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How to install sheet tile on a wall

Updated February 21, 2017

Sheet tile, also call mosaic tile, can be installed on walls in a bathroom or kitchen. Made up of many tiny pieces of tile or glass, the tile is held together to form one large sheet for easy installation. Installing sheet tile on a wall is an easy and popular way to create a backsplash or shower surround. Homeowners can install sheet tile on a wall with ease when they know how to begin.

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  1. Mix the thinset and apply with the flat edge of the notched trowel. This will help to ensure even coverage. Once the thinset is applied, go over the thinset with the notched edge of the trowel at a 45-degree angle. This helps remove any excess thinset from the area.

  2. Install the full sheets of tile in place on the thinset. The plastic film on the sheet should face you as you install the tile. Use a sponge trowel to lightly tap the sheet down so the individual pieces are set into the thinset. Do not apply too much pressure to the sheet or the thinset will squeeze through the tiles and you may not get proper adhesion. Allow the full sheets to dry.

  3. Cut the sheets of tile in areas that need cuts, using tile nippers. Wait until the full sheets are dry before installing the sheets that need cuts. This will allow you sufficient time to cut the tile sheets.

  4. Remove the plastic film after the tile has had time to harden. This is approximately three hours, but if the tile is not set into place, wait longer. Remove the plastic from the corner of the sheet, pulling if off diagonally. Wait 24 hours for the sheet tile to dry on the wall.

  5. Mix the grout and apply with a rubber float. Use vertical and horizontal strokes to apply the grout. The joints should be well-filled when you are finished.

  6. Wait 30 to 60 minutes and then use the sponge trowel (or a large sponge) and water to remove the excess grout. This will clean the grout from the tiles. Do this carefully so you don't remove any of the grout from between the tiles.

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Things You'll Need

  • Polymer-modified thinset cement
  • Notched trowel
  • Sponge trowel or sponge
  • Tile nippers
  • Grout
  • Rubber float
  • Water

About the Author

Cadence Johansen

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.

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