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How to Put Wall Paper on Top of Tile

Louise Harding

Replacing ugly or outdated tile may be out of your budget, but don’t despair. You can conceal the tile beneath wallpaper. Tile must be carefully prepared to bond well with wallpaper adhesive and covered with a lining paper, also called blankstock, bridge material, bridging or wallpaper liner.

Hang wallpaper over tiles with the proper materials and preparation.

The liner can be covered with the wallpaper. If all this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. But doing the job correctly will ensure that the wallpaper stays on the wall and the tile stays hidden.

  1. Sand the tiles with 400-grit sandpaper to remove the glossy surface and create a textured area for a secure bond with the wallpaper adhesive. Sand until the tiles are no longer glossy.

  2. Clean the tiles with a Trisodium phosphate cleaner and sponges. Trisodium phosphate cleaners remove grease, dust and other debris that clings to tiles. These cleaners are available at home improvement, hardware and some discount stores. Dry the tiles thoroughly.

  3. Apply a wall preparatory coat or primer to the tiles with a paintbrush or roller, depending on the primer manufacturer’s recommendations. Primers are also sold as prep coats, wall grip and various other labels by many brand names. Allow the primer to dry.

  4. Apply a thick layer of industrial strength wallpaper adhesive to the tiles with a roller or paintbrush. Allow the adhesive to rest for two hours.

  5. Apply a thick layer of industrial strength wallpaper adhesive to the back of the wallpaper liner with a roller or paintbrush. Wallpaper liner is sold at paint, wallpaper and home improvement stores.

  6. Hang wallpaper liner horizontally instead of vertically as you would wallpaper. This way, when you install the wallpaper, all the surfaces are not going in the same direction. This increases the strength of the liner/wallpaper application. Allow the wallpaper adhesive and liner to rest for about 24 hours or the duration specified by the adhesive manufacturer.

  7. Hang the wallpaper, as you normally would, vertically over the wallpaper liner.