When installing 12×12 wall tiles, choosing the right size trowel is crucial to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth, even finish.
The size of the trowel will depend on various factors, including the type of tile, the size of the grout lines, and the substrate.
In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider when choosing the right size trowel for 12×12 wall tiles.
What Size Trowel For 12×12 Wall Tile?
A ¼ inch x ⅜ inch square notch trowel is preferable for installing 12 x 12 wall tiles.
This size trowel leaves the proper amount of mortar underneath the wall tiles, maintaining consistency and creating a strong bond to the tile with a substrate.
Here’s a table that shows the recommended trowel size for installing 12×12 wall tile, based on the type of tile and adhesive being used:
|Tile Type||Adhesive Type||Recommended Trowel Size|
|Ceramic||Thinset||1/4 inch square notch|
|Porcelain||Thinset||1/4 inch square notch|
|Natural Stone||Thinset||1/4 inch square notch|
|Glass||Thinset||1/4 inch square notch|
|Mosaic||Thinset||1/4 inch square notch|
|Ceramic||Mastic||1/4 inch V-notch|
|Porcelain||Mastic||1/4 inch V-notch|
|Natural Stone||Mastic||Not recommended|
|Glass||Mastic||1/4 inch V-notch|
|Mosaic||Mastic||1/4 inch V-notch|
Factors to consider when choosing the size trowel
When choosing the size trowel for installing 12×12 wall tiles, there are several factors to consider:
Type of tile:
The size and thickness of the tile will impact the size of the trowel needed. Larger or thicker tiles will require a larger trowel to ensure proper adhesion.
Size of grout lines:
The size of the grout lines between the tiles will also impact the size of the trowel.
A smaller trowel may be sufficient for tiles with narrow grout lines, while a larger trowel may be needed for tiles with wider grout lines.
The surface on which the tiles will be installed will also impact the size of the trowel needed.
A smooth, flat surface may require a smaller trowel, while a rough or uneven surface may require a larger trowel to ensure proper coverage.
Thin-set or mortar bed:
The type of adhesive being used will also impact the size of the trowel needed.
A smaller trowel may be sufficient for a thin-set adhesive, while a larger trowel may be needed for a thicker mortar bed.
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific type and size of tile being installed, as they may have specific trowel size recommendations for their products.
How to use the trowel for 12×12 wall tiles
To use a trowel for 12×12 wall tiles, you will need to follow these steps:
Select the right trowel size:
The size of the trowel will depend on the type of tile you are using. For 12×12 wall tiles, a 1/4 inch notched trowel is usually the best choice.
Mix the thin-set mortar:
Mix the thin-set mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the consistency is smooth and spreadable.
Apply the mortar:
Starting at the bottom of the wall, use the notched trowel to apply a layer of thin-set mortar to a small section of the wall.
Make sure to only apply enough mortar for a few tiles at a time to prevent it from drying out.
Comb the mortar:
Holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle, use the notched edge to comb through the mortar, creating ridges. This will help the tiles adhere to the wall.
Place the tiles:
Place the first tile at the bottom of the wall, aligning it with the guideline you have made. Press the tile firmly into the mortar, twisting it slightly to help it adhere.
Repeat the process:
Continue applying mortar, combing it with the notched trowel, and placing tiles in small sections until you have completed the entire wall.
Cut tiles as needed:
Use a tile cutter to cut tiles to fit around outlets or corners.
Once the tiles are in place, use a damp sponge to clean up any excess mortar. Allow the tiles to dry for 24 hours before grouting.
Tips for a successful installation
Here are some tips for a successful installation of 12×12 wall tiles:
Plan the layout:
Before starting the installation, plan the layout of the tiles on the wall. Measure the wall and calculate how many tiles you will need.
Consider the location of any outlets or other obstacles that will require tile cuts.
Use the right tools:
Make sure you have all the necessary tools, including a tile cutter, trowel, level, sponge, and grout float.
Using the right tools will make the job easier and ensure a better result.
Prepare the surface:
The surface where you will install the tiles should be clean, smooth, and free of any debris.
Use a primer or sealer to improve adhesion and prevent moisture from seeping behind the tiles.
Apply the right amount of mortar:
Only apply enough mortar for a few tiles at a time to prevent it from drying out.
Use the notched trowel to create ridges in the mortar, which will help the tiles adhere better.
To ensure even spacing between the tiles, use spacers. This will help create a professional-looking finish.
Use a tile cutter to cut tiles as needed. Measure twice and cut once to avoid mistakes.
Check for levelness:
Use a level to ensure the tiles are level and plumb as you install them. Adjust as needed before the mortar dries.
Clean up excess mortar:
Use a damp sponge to clean up any excess mortar before it dries. This will make grouting easier and prevent a messy finish.
Allow time for drying:
Allow the tiles to dry for at least 24 hours before grouting. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.
FAQs on what size trowel is for 12×12 wall tiles
Can I Install 12×12 Tile On the Walls?
Of course, you can put 12×12 tile on the wall to make it extra durable.
A 12 x 12-inch tile is mostly preferred for use as floor tile due to its size.
How Many Grout Lines Are Required For 12×12 Tiles?
You’ll require 3/16 inch grout spacing to install your 12×12 tiles.
If you go for a smaller grout line than this requirement, your grout line may start cracking.
What Size Trowel Is Commonly Used For Installing Wall Tiles?
4-inch wall tiles are commonly installed in-wall using a ¼” V-notched trowel.
But if you don’t have this V-notched trowel, you can use ¼’’ U or square notched trowel.
Twelve-inch square tiles come in a large range of thicknesses, patterns, textures, and colors.
Therefore 12×12 tiles are extremely suitable for versatile use on walls, floors, or countertops for numerous applications.
Due to this reason, it’s quite difficult to determine what size trowel is for 12×12 wall tiles. Hence it’s vital to consider mortar coverage rather than trowel size.
Luckily you already know the right size trowel and thickness of mortar require for installing 12×12 wall tile to get a strong and even finish.