How to Install Floor Tiles with easy steps

How to install the tiles: a complete and professional look with easy steps.

A lot of tiles were put in homes in the United States last year. Installing tiles would be the best thing to do in order to make your home look more modern. It doesn’t matter what kind of tile you choose. If you do it wrong, it will make your home look bad. Don’t let this stop you from doing this DIY project. If you’re going to do it, tho, you might want to take a few minutes and read this article first.

Floor tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms and kitchens because they are durable, last, a long time, are waterproof, and are easy to clean. They are also easy to keep clean. But, even though floor tiles are strong, they are used in places where a lot of people go, so they’ll likely wear out, crack, or loosen. A broken tile can let water seep under it and become infested with mold if it’s not fixed quickly. 

Tools needed for installing tiles:

Knee padsSafety gogglesProtective gloves
ScraperTape measurePencil
CalculatorChalk lineTrowel
Notched spreaderSpirit levelDamp cloth
BucketFlatbed tile cutterElectric wet tile cutter
Tile nippersTile fileGrout floats
Dustpan and brushThe grout finishing toolTile sponge
Dry clothFloor tilesTile adhesive
Tile groutPolyethyleneAdhesive tape
PVA adhesiveTile spacersMasking tape
Flexible sealantA rubber mallet

Floor tile installation might look like a simple job to you. You might even be willing to do it on your own. Many people can become professional floor tile installers, even if they haven’t done it before. Even if you haven’t done it before, you can learn how to do it right. To learn more about how to lay down a beautiful floor, keep reading.

Choose the correct tiles.

In different places, different types of tiles are chosen. This necessitates the installation of various types of tiles in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. If you’re creative, you’ll realize that each one of these types of tiles is different from the other. Ceramic, porcelain, wood, and vinyl tiles are all options. These tiles can be used for floors, walls, and counter-tops. After determining what kind of tile you should install, you must measure the area where you plan to put it.

Prep the Subfloor

If you are installing over an existing surface, you will need to make sure that the surface is free of any imperfection and is clean of debris. Sometimes imperfections can be solved by patching with a waterproof patching compound. If you are installing over wood, make sure that the subfloor is at least 1.5 inches thick. If your subfloor is not that thick, you might want to add a concrete backer board layer to get the right floor thickness. Normally, the concrete backer board comes in 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick.

Remove all grease, oil dust, sealer, or curing compounds by sanding, scraping, or chipping away any contaminants.

Mortar Mixing

Mix Mortar

To begin, keep your mortar materials at a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the mortar with water until it reaches the proper consistency, which should be neither too watery nor too thick. Depending on the kind of mortar mix, you may need to wait for the water to react with the mortar component to get the appropriate effect. Remember to use the mixture within 30 minutes after mixing it with the water. Once you’ve started using the mix, don’t add any more water since it will weaken and impair the mix’s strength. When placing the tile on various substrates, be sure you use the proper mortar mix.

Placing mortar

Laying Mortar

The trowel’s flat side should be used first to apply the mortar. Then, using the required notch trowel, spread the mortar evenly at a 45-degree angle. Continue this pattern horizontally to keep the mortar height constant. Spread just what you can cover with tiles in the next 15 minutes.

Considerations to Make Before Installing Tiles

The first step in floor tile installation is to have the correct tools. A trowel with the proper grooves for spreading thin-set is required. A diamond saw is required to cut the tile without breaking it. Then you need the correct basis to lay the tiles on. Buy enough tiles and plan out the layout before you start. After laying the tile, grout it. Work your grout until it is smooth and free of air bubbles. Then clean the grout to make your final tiling seem lovely.

Ceramic, porcelain, and quarry tiles make really nice surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and conservatories. They’re tough and hard-wearing, yet surprisingly easy to maintain.

The layout of the floor and the smoothness of the lines should determine how nice the tile looks. Using chalk lines, snap lines with a 90-degree intersection at the center of the room. In other cases, and depending on the room arrangement, a different method is always required. Follow the layout by installing loose tiles along with their spacers all the way to the walls. Start at the intersection of the chalk lines, and make a path forming a 90-degree angle with tile. If the gap between the last tile and the wall is greater than 1/2 tile, then adjust the tiles to one side or another.

