How to Install Granite Tile on a Wall

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Granite Wall Tile
Granite Wall Tile (Image: http://www.artistictiledesign.com/_img/homepage.jpg)

Granite tile can be found at most hardware stores and home improvement centers, and there is usually a decent selection. Specialty tile stores will have a wider selection of colors and sizes. You can also find granite tile available for sale on the internet. All of the tools and supplies you will need to create a beautifully tiled wall are available at home improvement stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Cement backerboard
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • FlexBond or Marble and Granite thinset
  • 2-inch backerboard tape
  • Drywall joint knife
  • Margin trowel
  • Tiling trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Granite tiles
  • Wet tile saw
  • Nonsanded grout
  • Grout float
  • Grout sponge
  • Grout and tile sealer
  • Sponge
  • Disposable gloves

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Install 1/4-inch backerboard over existing drywall, if the drywall is in good shape, to add strength to the wall. Screw the backerboard into the wall studs, placing a screw every 6 inches along the stud. If the studs of the wall are exposed, use 1/2-inch backerboard, instead of 1/4 inch backerboard, to cover the studs. Screw the backerboard into the wall studs, placing a screw every 6 inches along the stud.

Mix up a small batch of thinset to the consistency of peanut butter. Use a joint knife (6 inches or longer) to spread a small amount of thinset along the joints of the backerboard, one joint at a time. Unroll a length of 2-inch backerboard tape and place it in the thinset. Run the joint knife over the backerboard tape to bed the tape into the thinset. Allow the thinset to dry.

Mix enough thinset (to a peanut butter consistency) to cover the wall that is being tiled. Use a margin trowel to load thinset onto a 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/8 inch tiling trowel. Beginning at the center of the wall at the floor level, spread thinset onto the backerboard using upstrokes to prevent thinset from falling onto the floor.

Place two 1/6-inch tile spacers flat onto the floor under each tile, and then place the granite tiles into the thinset, working up the wall and away from the center line in each direction into the corners. Use tile spacers to ensure a consistent grout spacing between every tile (use two spacers to complete each grout line). Measure with a tape measure and cut the last tile to fit into the last place of each row at the corners, using a wet tile saw. Allow the thinset to dry for at least 24 hours.

Place the nonsanded grout mix into a bucket and add water to the grout. Mix the grout until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Use a margin trowel to load the grout onto a grout float and spread the grout over the granite tiles, using upstrokes. Work the grout into the grout joints well to help support the tile and seal the joints tightly.

Allow the grout to set for 15 to 20 minutes. Run warm water into a bucket and dip a grout sponge into the water. Wring the water out of the sponge so it remains damp, and begin removing the grout from the faces of the tile. Use a corner of the grout sponge to form the grout lines to their finished quality. Allow the grout to cure for at least 72 hours.

Apply a high-quality penetrating grout and tile sealer over the tile and the grout with a small household sponge. These are usually more expensive, but you will have superior results. Wear a pair of disposable gloves during this step. Apply two to four coats of sealer. Allow the sealer to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • A maximum-strength mastic, such as OmniGrip, will work instead of FlexBond or marble and granite thinset. Many grout color choices are available. Choose one that will match with the tile well.
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