How to Install Slate Wall Tile

What You'll Need
Slate wall tiles
Leveling compound
Grouting bags
Thinset mortar

A Slate wall tile is a natural, durable, long lasting, and affordable material which is able to add a stylish and distinctive appearance to your wall. Installing slate wall tiles is not a daunting task, but definitely requires some effort and diligence. It is a task that you can do on your own, if you follow certain steps and tips. Slate doesn’t allow dirt to show that much either. Preparation is the most important part of this task; if you consider the following tips and hints, you will be able to complete the task in the most professional and efficient way.

Step 1 – Preparation

Before starting with the installation you should clean the walls. If there is any wallpaper or remains from older tile panels, they will need to be removed and cleaned. Slate tiles can be properly installed only over clean and dry walls. 

Step 2 – Make a Plan

Determining a plan or layout of the room is helpful; slate wall tiles exist in different sizes so you need to determine what kind of layout would suit the type of slate tiles you have bought. You should decide if you are following a diagonal or a straight layout. You can also combine the layout with a set diagonally and a set on straight lines. Drawing the layout is also recommended because seeing the complete plan on a piece of paper can save you from many mistakes; you might also change your mind about the type of layout you will choose. It will also help you determine the type and amount of materials needed, or where the cuts will be at the final plan. Visualizing the project and finished task will also help you decide if you like what you see.

Step 3 – The Center Line

One of the first things you need to do is to find the center line of the wall and then install the tiles following this plan. You also need to choose whether the center line will be disserted by the tile or if it will be marked by the joint of two tiles. It all depends on what pattern you prefer. Use your chalk to draw a guide to follow.

Step 4 – Cut the Tiles

When installing tiles on the walls you will inevitably cut some of them to fit the given space. Use the cut pieces against the corners of the walls. If you are thorough in measuring, you can probably cut the tiles even before you need to lay them on the walls. However, if you are not completely sure about the measurements, you should probably wait and see what size you will need. If you have a tile saw you can easily cut the slate tiles. One thing to keep in mind is that when you make your calculations and measurements you need to factor in 1/8 inch per grout joint.

Step 5 – Install the Tiles

Once you have completed the preparation you should be able to install the slate tiles easily. Mix the mortar, place it on the wall using the trowel and lay the tiles according to your plan.

Step 6 - Final Step

Once you are done with laying the tiles remove any excessive mortar. Let it dry for 24 hours.