Should you ever decide to tile over wood paneling, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. If the project is not completed correctly, then you will end up having to do it again in just a few years because the tiles will more than likely fall down. However, if you use the proper tools and go at it the right way, you will have no issues when it comes to your tile sticking to the wood paneling for a long time to come. Follow these steps to successfully apply tile over wood paneling.
Step 1 - Measure
The first thing that you have to do is measure the area properly. You should make sure that you buy not only the right amount of tile but also the right amount of hardibacker. Typically, hardibacker will cover about 15-square feet (36-in. x 60-in.). Make sure that you have enough materials to do the job so that you do not have to stop to purchase more as you are working.
Step 2 - Hardibacker
Hardibacker is the most important part of the entire job. It will ensure that the tile sticks the way that it should for as long as you need it to. You will simply need to screw the hardibacker to the wood paneling. Make sure that you use screws that are long enough to go through the hardibacker and into your wood paneling. Know the placement of the studs so that it will hold properly. Once you have the hardibacker properly screwed into place, you are ready to move on to the next step.
Step 3 - Lay Tile
Use your chalk line and snap it to make control lines that will help you with the layout for your tile. Make sure that all of your chalk lines are completely square so as not to cause confusion. You will need to begin in the corner.
Make sure you wear proper safety glasses and gloves to work with mortar and tiles or when cutting the tiles. Put the mortar in the area where you plan to begin. Make sure you already have your tile cut before you lay down any mortar. After you have a few tiles laid, you will need to tap them into place with your rubber mallet and your beating block. Make sure that you place your spacers between each tile as well. Allow the mortar 24 hours to completely dry.
Step 4 - Grout
Pay close attention to the specific instructions that come with the grout for your tile. It should be no thicker than a milkshake. You will be applying the grout at a 45-degree angle. Start in the corner. Stop to clean off any grout on your tile with a clean and damp sponge. When you reach the joints, make sure that you shape a small indentation in each of them. Do so before the grout actually sets.