Remember the before?
Here's the after. More photos may be found at my Master Bathroom Reveal post.
I absolutely adore the way this bathroom turned out, but wanted to take it one step further by installing a glass tile accent wall on the main wall above the garden tub. Installing this wall took me a full weekend to do, but in all, it was easy, affordable, and well worth it. A full tutorial of how to install a similar wall in your own home is below!
First, choose the tile you want for the wall. Tile can get really expensive, but you can avoid that by checking out the clearance sections of any home improvement store near you. I found these 12" x 12" meshed tiles on sale for $3 each at Lowe's. Measure the wall by measuring and multiplying the wall's height by its width. I recommend buying a few additional tile sheets than you actually need, just in case you make any mistakes along the way.
Other supplies you need:
- 1 tub of tile adhesive (also known as thinset or mastic)
- 1 mosaic tile cutter ($10-$15 at a home improvement store or craft store)
- 1-2 tubs of pre-mixed grout in a color of your choice
- 1 notched trowel
- 1 rubber grout float
- 2 large sponges
- 1 bucket and access to water
- 1 pair of scissors
- Disposable gloves (Or live it up and get dirty. That's the tomboy in me.)
Then, clear out the space. Scrub the wall with a damp rag just to get rid of any dust or dirt buildup. Definitely place down a drop cloth or a couple of trash bags because this whole project is going to be real messy.
Start in the top or bottom corner of the wall, and complete one row at a time. Scrape on a thin layer of adhesive onto the wall, using the straight side of your notched trowel. You don't want to slather too much adhesive, or it'll ooze out from the cracks of the tile. Work in small sections.
Once the layer of adhesive is good to go, run the notched end of the trowel over it to create a line of divets. This will help set the tile firmly.
Then, place one sheet of tile directly onto the adhesive. Press it down all over to ensure a tight grip.
Move on to the next, and repeat!
Use the mosaic tile cutter whenever you need cut the tile. This tool is extremely effective and doesn't result in shattered or sharp glass.
To use it, simply place the two circular, sharp ends over the middle of the tile where you want it to be cut. Then squeeze the handle (no prior scouring or anything is necessary!).
The tile piece should snap quickly in two. You might have to squeeze a little harder if you're working with a combination of glass and stone tiles.
If the sheet of tiles is too big for the particular section you're working on, simply trim off the mesh backing with a pair of scissors.
And that's really it. Easy, right? The hardest part is that this is a tedious job, especially if you're covering an extra large surface completely with tile. Turn on a movie or crank up some music to keep yourself from going stir crazy.
It took me about eight hours to complete the wall, so I waited to grout the tile until the next day. If you want to get it all over with in one day, just wait at least 4-6 hours after you adhere the tile to the wall for the next step.
When you're ready to grout, you'll need your bucket(s) of pre-mixed grout, a rubber float, sponges, and a bucket. Fill up the bucket with water.
Take a glob of grout onto the float, and swipe it across the wall in small sections. The goal is to apply the grout without leaving behind too much grout on top of the tile. The float will help ensure that the grout will be pressed into the grooves of the tile. Feel free to use your hands to apply the grout if it's an awkward section and the float doesn't fit within it.
Dunk one of the sponges into the bucket just enough to dampen it. Then scrub the section of tile with the sponge to remove all of the excess grout. Rinse, wipe again. This is really easy for glass tiles, but if you have any stone ones intermixed, you'll have to throw in a little more effort into scrubbing the grout off. Take your dry sponge, as well, and then wipe off any water or grout residue that's left over.
Pick up the rubber float and grout again, and repeat the process until the wall's finished. This part is pretty easy, but just like the adhesive step, it's time-consuming. Definitely turn on some Netflix while you work.
When you're completely finished with grouting, you'll just need to buff the tile to make the glass shine. I found that the easiest way to do this is to take one of those blue kitchen sponges (non-abrasive kind), soak it in water, and give the wall a thorough scrub. Follow suit with paper towels to clean the water up.
Then, take a step back and enjoy your handiwork!
A few details:
Where would you like to see a glass tile accent wall in your home?
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