How to Install Tiles on a Gypsum Wall
How to Install Tiles on a Gypsum Wall

How to Install Tiles on a Gypsum Wall

Tiles have been used in construction due to their beautiful appearance and durability. In the past, building renovation often required demolition. However, these days, various types of tiles and ceramics can be adhered to gypsum or painted walls without the need for demolition. Installing tiles on a gypsum wall requires high skill because gypsum normally absorbs a lot of water, which can reduce the necessary adhesion for tiles and ceramics. Over time, there's a risk that the tiles may fall off, so it is important to use the correct and principled methods. If you want to know how to install ceramics on gypsum and what materials are needed, stay tuned.

Materials Needed for Installing Tiles on a Gypsum Wall

Installing tiles on a gypsum wall requires specific tools, materials, and equipment. Before choosing these materials, you must first determine which type of tile or ceramic you will use and the condition of the gypsum wall. If the wall is uneven or dirty, you should first use appropriate tools and equipment to smooth and clean the surface so that porcelain tiles or ceramics can be used on these walls. We have prepared a complete list of tools, equipment, materials, and substances needed for installing ceramics on gypsum for you.

Tile Adhesive

The first and most important tool you need for installing tiles on a gypsum wall is special adhesive. Nowadays, there are porcelain ceramic adhesives and special adhesives for gypsum surfaces available for this purpose.


Primer is a building material used to increase the adhesion between the wall and the tiles and to control water absorption. Also, when it is not possible to roughen the gypsum surface, special primers (abrasives) can be used.

Grouting Powder

Grouting powder is also used for grouting between tiles and ceramics, and you must prepare grout mortar for installing tiles and ceramics.

Note: If you intend to install tiles or ceramics on a gypsum wall, you should purchase these materials in the necessary quantity. If you plan to buy porcelain facade ceramics, which are durable and can withstand humid environments for many years, you must first have adequate information about the price of porcelain ceramics. If you plan to buy tiles, you should choose the appropriate types and purchase these materials as needed.

Equipment Needed for Installing Tiles on a Gypsum Wall

After preparing the materials, you must also have the necessary tools and equipment at hand, as the job cannot be done without them. It is best to look at the list of necessary equipment before starting the job.

Tile Cutter

Using a suitable device to cut tiles and convert them into small pieces with appropriate dimensions is essential, so you must obtain a tile cutter.


A level is a tool that allows you to ensure the tiles are flat and level, so you must have a level to have a smooth and even wall.


The adhesive is applied to the wall using a trowel.

Tile Spacer

To create adequate spacing between the tiles, you should have a tile spacer.

Notched Trowel

Creating grooves in the tile adhesive increases the adhesion of the tiles to the wall, so using a notched trowel is essential.


After installing the tiles, the surface must be cleaned. A sponge is used in this stage of the process.

Attention: To mix the required adhesive, you must prepare a bucket of adequate size and use appropriate gloves to protect your hands.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Ceramic and Tile on Gypsum

The steps for installing tiles and ceramics on a gypsum wall vary depending on the method you choose. Since we intend to teach you the easiest and fastest method in this article, you must first obtain the materials mentioned in the previous section and use the tools and equipment we introduced in the following steps.

Step One, Preparation

The first step in installing tiles on a gypsum wall is preparation and cleaning of the wall. As mentioned at the beginning of the discussion, adhering tiles to a gypsum wall is somewhat difficult, and after a few years, the tiles may loosen and fall off. Therefore, you should be very careful in this stage.

  • Before doing anything, you must clean the wall of any dirt, dust, or grime. For this task, you can use a clean, damp cloth.
  • At this stage, you need to smooth the gypsum wall surface. Some gypsum walls may have cracks or unevenness. Therefore, after installing the tiles, you might find the surface protruding and uneven. If such problems exist, you should fill any cracks with gypsum putty or smooth out protruding areas using appropriate tools, such as sandpaper.
  • Now it's time to use the primer. To increase the adhesion between the surface and the adhesive and to control water absorption of the gypsum, you should apply a substance called primer. You can apply this substance using a brush or roller over the wall surface and wait for

 it to completely dry. Then, you can proceed to the next steps. Also, to roughen the gypsum surface and engage the adhesive with the gypsum, you can use an abrasive primer.

Step Two, Installation and Layout

After the primer has dried, you should choose the tiles and ceramics in appropriate designs and sizes and adhere them to the gypsum wall. Depending on the size of the tiles and the wall area, you need to purchase the necessary quantity of tiles and ceramics.

Note: It is best to lay out the tiles on the floor once before installation to have a correct understanding of how the tile designs will fit together. Marking for installing tiles on the gypsum wall should be done using standard methods. Therefore, it is essential to use a pencil and a level to draw guide lines on the wall to find the exact installation spots for the tiles. In this way, you can mark the location of each tile. Then, use a pencil and a tape measure to draw vertical lines at regular intervals on the wall.

Make sure that the spacing between these lines is equal to the width of the tiles. However, do not forget the thickness of the grouting. Therefore, when calculating, you must also consider this factor. Now it is time to draw horizontal lines at regular intervals. The spacing between these lines should also be equal to the height of the tiles, plus the thickness of the grouting. At the point where the vertical and horizontal lines intersect, place a point to know the exact location of a tile.

Step Three, Adhesive Application

After choosing the appropriate adhesive for installing tiles and ceramics on gypsum walls, you must prepare it according to the instructions and use a notched trowel to coat the wall with adhesive. Also, apply a layer of adhesive on the back of the tile. (Combination method)

Step Four, Tile Installation

Tile installation is not the last step, but it is one of the steps that must be done with great care. If the markings and guide lines have been properly made, arranging the tiles on the wall is not very difficult. At this stage, you can use your hand or a trowel to place the tiles on the adhesive and press them firmly to adhere completely to the wall. Then, you should use a level to ensure the surface of the tiles is even.

Step Five, Grouting

Performing grouting on the wall is the last step and must be done with special delicacy. It is best to first prepare the grout mortar according to the manufacturer's instructions and use a rubber trowel to fill the gaps between the tiles. After finishing the work, you can also use a damp sponge to clean the surface of the tiles and any remaining grout material. Grouting is one of the most sensitive steps and requires much precision. So, if you want the final result of your work to be beautiful and appealing, pay attention to this detail as well.

Final Words

Installing tiles on a gypsum wall is possible. However, if the wall is not properly prepared, the adhered tiles may not be stable enough and may fall over time. Another problem that may occur after installing tiles on a gypsum wall is cracking. Because gypsum walls absorb moisture, the tiles may loosen and fall off quickly. Therefore, if you intend to undertake this task, you should prepare the necessary tools and equipment or use the help of professional and skilled installers to avoid problems such as cracking or falling tiles. If you need to purchase materials and equipment such as tiles and ceramics, you can contact our support department.