If you want to know how to lay self-adhesive wall tiles, you need to prepare everything properly to ensure you get the best results.
The peel-and-stick method of wall tiling is fast and effective, providing you do all the right things and follow any specific product guidelines.
Here, we take you through the essentials of how to lay peel and stick wall tiles.
Measure Up Your Area
You need to be clear about how many sheets of self-adhesive tiles you'll require to tile the specific area you're decorating.
∙ Self-adhesive tiles come in square metre sheets
∙ Each tile is typically 30mm square, including its surround
∙ The actual mosaic chip size is 25mm square.
Bearing these dimensions in mind, measure the area you wish to cover. Remember, you can cut tile sheets down to fit.
Once you know these measurements, you can order your self-adhesive tile sheets.
Prepare the Wall Surface
The surface onto which you’ll be sticking your tiles needs to be:
∙ Smooth, and
You can apply self-adhesive tiles on curved surfaces and on top of existing paint, wallpaper and even old tiles.
But for all these surfaces, you'll need to ensure they're suitably smooth and completely clean. Any unevenness or traces of grease may affect how well the tiles stick to the surface.
The thoroughness of your preparation at this stage will save you from added complications, or heartache, later.
Use a professional cleaning substance for degreasing. Always check first about its suitability.
Once you've prepared the surface, make sure it's fully dry before you tile it otherwise, the tiles won't stick.
Some surfaces aren’t recommended for applying self-adhesive tiles. These include porous or dusty services, such as:
∙ Unpainted plywood
∙ Unfinished gypsum or plaster.
You can, of course, eventually apply self-adhesive tiles to non-recommended surfaces, but you will need to clean them and apply a suitable primer first.
For stone, brick and plywood walls, apply a paint primer.
For plaster and gypsum walls, level the surface first, fill any holes, then apply a primer.
For stucco walls, you must remove any texture from the surface. You can usually do this by sanding it down. Afterwards, you can apply primer.
Cut Your Tiles
Depending on the area you wish to cover, you can cut the sheets of tiles using scissors or a utility knife.
Cut along the tile joints to get the sheet size you need to cover the area you’re tiling.
If you have various smaller sheet pieces for specific parts of the surface, then make sure you remember the order you’ll be applying them.
If you need to cut the tiles themselves, we recommend you use a manual tile-cutter.
Prepare the Tile Sheet
Peel and stick tiles have protective backing. Peel back a small section of this from the sheet of tiles you intend to fix to the wall.
Expose approximately 30mm of the adhesive sheet underneath.
Don't peel off the entire backing because this will make it harder to move the tile sheet into position without it sticking accidentally to the wall.
Apply the Tiles to the Wall Surface
This is the moment of truth. You're not going to get several attempts to get this right because the adhesiveness of these tiles is very effective.
Basically, once you stick the tile to the surface, it stays that way, and repositioning crooked tiles is not easy.
However, once you have positioned the first bit of exposed tile to the wall correctly, you can then press down on it. Expose the next 30mm of adhesive backing and press that down too. Keep repeating this process until you’ve stuck all the tiles into position correctly.
You should carry on with this technique until you’ve completely covered your intended surface with self-adhesive tiles.
Grout Your Tiles
This stage is optional if you’ve fixed certain types of self-adhesive tiles to your wall. Some more lightweight designs don’t require grout to ensure a firm and secure fit.
But heavier tiles do. We suggest you use fine grade grout. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure you've mixed enough to fill all the spaces on your tiled area.
Apply the grout using a rubber grout float. If you get any grout on the tile surfaces, remove this immediately with a soft cloth or a sponge. Don't allow the grout to dry on the surface. It'll be hard to dislodge without damaging the tile.
Once you’ve completed your grouting, you can do a final clean of your tiles, making sure there’s no dirt or grout left on the surface.
Leave the grout to dry for between 24 and 72 hours.
Make Your Tiling Easy
Self-adhesive tiles are an excellent way of applying colourful and inventive design concepts to your interiors. They’re perfect for kitchen splashbacks and adding distinctive features to bathrooms.
But you don’t have to stop there. Use tiles to create vivid feature walls in your hallway or recessed areas in your living room.
Give the spaces around mirrors a dramatic finish with tiled borders. Create zones to add depth and character to your home.
The only limit is your own imagination, and with self-adhesive wall tiles, the application is fast and easy. Before you know it, you'll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the results.