference point to work out how many tiles you need and keep them symmetrical.

  • Step 11. Apply adhesive to the wall

    Apply adhesive to the wall with your notch trowel. Run it across the wall and smooth it back with the grooved edge of the trowel, leaving ridges in the adhesive.
  • Step 12. Lay tiles down on the wall

    Working from the centre, place your sheets of tiles onto the adhesive, and place any cut tiles back in their place. 

  • Step 13. Cut around large obstructions

    If you come across a large obstruction in the wall, like a mixer tap outlet, you’ll need to cut space in your tiles to accommodate it.  Line your tile sheet up next the outlet and mark it’s position and size on your tile sheet.

    Using the spirit level, transfer your marks into the correct position on the tile sheet and mark them up with your pencil. Then use the angle grinder to cut a hole in the tiles. Make sure that you wear your safety gear.

  • Step 14. Finish laying the tiles

    Lay any cut tiles into place over their obstructions, and continue tiling the rest of the wall. Use the rubber grout trowel to press the tiles down and also check that it’s level before the adhesive dries.

    Once you’ve finished and the tiles are dry, the next thing you need to do is add some grout to complete the look. To find out how, watch our How to Grout Wall Tiles video.  

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Angle grinder
  • Dust mask
  • Ear muffs
  • Gloves
  • Mixing paddle
  • Notch trowel
  • Rubber grout trowel
  • Safety glasses
  • Spacers
  • Spirit level
  • Tile cutter
  • Utility knife
  • Water

Materials

  • Bucket for mixing adhesive
  • Mix grout
  • Mosaic nippers
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tiles
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