How to Install Tile Board

Trowel (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tiles add a decorative and stylish flair to many bathrooms, kitchens and other areas of the home. Tile installation, however, is a long process that involves laying each tile individually in place with mortar and then grouting the entire surface for protection. A faster option is to install tile board, which is generally made of wood painted and scored to look like tile. These boards offer the appearance of tile and the advantage of low maintenance without the process of installing each tile individually.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Sandpaper or filler putty
  • Tack cloth
  • Tile adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Saw
  • Caulk

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Clean the wall surface with warm, soapy water. Inspect the surface to ensure that it is completely flat. Sand high areas with coarse sandpaper, or fill in low areas with filler putty. If you use putty, allow it to dry overnight. The wall must be completely flat, clean and dry for installation.

Wipe the back of each panel of tile board with a tack cloth to remove dust. Mix tile adhesive per product instructions. Use a 3/16-inch notched trowel to spread adhesive on the back of the first panel. The notch will create ridges of adhesive on the back for better adhesion.

Firmly press the first board into place. Repeat with the second board, leaving 1/8 inch of space between the boards. Continue installing. Wait 15 minutes after initial installation and press firmly against each board again for proper adhesion.

Cut boards to fit as necessary with a table saw or circular saw. Be sure to wipe the panels with a tack cloth after cutting to remove residual cutting dust. Continue until all panels are installed. Allow adhesive to dry overnight before continuing.

Seal the joints between the tiles, as well as any joints between the panels and sinks, tubs or showers with silicone caulk. This will prevent moisture from leaking behind the tile board. Allow the silicone caulk to dry overnight before exposing the tile board to moisture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lay your tile board in the room in which you will install them for 48 hours prior to installation. This will allow the boards to acclimate to the moisture content of the room.
  • Lay out your tile boards before installation to create your pattern.


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