How to retile a bathroom wall

Updated July 20, 2017

Due to heavy exposure to damp and humid conditions, bathroom tiles may crack and fall off the wall more often than kitchen tiles. This can leave an unattractive mark that you will want to fill in right away. You can replace a few tiles if you don't have a lot of time, but replacing all of the tiles at once will create a more uniform look in your bathroom.

Put down a tarpaulin or waterproof sheet to protect the floor of your bathroom.

Remove all the old tiles from the wall by prying them up using a pallet knife.

Sand down the wall until no tile adhesive remains.

Starting from the bottom of the area where you want to install the tile, apply adhesive to the wall and spread it out using an adhesive spreader. Apply only enough adhesive for a few tiles at a time. This will prevent the adhesive from drying before you can install the tiles.

Press each tile into the adhesive on the wall. Make sure to align each tile and secure it before moving on to the next one. Add spacers between the tiles to allow for grouting later. Leave the newly installed tiles to dry according to the adhesive manufacturer's instructions

After installing all the tiles on the wall, you will need to add grout between each tile. Grout, an adhesive used to bind the tiles together, will prevent water from getting under the tiles. You can either purchase pre-mixed grout, or dry grout that you mix with water yourself.

Using a grouting tool, apply the grout between all the gaps you left between the tiles by using the spacers. Leave to dry overnight.


If you get any grout on the tiles wipe it away before it dries so it does not leave an ugly mark on your tiles. Tiles vary in size so it is best to check with your DIY store about how many you will need. You can cut the tile if you need a half tile in a corner. You can either ask an associate at your nearest home improvement store to cut the tile for you, or you can cut it yourself by purchasing and using a special tile cutter. Make sure you buy extra tiles in case one falls off or cracks so it can be replaced without having to retile the whole wall. Tile designs tend to be changed regularly and do not stay in production very long.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder or steps
  • Power Sander
  • New tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Adhesive spreader
  • Spacers
  • Grout
  • Grouting tool
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Sturdy palate knife
  • Tarpaulin or waterproof sheet
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About the Author

Colin Rowe started writing professionally in 2009. He has written for the print publication "Hounslow Chronicle" and for websites such as News Associates, Global Newswire, FiX e-zine and NRI Digital. He holds a postgraduate degree in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in media arts and management studies from St. Mary's University in London.