Installing a Tile Mural on an Exterior Wall

Written by katherine kally
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Installing a Tile Mural on an Exterior Wall
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Designing a tile mural for an exterior wall around your pool or in your garden depends on the available space as well as the decor of the surrounding area. Tile murals may be made with glass or ceramic tiles and may feature plants, lighting and a fountain. Murals typically depict a specific scene, but you can also install an abstract mural with a combination of colours and materials. Design your mural and outline it on the exterior wall, if necessary, before you begin to attach the tiles. Sketching your mural out in advance will help you get a better idea of the amount of tile you will need, the sizes that will look best and the colour pattern you prefer.

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Materials

Assemble the materials for your tile mural around the exterior wall you plan to decorate, if you plan to create your mural directly on the wall. Mosaic tile murals use tiny tiles, many less than 1-inch square, for the design of the mural. In this case, creating your mural in sections and then attaching it to the exterior wall is an installation you should consider. Plexiglas works as a backboard for the tiles, especially if your mural is exposed to the elements or is part of a waterfall. Acrylic ceramic tile mastics can be found at your local home improvement stores or you can use thinset made with latex for glass tiles as the latex allows for flexibility during the curing process. A trowel will help you spread the adhesive and you'll need grout and a float to complete the project. A bucket of water and a sponge is all you need for clean up, after the grout is installed. Tile nippers come in handy if you plan to cut the tiles to fit; you can purchase these inexpensively at your local hobby or home improvement store.

Installation

Installing the pre-made Plexiglas mural onto the exterior wall is a simple installation with the help of liquid nail or similar water resistant adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the wall and to the back of the Plexiglas, press the mural to the wall and hold it in place with tape or small nails until it dries. Structural adhesives designed for automobiles work very well to attach the Plexiglas to the exterior wall. If your tile mural is to be constructed on site, directly to the wall, spread your mastic or thinset onto the exterior wall with a trowel. Work on small sections at a time, as you want to press the tiles onto the wall before the adhesive sets. Fill in your mural until it is picture-perfect, and let the adhesive dry completely before you apply the grout. Smooth the grout in place and clean up with warm water and a sponge. Several days after the grout is completely dry, apply a sealer onto the wall mural to protect it from the elements.

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