You can install tiles on concrete, wooden floorboards (provided you use an ultra-flexible adhesive), and even on existing floor tiles, but you must make sure the surface is in good condition and correctly prepared. It needs to be even, flat, dry, and free from dampness, and the correct adhesive must be used. If you’ve had other tiles or sheet flooring, you’ll need to remove any adhesive from the floor before beginning.

How to install the tiles?

Install Tile with Spacer

Before you begin, read the tile adhesive directions on the back of the box carefully as they may vary based on the surface and tile materials.

install the tiles: Step 1

Using a gauging trowel, apply tile adhesive on the floor and distribute it across a 1m2 area. Create ridges by dragging the serrated edge through the tile mortar. Leave a uniform layer of mortar to assist in leveling the surface.

Step 2:

Firmly press the first tile into the mortar, twisting it in place. Rep with the next tile, equally spacing them with tile spacers. Make careful to push the spacers firmly below the tile surface so they’re buried once grouted.

Step 3:

Use a spirit level to verify the tiles’ level. If not, softly hit them with a rubber mallet to level them. Remove any mortar from the tile face with a moist cloth before it sets.

Step 4:

 Once all tiles are down, wait 48 hours for the mortar to solidify before walking on them. A kitchen, bathroom, or hallway that has to be accessed is best tiled in two halves.

Step 5:

Measure and cut several tiles to cover any gaps between the final full tile and the wall. Lay the tile to be cut directly on top of the closest full tile to the wall. Use this template to add another tile on top. Place two tile spacers flat on the wall and press the top tile up against it. Mark the tile underneath with a tile marker, leaving room for grouting.

Step 6:

 Floor tiles are heavier and more difficult to cut than wall tiles. Use a flatbed or electric tile cutter to cut along the designated line. Smooth any rough edges remaining after cutting using a tile file.

Step 7:

Place the right-sized piece in the gap to see if any adjustments are needed. If it doesn’t exactly fit, you may alter it using tile nippers and a tile file. Apply mortar to the back of the tiles and secure them to the floor.

Cut Tiles (Where Needed)

Cutting tiles

Mark the area that will be cut using a pencil. Avoid utilizing a tile’s centerpieces without any of the manufacturing edges. The best way to cut tile is using a diamond wet saw. A diamond saw blade is abrasive and does not have teeth. Mark the tile with a pencil before cutting. For this, you can use a standard lead or a grease pencil. Place the tile against the fence, with the line aligned with the blade. After turning on the saw, you must wait for the water to flow. While cutting, apply gentle, equal pressure. Push the two parts together as you near the conclusion of your incision. Keeping the tiles in place prevents them from cracking. If you hear the blade slow down as you cut, you’re going too quickly. The slower you need to go, the tougher the material you’re cutting is.

The second way is a machine grinder for tile cutting. If the handy or table grinder you choose has blade safety guards, then you will be more protected from a flying piece of tile. The sharp metal disc blade of a grinder cuts tiles cleanly and also reduces the risk of breaking them. There will be a lower chance of tiles being lost. We advise you to use a grinder equipped with a vacuum cleaner, as this secures the worksite very well and helps avoid unwanted contaminants. You should also wear a mask and goggles to prevent yourself from inhaling a lot of dust and protect your eyes.

Grouting Floor Tiles

Filling Grout

After the tile has been installed, it is time to begin grouting. It is available in a variety of colors, but if you want to experiment with something new, read our article ‘Design your tiles using shapes and different grout choices’ to discover what you can create. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to ensure that your grout is compatible with your tiles and that you have enough for your job. Check the label for specifics on coverage.

Grout should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s specifications or until a smooth consistency is obtained. Combine a quantity that can be administered in less than 20 minutes. Mix well until all pigments are disseminated and consistent color is achieved. Allow five minutes before mixing again. After removing all spacers, use a grout float to apply the grout into the joints. Excess grout should be removed using a sponge. Within 30 minutes of application, polish the tile joint using a dry cloth.

