by laura janning

How To Tile Like A Pro.....Your First Time

August 13, 2014

This wasn't exactly my first time.....tiling, but it was my first time to tile a back splash... although I did paint one here in my kitchen.
A few months back, I found this glass subway tile on clearance at Home Depot and decided to use it to make some updates to the laundry room.

I will share the laundry room updates later down the road, today it's all about giving you my 5 simple and easy tips for tiling like a professional....even if it's your first time.

Tip 1- Start with a clean even surface. It is very important that if you are tiling over drywall to make sure that your surface is even. When I removed the previous tile design that was above the sink, I applied dry wall plaster to make sure my surface was consistent and smooth. If you want your tiles to lay evenly and stay secure with your adhesive while on the wall, don't skimp this step thinking that it doesn't matter 'since tile is going over it anyways'. It does.

Tip 2- Start applying the tile in the corner and work your way over from there.
You want to begin applying your tile to the wall against the edge so that your tiles are even and straight ( assuming your walls are). This will make your project go along much easier and without the need to constantly use a level to confirm accuracy....although it's not a bad idea to spot check your lines as you apply your tile. You don't want wonky tile lines.

Tip 3- Use a big fluffy sponge and nothing else to smooth your grout joints. I have used a rag, my finger and a paper towel and trust me, it makes a difference. The idea behind using a sponge is to smooth out your applied grout. You don't want to apply too much pressure or you will remove more grout then you need to, causing you to reapply it... which means more work than necessary.

Tip 4- Use the right tools to get accurate measurements and
cuts. Use a pencil specifically designed for glass or tile to mark your cuts on your tile. These marks can be easily removed when you clean your tile. They wipe off with a dry cloth. Use a level or straight edge ruler so that your lines are straight when you cut and most importantly make sure your wet saw blade is sharp and not dull for the best precision and cut on your tile.

Tip 5 - Measure your area before you purchase your tile. If you are like me ( the anxious type)  and see a great deal on some tile and have no clue how much you need, buy more than you think you will use. You can always return the tile if you have excess. Since this tile was on clearance and such a great deal per sheet  ( less than the cost of a soda out of a machine), I didn't want to take any chances. And as it turned out......

I liked this so much I decided to do the other side of the laundry room underneath the cabinets, so I sent hubby back to get more. Luckily he got the last 6 sheets, which was exactly what I needed. 
Call it beginners luck...sorta.

How are your tiling skills?
Next week, as soon as I get some dirty clothes off the floor and into the washing machine, I will share what else I have done to the laundry room.

For the patience to do my least favorite household chore.....laundry

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  1. Love that tile. Hubby has done all our tile with my help. He is a perfectionist and chalks a line first to start. Most walls aren't perfectly straight. Can't wait to see more.

  2. I love the glass subway tile!...Saw lots of it used in the SL Idea House...Hey, I have a guest room ready for you to come over and help me tile my laundry room!!!...:) Great job Laura...

  3. Great tips! Your tile is beautiful! My husband does the tiling at our house. Sometimes I help grout, space, or make sure the "lipage" is kept to a minimum.

  4. This post came at a good time for me. My husband and I plan on re-tiling our backsplash in the kitchen, so your tips will be taken to heart. We've never done it ourselves before, so we need all the help we can get! Love your tile backsplash in the laundry room. Wish I had a nice laundry room like that!

  5. Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  6. Looks great-cant wait to see the whole thing! I wish I had a laundry room-one day maybe!

  7. This turned out great Laura. I am going to save these tips for the hubby. Maybe he will do our laundry room backsplash. May be doubtful since I know there will be cuts and that will deter him for sure. I think I ay wait until we are finished with the house. Still getting things finished.


  8. Love that tile, Laura! Looks fantastic. You can come here and do my laundry room since I don't think I have the patience for all that measuring and cutting. :)

  9. Oh goodness, that tile is so pretty, love how it looks and you did an excellent job. I'd have to do something like that only when hubs is gone for few days as he'd be in there trying to take tile out of my hand, telling me I was doing everything wrong. That's how he got to be head cook around here, did same thing in kitchen.
    You are a brave and very handy lady. Hope your hubs appreciates your talents. Pinning this

  10. Great job girl!! I love the tile...can't wait to see more!!


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