Planning the Layout for a Tile Wall

Lead Image
  • 4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 10
What You'll Need
Ceramic tiles
Ceramic edges
Required inside and outside corners
Chalk line
Ceramic tile cutter

A good tile layout must be determined well before the thin-set is applied to a single tile. In order to have a professional, cohesive wall of tile, the plans must be arranged ahead of time. Here are some ways to figure out the best layout for your wall tile.

Measure Correctly

You obviously know the square footage, but in order to avoid sloppy work, you must compare those measurements to the type of tile you’re using. Factor such as windows, shelving, and anything else that may interrupt your tiles. These measurements will allow you to make a template.

Dry Run

Layout your tiles ahead of time on a flat surface. You are likely to find awkward cuts or edges that are involved with your initial ideas. A dry run will allow you to bring your vision to life without securing the tiles to your wall. You can play around with different designs ahead of time.

Careful Cutting

Your tile to be as symmetrical as possible. In your dry run, it is crucial to determine where you think any cut tiles will look best. You may find that you want corner cuts to be even on both sides, or that you may have to use or lose a row of tile in order to have clean bullnose edges at the top. Measurements can sometimes be finagled by increasing or decreasing the grout space between tiles with spacers. In order to leave some margin for error, do not cut your tiles until you're installing. Set them aside with their cutting measurements as you go along.

Perfect Lines

When you have determined exactly how you want to lay out your tiles, move to the walls. Marking your measurements and cuts will allow you to work more fluidly. Snap chalk lines at the top of each row to provide you with a guide to keep your tiles straight. When you are ready to start, always start at the bottom. Consider using a furring strip to keep your tiles secure and straight.

Planning your tile layout will allow you to be sure your tiling goes easy without any unexpected hassles. It will also prevent you from making mistakes that are much harder to correct once the wall tile is up. Lastly, it will give you the opportunity to see the finished product before it is upon your wall and difficult to change without a lot of extra work.