The initial step

Remove any dust or debris from the surface and check for protruding tile spacers.

2nd Step

Remove the grout from the tub with the gauging trowel and then push it into the joints with a grout float until the grout is level with the tile surface, covering the spacers.

3rd Step

After grouting several rows, use a grout finisher to compress the grout and create a tidy finish. Wipe any excess grout from the tile surface with a moist sponge before it begins to harden.

4th Step

Proceed over the floor, grouting, completing, and cleaning up as you go. After completion, avoid stepping on the floor and allow the grout to cure. Consult the manufacturer’s directions for the duration of this process, since various grouts have varying durations.

5th Step

Once the grout has dried, wipe the floor with a moist towel and then a dry one to remove any residual grout from the tile surface. If any areas are very obstinate, you can use a cleaning chemical. However, ensure that the grout is completely dry before allowing any water contact.

6th Step

Following that, use a flexible sealer that matches the grout to seal around the edges. This enables any movement or extension between the wall and the floor to be accommodated. To avoid a mess, place the masking table on either side of the area you’re going to seal. Apply a continuous bead of sealant from one end of the skirting to the other, maintaining constant pressure and pace. You may mold the sealant with a specific tool to get a particular finish if desired.

7th Step

If feasible, avoid using the floor for 24 hours after grouting and sealing.

Grout sealing (optional)

For best results, seal the grout at least 72 hours after it has been applied. This procedure will help keep the grout’s color for a longer period of time. This sealer will also help to limit the quantity of water that seeps beneath the floor tile. Use a dry towel to remove any excess sealant.

Install the tiles: avoiding the following mistakes

In this article, we’ve explained the proper method of tiling. By avoiding the methods given below, you can also present a professional appearance to the spectator by tiling like a professional.

Tile Cracking

Take particular precautions when cutting tiles to prevent them from shattering throughout the process. It will be inefficient and expensive to replace an excessive number of broken tiles.

Wrong Underlayment

There is a surface that the tile goes on before it can be put down. You need a surface that is flat, even, and strong. If you don’t have this, your tile will sag and break in different places. First, put down 1/4 to 1/2 inch cement board. On top of that, lay your tiles down. If you have old vinyl flooring that is good enough, you can tile right over the top of it. This is based on the assumption that the floor is thick enough to hold the tile down. Use your eyes to see how far apart the floor framing is. In this case, you should add 1-1/8 in thick cement board to the wall. If the floor framing is 24 inches apart, the added cement board should be at least 1-1/2 inches thick. This is how thick it should be.

Keep in mind that when you add cement board, you are going to raise the height of the floor. There are two things you’ll need to do: raise the vanity and make the toilet ring bigger.

How not to install tiles

It takes a lot of planning to install the tiles in a diagonal pattern. If your tile is square, you can figure out 45-degree angles if you want to. It changes how you lay tiles when they are diamond-shaped and not square. Start by putting the tiles in the middle. With a single layout line, make sure the corners are all the same height. When you start making the design, start with this first measurement and work your way around it. Make sure your lines are straight as you work with a straightedge to make sure they are straight.

The Wrong Grout

The wrong grout or grout done wrong can make your DIY tiling project look bad. You want to have clean and even grout lines. Using a trowel, combine your grout until it resembles peanut butter. Using a drill or paddle introduces air, reducing the gripping strength. If the grout is excessively dry, it will be difficult to use and apply. Make sure to let the grout dry out for 10 minutes before you start to use it. It will make the grout weaker and more likely to crack if you don’t do this step.

You didn’t plan for it.

Before you start tiling, you need to clean and prep your surface. Use a sponge or paper towel to get rid of any grease, dirt, or fingerprints on the surface. It won’t be able to stick to the wall if you don’t do this. Bathroom and kitchen walls are the two places where this happens the most. To clean the walls, mix water and mild dish soap. You can use several products to remove stains and buildup, such as a paint deglosser, which can help.

