The best way to put up mosaic tiles on a bathroom wall

Updated April 17, 2017

Mosaic tiles normally come attached to a mesh sheet, which holds all the tiles together and makes the task of putting up so many tiny tiles much easier. Typically, one sheet consists of 144 tiles and measures 1 square foot. You may think mosaic tiles are more fragile because they are so small, but actually they are far less prone to breakage than larger tiles.

Make sure you have a flat, clean wall surface on which to put up your mosaic tiles. Run a chalk line from the top left corner of the wall to the bottom right corner, and one from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Where the two lines cross is the very centre of the wall. Make a pencil mark at this spot. Run a vertical chalk line from the top to the bottom of the wall, going through the pencil mark. Do the same horizontally. Snapping the chalk lines will create four even squares on the wall.

Apply tile adhesive to one of your squares. Attach the first sheet of mosaic tiles, making sure you line it up with the two lines at the corner of the square.

Place tile spacers along the edges of the sheet. The spacers should be the same size as the space between each mosaic tile. Attach the next sheet and repeat the process until the square is fully tiled. After each sheet is attached, use the level to check that it is straight.

Cut the mesh backing on the sheets with your utility knife if you are creating a pattern on your wall with different colours. Always cut from the back of the sheet, and make sure you follow the plan for your design.

Repeat the process to hang all full sheets of mosaic tile to your square. If you have any areas of untiled wall, attach sheets until you reach the adjacent wall. Use the razor knife to cut off the section of the sheet that is not required. Make sure there is not more than 1 inch of untiled wall next to the adjacent wall. Repeat the process for the remaining squares.

Leave the tiles to set for a full day.

Remove the plastic covering from the front of the tile sheets after they have completely set.

Follow the manufacturer's directions for mixing your grout with water, mixing one bag at a time. Leave it to set for 10 minutes. Take out all the tile spacers from the wall with your utility knife. Apply the grout to your tiles and spread it into the joints with your rubber float. As you are spreading the grout, pack it tightly into the spaces between the tiles. Apply more grout if required.

Push the grout into the spaces between the tiles with your large, damp sponge. Apply pressure with the sponge to remove any air bubbles.

Wipe the tiles down with a damp sponge a few minutes after applying the grout. Removing excess grout is easier when it is still wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk line
  • Level
  • Tile adhesive
  • Mosaic tile sheets
  • Tile spacers
  • Utility knife
  • Grout
  • Water
  • Rubber float
  • Large sponge
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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."