Updated Blog Post 12/15/2023
Decorative ceramic tiles can make stunning wall art, but the challenge is hanging them on the wall so they will be safe. The good news is that there are a few options for hanging your favorite wall decor tiles.
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Hanging Ceramic With Adhesive Backing
Ceramic tile wall decor with adhesive backing can be securely mounted onto the wall. Peel the protective covering from the adhesive and firmly press your tiles in place. However, most decorative tiles do not have an adhesive backing.
If your art tile lacks adhesive backing, use Bondera Tile Mat Set 12 in. x 10 ft. Backsplash Roll for Tile.
Bondera is a high-performance, pressure-sensitive adhesive for wall and tabletop tile installations.
- Cut a piece of Bonera to fit the ceramic tile.
- Place the tile on a towel to protect the art, and firmly place the Bondera on the back of the tile.
- Remove the protective covering and press the tile on the wall.
An adhesive is a good choice if the area where you hang your wall art will be permanent. If you move your ceramic wall till and display it in a different room, you will want another option.
How To Hang Ceramic Art Tiles With Mortar
Hanging ceramic tiles with mortar requires careful planning and precise execution for a beautiful and durable result. Here’s a safe and practical guide:
- Gather your materials: You’ll need the ceramic tiles, mortar (thin-set for interior walls, exterior grade for outdoor), a notched trowel, a level, spacers, a pencil, safety glasses, and gloves.
- Clean and prep the surface: Ensure the wall is clean, dry, and free of any debris, cracks, or unevenness. Patch any imperfections with appropriate patching materials.
Mortar Mixing and Application:
- Mix the mortar: Following the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the mortar in a clean bucket using the correct water ratio. Aim for a consistency similar to thick peanut butter.
- Apply the mortar: Using the notched trowel, spread the mortar evenly onto the wall at an angle. The notches will create ridges to help the tiles adhere.
- Back-buttering: For larger tiles (over 12″ square), apply a thin layer of mortar directly onto the back of each tile with the trowel.
- Starting point: Choose a corner or a prominent wall feature as your starting point to ensure alignment.
- Laying the tiles: Press each tile firmly onto the mortar, aligning them carefully using the spacers to maintain even spacing. Tap lightly with a rubber mallet to ensure good adhesion.
- Leveling: Check for levelness regularly using the level. If needed, adjust the tiles slightly while the mortar is still wet.
- Cleaning excess mortar: Remove excess mortar from the tile surface and grout lines with a damp sponge immediately.
Finishing and Grouting:
- Curing time: Allow the mortar to cure entirely per the manufacturer’s instructions, typically 24-48 hours.
- Grouting: Apply grout to the spaces between the tiles using a grout float. Choose a grout color that complements your tiles and walls.
- Cleaning and sealing: Once the grout is dry, clean the surface with a damp sponge and let it dry completely. Apply a grout sealer to protect the grout lines from staining and moisture.
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves when working with mortar.
- Avoid inhaling dust from the mortar or grout.
- Use appropriate ventilation when working indoors.
- Ensure the wall can support the weight of the tiles and mortar.
- For large or heavy tiles, consider using additional support like tile backers.
Precise measurements, careful alignment, and proper curing are key to a successful tile installation. If you’re unsure about any step, consult a professional for guidance. Have fun creating your beautiful tiled masterpiece!
Hanging Ceramic Tile With Picture Hangers
The second method is to add a picture hanger to the back of the ceramic wall tile.
- Cut the cork to size with the rotary cutter.
- Place the tile art side down on a cloth for protection.
- Apply E6000 glue as directed on the tile, hook, and cork.
- Place the hook on the top middle of the tile.
- Place the cork over the hook and move the cork to place.
- Place a heavy book on the cork and let dry.
Hanging Ceramic Tile With Sawtooth Hangers
Another option is to apply a metal sawtooth hanger on the back of the tile.
Depending on the object’s weight, you might need one or two sawtooth hangers.
- Place the decorative tile face down on a towel.
- Place a dab of glue as directed to each end of the sawtooth hanger.
- Center the hook to the top middle closer to the top edge. (If using two hooks, place one hook on the top right and the other on the top left.)
- Firmly place the glued hooks and let them dry for 24 hours.
- Hammer a small nail into the wall at an upward angle and hang your tile on the nail.
How To Clean Ceramic Tile Art
Cleaning ceramic tile art requires a gentle touch to avoid damaging the artwork while removing dirt and grime.
Here’s how to do it safely and effectively:
- Gather your supplies: Soft cloths (microfiber or cotton), mild dish soap, warm water, a small brush (optional), and a clean, dry towel.
- Test for colorfastness: Before applying any cleaning solution, test it on an inconspicuous area of the tile art to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration. Dab a small amount of the solution onto the tile with a cotton swab and wait a few minutes. If no color comes off, it’s safe to use.
- Remove loose dirt: Use a soft, dry cloth to gently brush away any loose dust, dirt, or cobwebs from the surface of the artwork.
- Mix the cleaning solution: Combine a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water in a bowl. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the tiles and artwork.
- Dampen the cloth: Dip the cloth into the soapy water and wring it out thoroughly so it’s just damp, not dripping.
- Wipe the surface: Gently wipe the entire surface of the tile art with the damp cloth, following the direction of any existing grout lines. Avoid scrubbing aggressively, as this can damage the artwork.
- Clean crevices and details: Use a soft brush dipped in soapy water to gently remove any dirt buildup for intricate details or grout lines. Rinse the brush frequently and avoid scrubbing too hard.
- Rinse and dry: Rinse the cloth in clean water and wipe the surface to remove any soap residue. Finally, dry the entire area with a clean, dry towel.
- Work in sections: Clean the artwork in manageable sections to avoid leaving streaks or missing areas.
- Change the water frequently: Keep changing the soapy water as it gets dirty to prevent the spread of grime.
- Avoid direct sunlight: Don’t clean the artwork in direct sunlight, which can cause the tiles to dry too quickly and leave streaks.
- For stubborn stains: If you encounter stubborn stains, try using a paste made from baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly.
By following these steps and using gentle cleaning methods, you can safely clean your ceramic tile art and keep it looking its best for years. Remember, always prioritize the preservation of the artwork and its delicate details.
Read How To Care For Decorative Ceramic Art Tiles for more tips.