No Backer Board

To tile in an area with water, you need to use a backboard. The backer board stays strong and stops water from getting into places it shouldn’t be. Cement backboards are the most durable. A cement and sand mixture, plus fiberglass, make it stronger. Combined with wood fibers, fiber cement board is stronger than cement and sand alone. It’s the same as the other cement boards, but there are some rules about how you can use it. Glass mat gypsum works well in damp places, but not in places where there is always water. They are made of silicone-treated gypsum that has been reinforced with fiberglass. Drywall that can stand up to water works well when you want to tile around your sink. It can withstand a few splashes, but not all the time.

Bad Caulking

It’s the last thing you do when you’re done tiling your bathroom. Caulk the joints. Use caulk to make a line that goes from corner to corner, and from the edge of the tub.

Purchasing the supplies

It’s important to buy the right caulk for the kitchen and bathroom. People who buy this kind add things to it that stop mold and mildew from growing. You can choose to buy latex or silicone. When you use silicone, it lasts longer, but it’s more difficult to clean up because it’s more slippery. Latex is easier to clean up after, but it may not last as long as other types of paint. You’ll also need to buy the right shade. People who go to hardware stores can only get white, clear, and almond, not any other color. Then, go to a flooring store to see more custom color options there.

Caulk Deployment

Spend the extra money and buy a good caulking gun. This will make your caulk look nice and even. Cheap guns will make your line too thick and too thin in some places. To line the area where you want to caulk with a line, you can use masking tape. Clean lines will be on both sides. To caulk a gap, you must cut the nozzle to fit the width of the gap. To make the line of caulk match the size you need, do this: Once you’ve put down a line of caulk, wet your finger and wipe away the rest. This is the last thing you need to do before you remove the masking tape.

Buying Insufficient Tiles

There is a big reason why you didn’t buy enough tiles. You didn’t plan ahead. When you measure something, make sure you do it right and then check it. Measure the length and width of the area you want to tile. Count how many times you took your measurements and multiply by 2. This tells you how many square feet you have. Tile comes in a box with a lot of square footage. You need to figure out how many square feet your room is in total. These boxes will cover the floor. Next, you need to figure out how much extra money you have.

Multiply your room’s square footage by 10% and then add this to its number. Then divide by the square footage of one box. How many boxes do you need to buy? This is the new number. It will cover cuts, broken boxes, and waste. The extra boxes will help.


Floor tiles are a popular option for bathrooms and kitchens because they are long-lasting, waterproof, and simple to maintain. Floor tile installation may seem like an easy task to you. Thus, it is necessary to install different types of tiles in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. These tiles are suitable for use on floors, walls, and counter-tops.

After reading this article, I believe you understand what we need to consider before install the tiles, and you will be a competent and professional tiler. If you do the same thing over and over again, you will enhance your professional life.

More FAQ’s about how to install tiles on the floor

Q1 – How long leave grout before wiping?

Allow 15 to 30 minutes for the grout to set before wiping away any excess with a thick grout sponge soaked in water. (If you believe it will take more than 30 minutes to grout all of the tiles and be ready to begin cleaning, you may need to work in smaller parts.)

Q2 – Do you wet tile before grouting?

Make sure it’s moist, not wet, then sweep it diagonally across the face of the tile to remove the grout. The grout will spill all over the tile on your first few strokes, making a sloppy mess – this is not acceptable.

Q3 – Can I install tiles myself?

Laying tile is easy, especially if you follow the step-by-step instructions—even a novice can do it, but laying tile and doing it well is difficult. From that angle, it may make more sense to hire a professional tiler than to do it yourself. If you’re trying to save money and do decide to try it yourself, there are some elements of tile-laying that you can and should practice on your own before tackling a wall or floor.

Q4 – What ply thickness do I tile on?

When using plywood, make sure it’s at least 12mm thick or more to produce a sturdy surface for your tiles. This, along with your tiles, will raise the level of your flooring, so keep that in mind before you begin. The backer board is also an option.

Q5 – Why is my tile floor uneven?

What is the cause of the unevenness in my tile floor?
Uneven tiles are frequently caused by an uneven coating of thin-set mortar binding the tiles to the floor. If a wall tile is uneven, the mastic that holds it in place was not correctly distributed. To restore uneven tiles, you must first remove them and then fix their base. You must regrout the tiles after they have been reset.