How To Tile A Floor-The Ultimate Guide (Explained For Newbies)

Floor tiles come in various designs. These designs are meant to give a perfect artistic finish to a room. Whether a bathroom, bedroom, living room or laundry room, tiles infuse beauty and design. Ceramic, pebbles, porcelain, wood, metal, or even travertine tiles give a durable and long-lasting surface to a room and a house in general. With so many options for tile designs, the primary concern is how to tile a floor.

Floors are the only part of the house that mostly used. From a busy kitchen to the bathroom it is essential that a floor be strong enough to withstand the pressure of its users. Beauty and durability are of utmost essence to a floor. Both can be achieved through the use of one finishing, material, the tiles.

The choice of tiles reflects personal style and taste. Experts have learned how to lay floor tiles of any design and material correctly.

It is important to check the instructions of the manufacturer for a tile installation before purchasing or even installing the tiles. For great results on how to tile a floor, the following steps must be followed;

Floor Layout

Make a layout that will take the maximum number of whole tiles and the size of any cut tiles. In cases where awkwardly sized tiles cannot be avoided place them out of main sight lines from the doorway.

Floor Preparation

The starting point on how to tile a floor is a Clean and dry floor. Remove all the debris and dust and any other foreign material. Then using a spirit level ensures the floor is flat.

In bathrooms and the laundry, ensure that a slant is created to enable draining of water away. