How to lay floor tiles

Laying tile is a skilled task so it’s very important to plan out your project. Make sure you calculate the square footage of the area you are planning to lay tile in order to purchase the correct quantity of tile you will need for the project.

When we start to lay tile, we always want to start in the center of the area you are tiling and then we will work our way to each corner, one at a time. Make sure you leave space to enter and exit the room without walking on freshly laid tile. Make sure you plan ahead! One tip we highly recommend, if the are you are tiling has high foot traffic, start by tiling one half and let it dry before tiling the second half. This process takes a little bit longer as there is a waiting period in the middle of the project, but it will allow the tile to adhere properly before finishing out the project.

Step 1

Starting in the middle of the area you are planning to tile, pour enough adhesive to cover 1 square meter. Using a notched trowel, spread the adhesive evening around, making sure you can still see your starting marks. Spread the adhesive with the flat side first, then head back over the adhesive with the notched side of the trowl, creating ridges in the adhesive. This will allow the tiles to lay even as the adhesive dries.

Step 2

Now that you have some adhesive spread, place your first tile giving it a little twist to secure it into the adhesive. Using plastic tile spacers, work outwards placing tiles in a row. Tile spacers will give you an even space between each tile. Make sure you place the tile spacers well below the level of the tile so they can be covered when it’s time to grout your tile.

Step 3

Continue laying tile, always working outward from the center into one corner at a time. Lay as many whole tiles as you can until there is not more space that can fit a whole tile. Most likely you will have to cut some tiles to finish along the edges, but we can get to that later. As you are laying the tile, make sure you are continuously wiping the tiles with a damp sponge to remove any adhesive from the top of the tiles before it dries.

Step 4

Now that you have finished laying all of your whole tiles, it’s time to let it set. This needs to happen before we can get to cutting the finishing pieces and grouting. Letting the adhesive setup and dry can take anywhere from a few hours to 2 whole days. This depends on the type of adhesive you are using. Make sure you read the instructions on the adhesive that you are using.

In the next post, we will cover cutting and laying the finishing pieces and then finish with how to grout the tile floors. Please follow along as we are always publishing new content on how you can improve your home. As always, if DIY is not your thing, you can always give us a call to come out for a free estimate on your next home project.


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