This story shows options and directions for tiling a window recess.
Tiling a window recess adds a whole new feeling to the design scheme of a room. With the right color, texture, and shape, window tiles provide the effects of a makeover without the costly expense of redecorating. And a tiled window adds a practical dimension as well: Tiles won't rot or stain, and they won't get scratched by cats seeking a sunny refuge.
Choose the color first, then the texture (most often they go hand in hand). A neutral color will cause the window to recede or blend in with the wall. Terra-cotta tiles are a good choice. If you want to call attention to the architecture of the window, use decorative tiles but design judiciously. Too many bright colors and designs can overwhelm a room and defeat the purpose.
If the window is situated on a wall that you're going to tile, the color choice is already made. Use bullnose tiles to round off the edges of the window frame and tile the wall first. That way you can make sure the grout lines of the recess are on the same plane as the wall.
About four to five hours for a standard 36x40-inch double-hung window
Pry bar, hammer, handsaw, margin trowel, notched trowel, grout float, wide putty knife, caulking gun, bucket, sponge
Prying, troweling, sanding, setting tile, grouting
Repair structural defects
Joint tape, joint compound, mortar, tile, caulk, sandpaper, spacers, grout, rags, water, nails, fiberglass insulation
Stuff insulation into the gap between the jamb and the wall but don't hinder the movement of the sash weights in an old double-hung unit. If you're tiling the wall, apply fiberglass drywall tape and compound. Feather the compound level with the wall. Let it dry and sand smooth.
Spread and comb thinset on the sill plate, and set these tiles before the sides. Then mortar the jambs and set the side tiles, holding them in place with 8d nails. Pounding nails into hardwood causes tiles to shift, so insert finishing nails in a drill and spin them in. Grout tiles with a float.
You can achieve an eye-catching effect with a tiled molding. Pry off the trim and build a molding from milled stock. Make the internal width of the molding 1/4-inch larger than the tile. Set the tile in thinset (applied with a margin trowel) or silicone adhesive.