Tips And Tricks for Applying Tyles
So, you want to use Tyles for your space, but aren't 100% sure that you can apply them? Fear not! Below are some pics, tips, and tricks that will help you on your way.
WHAT ARE TYLES, EXACTLY?
First, let's start with your package, tools, and the Tyles themselves.
Tyles are 8"x8", and come in a package of twelve. The package contains instructions, an applicator, and a note (from yours truly). You will also want blue painter's tape and scissors or a blade on hand for cutting.
A single Tyles tile looks like this. It will have cloudy or clear transfer tape on top.
It's sort of a vinyl sandwich. There's the backing, the cut vinyl pattern, and then the transfer tape on top.
When you know where you want to apply Tyles, there are a few things to remember:
1) Make sure that your surface is smooth -- or, at least, mostly smooth. Plaster is always a little bit bumpy, and that's ok. Tyles can go on painted sheet rock or plaster, metal, glass, ceramic, marble, plastic, laminate... If it's smooth, it's an option!
2) If your surface is painted, make sure that the paint has cured for at least 2 weeks. This is important... if the paint hasn't cured, the off-gassing can affect how the vinyl adhesive sticks to the surface. Also, even though Tyles would likely adhere to flat paint, we would suggest eggshell finish or higher. A surface with a little bit of a sheen is easier to remove the tape -- and the Tyles -- from, without damage.
3) Make sure that your surface is clean. It should be free of grease, dust, and debris. Wash it with a mild cleanser that won't leave a residue.
APPLICATION TO THE SURFACE
In order to place your Tyles on the surface, you need to line them up in the pattern you desire. You can use a level to draw a line at top, or eyeball it. It's up to you. Most people seem to find a level line to be the easiest way to get a straight application.
Ok, let's get started! First, tape up your Tyles using the blue painter's tape. This will ensure that when you start to take off the backing, your tile will remain in place for application.
Once it's taped up, remove the backing. You can peel the backing away from the pattern while lifting up the rest so that it doesn't touch the surface. If any of the pattern wants to stick to the backing, simply rub the front transfer tape into the pattern, or use a nail to help pick up a corner of the pattern from the backing so that it stays with the transfer tape.
Once you have the backing off, you should still be holding the tile up and away from the surface.
Take your plastic applicator, included in the package, and place it at the top center of the tile. Slowly smooth the tile down to the wall with the applicator in the center.
Once it's down, use the applicator to smooth it out from the center out to the corners. Use a fair amount of pressure, so that the pattern sticks down to the surface.
When you have sufficiently smoothed the pattern down, you can pull off the front transfer tape and reveal the pattern! Exciting, no? Ok, maybe I'm the only one that gets so giddy.
HERE'S MY BIG TRICK: When pulling up the transfer tape, I start at the corner on the diagonal, fold over the transfer tape, and pull it up super close to the surface. Which basically means I push the corner/part of the transfer tape I'm pulling up further into the wall, and off away from the pattern. This helps to stop the pattern from sticking to the tape. If you pull the transfer tape out and away from the surface, there's a better chance that you'll pull the pattern up and off as well. And that can be super frustrating -- not to mention time consuming, since you'll have to keep maneuvering the vinyl back onto the wall.
And when you pull it off, all that's left on your surface is the pattern! There's no background, there are no seams. That means that there are infinite possibilities. Put the patterns on whatever color wall or material surface you choose -- and that will change the whole look. I personally lurrrve the Utensils Cascade pattern in Metallic Gold on the light teal wall. That blue offsets the richness of the gold so beautifully. And the gold looks so different, depending on the angle and the light. ::swoon::
So, ready to get started?