We will assume that you have already tile the floor of your laundry room. Once you’ve cleared the wall, your next option is to attach a sturdy backing, concrete board, or expose the wall.
We recommend using a tile called porcelain. The reason is simple, it was manufactured with a 5% water absorption rate. This means that the tile will resist water quite well. The downside to porcelain tile is how difficult it is to work with. With the right tools, you can cut tiles to suit your needs.
If you are going to use some type of backing board, it is time to install it on the wall. Use the heavy duty backing screws to secure it to the wall making sure to drive the screws into the wall studs. Once this is complete, now is the time to lay out the tile and get a rough idea of how it will fit together.
When we build a tile wall behind the washer / dryer, we always plan it so we don’t have to cut the top row. If you want a 4 foot high wall, 12 x 12 inch tiles make it really simple. If you choose 8×8 inch tiles you can also run your wall height at 4 feet, you will just use 5 tiles instead of 4. Others like to run up to 56 inches tall and that’s pretty cool. Just don’t forget to use bull tip tile for the top row.
Once you’ve decided on the height of your wall, you need to decide how wide you want to go. Many people choose to run from one corner of the wall to the other. Others want it to happen right after the washer / dryer and that’s it. Again, this is a personal choice.
When choosing a height that allows you to use full tiles, you only have to make cuts in the tile on the horizontal tiles. Many people like to exercise from the midpoint of the wall.
Finding the midpoint is simply measuring the height you want and dividing by 2. Then measure the width of the wall and divide by two. Once you mark those two points, you will have the midpoint. Work from the middle out to lay the tile.
We usually like to work from the most exposed wall. That means we’ll start with full tiles and work our way to the other wall, knowing that that wall will have all the tiles cut out. We can get away with it because one of the machines will hide the cut tiles.
In our neck of the woods, many people are replacing their laundry floors with tile and building tile walls behind their washer / dryers. It looks great and if water is spilled it will wipe and drain easily.
Be sure to seal the tile and grout lines 48 hours after laying the tiles.