When you move into a new place, everything seems exciting and shiny. Still, in many homes, almost all walls are drywall.
While this may be cost-efficient, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing choice. So, you start looking for ways to spice up the walls.
At this point, you may be wondering, can you tile over drywall?
Let’s take a look at tiling drywall and how you can get the best result possible.
Can You Tile Over Drywall?
It’s completely possible for you to tile over drywall. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to switch up your surroundings.
The only requirement for tiling is a level surface in an area with low moisture. This means that as long as the area you want to make adjustments to is dry, the process should be simple.
Still, you can’t directly place tiles on your drywall. You have to prepare the surface first so that it’s ready to adhere to the new material.
How you prepare your canvas will depend on its condition. The age and finish of your drywall will determine what you do next.
How to Tile Over Drywall
Tiling drywall can give a whole new look to a space. Luckily, this process is mostly straightforward. You can follow a few simple steps to achieve a brand new look.
Step 1: Gathering Tools
Before you dive into the project, it’s a good idea to gather all your tools and materials first. This can save you a lot of time later on.
Step 2: Prepping the Wall
The first thing you want to do here is laying out your tarp. This process can get quite messy, so it’s best to start with a layer of protection.
Once that’s done, remove any outlet faceplates and trims you may have on the wall.
Then, it’s time to make sure the wall you want to tile is spotless. You can do this with a dust brush or a damp cloth. During this process, you’ll want to remove any debris or grease that may be covering the area.
After that, you have to inspect your drywall carefully. Depending on what you see, your course of action will change.
One of the biggest selling points of wallpaper is that it gives you a smooth surface finish. While this may look fancy, it’s not great for tiling. Tiles need a rough platform to adhere to. Unfortunately, that means the wallpaper has to go.
Slowly start peeling the wallpaper layers. Avoid randomly tearing the paper off. Not only will that take longer, but it’ll also risk damaging the wall underneath.
Once you have all the material removed, you have to do another round of cleaning. Ensure you get rid of all the adhesive and any remaining wallpaper.
If the wall you want to tile is completely bare, then you have to prepare it first. This includes a few simple steps:
-Seal all the seams in the wall with a skim coat
-Let the layer air-dry for a few hours
-Sand over any areas that may be lumpy
-Remove any excess sanding dust with a brush
-Wipe down the wall with a damp cloth
-Spread a layer of primer on the entire surface
-Let the primer air dry for a few hours
At this stage, your wall is ready for tiling.
It’s important to note that your drywall should be at least four weeks old for this process. This will ensure that the wall cures enough for you to make additions.
Going through with tiling too soon may end up damaging your walls.
A painted wall is the best-case scenario for this process. All you need is to touch up any imperfections, and you’re good to go.
This includes filling in any nail holes or chips in the paint. To do this, you can use spackle. Simply place the material where you want it to sit and wait for it to dry.
After that, you can lightly sand the surface to make it even. Wipe away any excess dust, and you’re done.
Step 3: Sectioning off the Wall
How you go about the next step will depend on the size of your wall. When titling a large surface, it’s best to do it in sections.
Not only will this make the process faster, but you’re also less likely to make mistakes this way. To do this, you can use painter’s tape to break up the area into smaller parts.
If you’re tiling a small surface, you can skip this step altogether.
Step 4: Applying the Adhesive
Once you have your area ready, you can apply a layer of Thin-Set adhesive. Do this one section at a time. You add it with a trowel or a paintbrush.
With this bonding agent, you have plenty of time. It takes an average of 24-48 hours for this glue to dry down.
So, you’ll want to take your time with this step.
Step 5: Laying the Tile
This step is the easiest in the process. Once the adhesive feels tacky to the touch, you can lay the tiles.
Starting at the bottom, place them one row at a time. This can help stop the tiles from sliding around the sticky surface.
After you’ve set all the tiles, all you have to do is wait for the adhesive to dry.
Step 6: Finishing the Surface
Figuring out if the Thin-set is dry is a little tricky. Since you can’t see it, you’ll have to rely on sound.
Gently tap on the tiles and listen. If the sound is solid, you’re done waiting. Yet, with a hollow echo, you have a little more to go.
Once you’re sure the adhesive is ready, you can add the finishing touches to the tiles.
Mix your grout and apply it to the crevices between the tiles. Make sure you get an even layer in all the spaces.
You can then scrape the surface of the tiles with a sponge to remove any excess material.
Can you tile over drywall? The answer to that question is a definite yes. As long as the surface is dry and level, you can install tiles anywhere.
With the right wall prep and Thin-Set, you can completely transform your space.