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Install Picket Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide for DIY Enthusiasts

Posted by Mike Belk on May 18, 2024

Install Picket Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide for DIY Enthusiasts

Picket tiles are a versatile and stylish option that can transform any room in your home. Their unique shape and design bring a modern yet classic touch to your space, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking to undertake a DIY project. If you're ready to add a touch of elegance to your home with picket tiles, follow this comprehensive guide to ensure a smooth and professional installation.

Introduction to Picket Tiles and Their Versatility

Picket tiles, with their elongated hexagonal shape, offer a distinctive look that sets them apart from traditional tiles. They can be used on shower walls, kitchen backsplashes, and even used as accent pieces, providing endless design possibilities. Whether you're aiming for a contemporary aesthetic or a more rustic charm, picket tiles can adapt to your creative vision.

Pre-Installation Preparation

Before diving into the installation process, it's essential to gather all necessary tools and materials. Proper preparation will save you time and ensure a flawless finish.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Picket tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tile spacers
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile cutter or wet saw
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles)

Planning Your Layout

A successful tile installation begins with a well-thought-out plan. Properly measuring and marking your space will help you achieve a symmetrical and visually pleasing result.

Tips for Planning Your Layout:

  1. Measure Your Space: Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the area where you'll be installing the tiles. Calculate the total square footage to estimate the number of tiles needed.
  2. Create a Template: Draw a template of your space on graph paper, marking the locations of any fixtures or obstructions.
  3. Dry Lay Your Tiles: Before applying adhesive, lay out the tiles on the floor or countertop to visualize the pattern and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. Mark Your Starting Point: Identify the center of your space and use a level and pencil to draw a guideline. This will serve as your starting point, ensuring your tiles are evenly aligned.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

With your layout planned and tools at the ready, it's time to start the installation process. Follow these detailed steps for a seamless picket tile installation.

Step 1: Apply the Adhesive

  • Using a notched trowel, spread tile adhesive evenly over a small section of the surface, starting at your marked guideline.
  • Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle to create ridges in the adhesive, which will help the tiles adhere properly.

Step 2: Place the Tiles

  • Press the first picket tile firmly into the adhesive, aligning it with your guideline.
  • Insert tile spacers between the tiles to maintain consistent spacing and ensure even grout lines.
  • Continue placing tiles, working in small sections to prevent the adhesive from drying out before you can set the tiles.

Step 3: Cut Tiles as Needed

  • Use a tile cutter or wet saw to trim tiles for edges and corners. Always wear safety gear when cutting tiles.
  • Measure and mark the tile before cutting to ensure precise cuts that fit seamlessly into your layout.

Step 4: Allow Adhesive to Set

  • Once all tiles are in place, allow the adhesive to set according to the manufacturer's instructions, typically 24 hours.

Step 5: Apply the Grout

  • Mix the grout according to the package directions.
  • Using a grout float, apply the grout over the tiles, pressing it into the spaces between them.
  • Hold the float at a 45-degree angle and work diagonally across the tiles to ensure even coverage.

Step 6: Clean the Tiles

  • After applying the grout, use a damp sponge to wipe away excess grout from the tile surfaces.
  • Rinse the sponge frequently and change the water as needed to keep it clean.
  • Allow the grout to cure according to the manufacturer's instructions before exposing the tiles to water or heavy use.

Finishing Touches

To achieve a professional finish, pay attention to the final details and maintenance.

Tips for a Professional Finish:

  • Seal the Grout: Once the grout has cured, apply a grout sealer to protect it from stains and moisture.
  • Clean Regularly: Keep your picket tiles looking their best by cleaning them regularly with a mild cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Inspect for Any Issues: Periodically check for any loose tiles or cracks and address them promptly to maintain the integrity of your installation.


Installing picket tiles can be a rewarding DIY project that significantly enhances the look of your home. By following this step-by-step guide, you'll achieve a professional and polished result that you can be proud of.

We'd love to see your finished projects! Share your picket tile installations with us on social media and inspire fellow DIY enthusiasts. Happy tiling!

Mike Belk Author BELK Tile

By Mike Belk

Founder & CEO

A graduate of Ohio State University with an MBA in Business, Mike Belk has been in the tile and stone industry for over 20 years. Mike is the owner and founder of Belk Tile. He has become one of premier tile experts in the nation. Not only does Mike love every aspect of his job, he strives ensure your experience is the very best. He runs a successful blog and, when not immersed in the world of tile, is an avid golfer and wine maker. Mike enjoys interacting with customers and wants to hear from you today.