Many homes display decorative tiles an the entry way, kitchen or bathroom. These add a decorative style that individualizes a room, without the need for any space-intensive decor. Tiles also make for easier cleaning and maintenance. Using the proper tools and conducting adequate planning before beginning the project is the key to successfully mounting decorative tiles. Installing decorative tile takes several hours up to two to four days depending on the size of the area to be tiled.
Put your planned design on paper. Use a tape measure to accurately measure the area you are planning to tile. Plan the location for each decorative tile on a piece of paper and using your measurements to ensure accuracy. Start at the center and move outwards when planning a tiled area with a focal point.
Prepare the area and decorative tiles. Mark and cut tiles with a wet saw as needed to fit the space, being sure to wear safety goggles when operating the saw. Turn off the electricity to the area if you will be working near outlets or wires.
Clean the surface where the decorative tile is to be mounted. 1/4 cup laundry detergent and 1/2 cup bleach mixed in to 1 gallon of water is the cleaning solution recommended by HGTV for this task. Remove loose or peeling wallpaper; decorative tile can be mounted over intact wallpaper.
Spread adhesive across the wall to be tiled. Use a wide trowel for spreading if you are tiling a larger area and then go back over it with a 1/4-inch toothed trowel. Skip the wide trowel in small areas, using simply the toothed trowel instead.
Set the tile on the wall. Decorative tiles made by hand have uneven backs, so spread a light coat of adhesive over the back before applying the tile to the wall for a stronger bond. Press each tile in to the adhesive and then twist slightly in to place.
Wait at least 24 hours to complete the area by adding the grout. This allows time for the adhesive to cure. Cover the tile edges with blue painter's tape to prevent excess grout from entering small spaces in the decorative tiles.
Add grout in the joints between each decorative tile. Mix grout and put it in a grout bag. Close the open end of the bag and carefully apply the grout through the nozzle. Fill all the joints completely and evenly, using a grout float to pack the grout firmly.
Complete the finishing steps. Remove the tape and use a damp sponge and water to remove any grout that has spilled over the tape on to the decorative tiles. Buff the tiles to a shine after the grout has dried completely. Rub all grout lines gently with a damp sponge once a day until the grout cures completely. Finish with a grout sealer one week after the grout was applied.