How to Add Tile to Wallboard How to Add Tile to Wallboard

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Drywall knife
Primer sealer
Joint compound
Sander for drywall
Paint roller
Tile saw
Tile spacers
Grout trowel
Thinset mortar
Notched trowel

Installing tile over wallboard can add appeal to any home. In most circles, wallboard is also referred to as drywall since, in principle, it is close to drywall. Wallboard is an older style of drywall that is flat and smooth. When installing tiles to wallboard the preparation of the wallboard is paramount to your success. The article that follows will explain how to install tiles to wallboard, but keep in mind that if you plan to add tile in a bathroom you need to install cement board to the wallboard first.

Step 1 – Flatten the Wallboard

The surface for the tile has to be clean and flat. Use the drywall knife directly on the wallboard to remove bits of the surface that is not flat.

Step 2 – Wall Preparation

Any type of crack or hole can cause a seal to not be secure. Use the drywall knife and apply joint compound to any of these areas. To get the compound smooth use the flat edge of the drywall knife. Allow the compound to dry overnight. Gently sand down the wall and then use sealing primer to paint over it. Use an even and full coat. Let the primer dry for a full day.

Step 3 – Place the Tiles

Tile is installed on wallboard in the same manner as any other material. If you want to make sure that the tiles are installed straight you can draw a vertical and horizontal line through the center of the wall. You would start tiling where the lines intersect. Spread the thinset over the back of the first tile and place it on the wall. Put a spacer along the edge and add another tile. Continue in this manner until the wallboard is covered with tile. Use the tile cutter to trim tiles as needed.

Step 4 – Grouting

This is a very simple process which seals the space between the tiles, as well as creates a finished and pristine look. Grout is a soft material that is applied directly to the tile using a grout trowel or float, which is essentially a rubber squeegee. Apply the grout to the wall and then drag it down with the grout trowel. Make sure the grout is pressed into all the spaces. Add more grout as needed. The grout will dry in a white film on the surface of the tile. Remove this with a damp sponge.

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