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I bought a house that has cinder block wall in the backyard. Whoever installed this wall opted to place the top blocks so that the holes are facing the side rather than the top and bottom. They then covered the holes with ceramic tiles. From what I can tell, those tiles were attached using some kind of grout or caulk. I'm not really sure, but I can the tiles were about ready to fall off anyway because most of them popped right off without much effort. I'm trying to make this look bettee, so I'm going to paint the wall with masonry paint and put new porcelain tiles up to cover the holes.

What is the best strategy for attaching the porcelain tiles to the painted wall? I'll be using 6 inch tiles (same size that were previously installed).

Here is image of what I'm working with: enter image description here

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Instead of tile, consider 9/16"-ish thin brick veneer, which looks good in combination with concrete block. Something like this:

enter image description here

You could put a wire lath over the blocks, and then just use mortar to adhere the brick to the lath/blocks.

enter image description here

Another option would to be run a 1x8 cedar "trim" board to cover the horizontal concrete blocks. This would look really good once you clean up the dogears above. For this you could use tapcons, to attach the board to the block. Even better might be to run a pressure treated "sill" on top of the block. That would add 1.5" to the trim board though so you then could nail a 1x10 to the pressure treated sill. Ideally the sill would be sloped away from the dog ears, so that it would shed water away from them.

enter image description here

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    Nice photoshops! Much better than expecting the reader to visualize what you're saying. – FreeMan May 3 '16 at 20:35

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