The Basics


How Porcelain And Ceramic Tile Is Made


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Differences


History of Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


About Porcelain And Ceramic Tile


Buying Help


How Much Porcelain & Ceramic Tile To Buy


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Installation Locations


Choosing Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


Is Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Right For Me?


Installation & Care


How To Maintain Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


How To Install Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


Tools & Accessories List For Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Installation: DIY or Professional?


Resources


Articles and Blog Posts About Porcelain & Ceramic Tile


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Glossary



How To Install Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Install ceramic tile wood tile How To Install Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Tile can adorn your kitchen backsplash, your entry floor, or your bathroom shower surround while providing a long-lasting, waterproof surface that is easy to clean. You won’t need extravagant trim to make your tile look inviting as clean lines and classic textures are always in style. Here’s how to get started.

Step One: Measure and prep

Installing standard sized porcelain and ceramic tile requires a commitment to careful measurements. Make sure that you calculate your area thoroughly before you choose your tile.

Next, clean the surface in question so that it’s ready for adhesives. Without a clean wall or floor, your tiles won’t stick over the long term because dirt left behind, which can cause your grout or thin-set to bubble.

Step Two: Create a basic layout

Measure out the length of the wall or floor, as well as the center point of the room or the space. Lay a row of tiles out with plastic spacers in between to add future grout lines with a chalk line, starting with one tile beside the center line; the center line should be a grout line. Try French pattern layouts for a more classical look, or use a professional layout to make the biggest impact. Make sure that you do not remove your chalk lines made during your layout stage, as these will guide you when you are setting your tile later on.

Step Three: Mix the thin-set or use mastic

Thin-set is an adhesive mortar made of cement, fine sand and a water retaining agent, used to attach tiles to the underflooring. Use a mixing tool to add water to the powder so that it reaches a putty-like consistency. You will need to apply the thin-set and smooth it carefully with a trowel, but at the same time you must make sure to preserve your chalked lines. Mastic can be more useful than thin-set for wall tiles.

Step Four: Start setting your tiles

For floors, place your first tile in the center of the room, not against one of the edges. For walls, start at the bottom of the wall; this will help you build a support system to ensure your tiles stay vertical. Set the next tile beside the existing tile using a spacer to separate it evenly. Make sure that you use the same amount of thin-set for each tile, and remember, once it dries it can be very difficult to remove. Continue laying tiles in rows. Installing “mesh” mosaics works the same way, but you have to make sure that your spacer is the same size as the distance between each mosaic piece so that the tiles look even. Don’t forget to add caulk to seal the tiles from moisture in bathrooms and kitchen areas!

Step Five: Cutting tiles for corners and tight spots

Cut end pieces using a tile cutter or wet saw. Measure where the cut should be, then score it with a tile cutter and break it by bending it carefully. If you are using a wet saw, make sure the water is turned on and place one hand on either side of the tile while you are moving it through the saw for an even cut.

For more assistance, check out this helpful video we’ve put together.

 

Related posts:

  1. Tools & Accessories List For Porcelain & Ceramic Tile
  2. Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Glossary
  3. Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Installation: DIY or Professional?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Comer August 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm

If we want to lay the porcelain 6″x2′ tiles that look like wood, so we have to add spacers or can they be butted up against each other?

lsh December 30, 2013 at 12:01 am

I’m wondering the same thing. What did you end up doing?

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