To set the tone in your entertaining area, install a tiled feature wall and bring home the Palm Springs aesthetic. Choose a batch of vibrant tiles in California-inspired aqua blue and pure white, laid in blocks of colour and separated by a striking tideline technique.
Gather your supplies
• Square-format tiles 97 x 97mm in colours of choice, quantity to suit
• Exterior fibre cement cladding, quantity to suit
• Aluminium tile edging, quantity to suit
You’ll also need
Angle grinder; exterior construction adhesive; drill and bits; hammer; red plastic wall plugs; galvanised countersunk head screws; pencil; spirit level; broadknife; exterior setting compound; exterior fibre cement primer; trowel; 6mm notch trowel; exterior wall tile adhesive; plastic tile spacing wedges and crosses; tile cutter (optional); grout; tiler’s float; sponge; bucket; soft cloth; hacksaw
Have your tile supplier help you calculate the quantity of tiles required to complete your job.
Step 1 Measure the dimensions of your masonry wall to be tiled. Transfer measurements to cladding, so boards will be installed horizontally, and use angle grinder to cut cladding to suit. Apply small dabs of construction adhesive to back of first (bottom) sheet of cladding, spaced about 150mm from edges of sheet and about 150mm apart. With a helper, transfer sheet of cladding to wall and press into position. Repeat to fix rest of cladding.
Step 2 Mark an even spread of screw holes needed to anchor cladding to wall. Predrill through marked positions on cladding into masonry wall behind, to depth of screws. Hammer 1 red wall plug in each hole, then drive a screw in each plug, until head of screw pulls flush to cladding. Use pencil and spirit level to mark desired height of tideline on cladding.
Step 3 Following packet instructions, use broadknife to neatly apply setting compound to fill gap between sheets. Let dry. Apply cement primer to cladding. Let dry
Step 4 Ensure surface to be tiled is clean and free of dust and debris. Working a small section at a time and starting at bottom of wall, work right to left to apply tile adhesive to wall using trowel.
Step 5 Use notch trowel to create ridges in adhesive, working in upward sweeps.
Step 6 Lay first level course of tiles across bottom of wall, using spacing wedges between ground and tiles and tile spacing crosses between tiles to keep them evenly spaced. Firmly press each tile into position.
Step 7 Repeat Steps 3–5 to lay all Aqua Blue tiles. Once you reach marked tideline height, change to Satin White tiles. Continue fitting tiles to wall. If you reach top of wall and have a sloped ceiling, mark and trim tiles with tile cutter, then fit tiles neatly in place. Let dry.
Step 8 Remove tile spacers. Prepare grout according to packet instructions. Using grout float at a 45º angle to face of tiles, spread grout on tiles, forcing it into joints. When joints are filled in 1 area, hold float at a 90º angle to face of tiles and scrape off excess grout, transferring it to nearby joints.
Step 9 Wait for grout to set slightly, usually about 20 minutes. Use damp sponge to wipe away excess grout. Keep bucket of water nearby and rinse out your sponge frequently. Let dry. Polish off haze of dried grout with soft cloth.
Step 10 To cap sides of tiling, use hacksaw to cut 2 lengths of aluminium edging to suit. Predrill, hammer in wall plugs and screw edging to brick wall at sides.