Genuine handmade decorative Mexican Talavera tiles. For the kitchen backsplash, or a feature wall. Beautiful antique Moroccan Spanish art deco influence. Sold by Jaha Tiles.

How to Install Talavera Tiles as a Backsplash

Talavera tiles will add an antique ornamental appeal to your kitchen, and in turn brighten the house. Talavera is popular with interior designers and homeowners who love creative home interiors. Using handmade tiles is straightforward, however requires some planning due to the variances found in each tile.


Follow the steps below.

Step 1. Planning

We will assume that you have already picked the best Talavera tile design for your backsplash. Once you have you will need to measure the dimensions of the wall to be tiled. Take note that since Talavera tiles are handmade, they will not come in exact uniform sizes. Variances between tiles maybe up to 8mm.

For the beginner, you may want to lay the tiles out on a level tabletop in the order you plan to install them. By doing this you can take note of any tile differences and be prepared to install them accordingly.

Hint: When ordering the right number of tiles, it is recommended that you add 10% (and 15% to wet areas i.e. bathrooms and laundries) as this will allow for off cuts and waste.

Step 2. Prepare the foundation

Clean the wall by removing any paint or grim. If the wall is uneven you should consider levelling it before proceeding any further. Mix your tile adhesive product being sure to achieve a consistent gooey mix (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions). Dampen then wall with water and start to apply the adhesive to a small section. Be sure to place a sufficient amount onto a notched trowel and apply it thinly. If any tiles are thinner than other tiles you may need to slightly build up the adhesive to accommodate for differences.

Step 3. Installing the Talavera tiles

Add a small dollop of adhesive onto the back of a tile and carefully place it on to the wall. Firmly press until it rests stably, being sure to lay tiles in a level and straight manner. As each tile is slight different in size, never use spacers. It is recommended that on average you leave a 5mm gap between tiles although this comes down to personal opinion. The finer the grout line, the more apparent and noticeable size differences become (traditional tile arrangements use finer lines).

Repeat the process until the entire area of the backsplash is covered. The tile adhesive will generally set in a few hours but it’s best to leave the tiles for 12 hours before moving onto grouting (check your adhesive instructions).

Step 4. Grouting with Talavera Tiles

The best grout colour to use is a matter of opinion, however most people generally choose to use an off-white colour. If you wish to use a dark grout be sure to test it on the face of the tile first as some tiles will have crazing marks which may be exaggerated by wiping dark grout over them. Some people will apply a seal to the tiles before laying them to avoid this, however in most cases this is not necessary.

To prepare your grout mix a sand based grout in a container until its pliable and moist. Using a rubber float apply the grout into the tile lines in a smooth continuous firm stroke. Be sure that the grout is pressed into all gaps in an adequate manner. Once completed allow the grout to set for about 20 minutes.

Use a damp sponge and a bucket of water to wipe excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Once complete, allow it to dry for about 24 hours.

Step 5. Sealing

Once the grout is completely dry, apply a sealer to the grout to make it water resistant. As the tiles are glazed you will not need to apply a sealer to them.

Now sit back and enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

Subscribe Our Newsletter.

Hear about new releases and specials. We also send photo stories from our clients to help inspire creative tile design ideas.

Left Menu Icon

Right Menu Icon