How to Install Tile on Cinder Block

In itself, cinderblock is a very sturdy building material and has many uses. However, aesthetically speaking, cinderblock is not very pretty. Adhering wall tile to cinderblock results in a nicer look. You can use any type of wall tile to create a custom look to your liking.

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Tiled walls with furniture accents

Step 1

Check the cinderblock wall surface to be sure there are no protruding objects. Then mark the middle of the wall with a pencil and snap a chalk line down the middle of the wall using the pencil marks as a guide. Starting at the bottom of the wall and using the chalk line as a guide, apply adhesive to the wall with the notched tile trowel in upstrokes. Do not apply any more adhesive on the wall than you can cover in less than 5 minutes.

Step 2

Begin placing tile into the adhesive along the bottom of the cinderblock wall. Use tile spacers to space between the tile and the floor and between each tile. Repeat this method over the entire surface of the wall. Cut tile with a wet tile saw for the corners as needed. Allow the adhesive to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 3

Mix a batch of grout in a 5-gallon bucket according to the instructions on the package to the consistency of peanut butter. Load a grout float with grout using a margin trowel and spread the grout over the surface of the tile using upstrokes. Focus on forcing the grout into the grout lines so there are no voids, gaps or holes in the grout.

Step 4

Allow the grout to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then use a damp grout sponge to clean the excess grout from the face of the tile. Also, form the grout lines to their finished quality before the grout hardens and becomes unworkable. Allow the grout to cure for 72 hours.

Step 5

Apply two or three coats of a high-quality penetrating grout and tile sealer to the grout lines, and the faces of the tile if you installed a natural stone tile, to keep the grout and tile from staining. Allow the sealer to dry completely between coats.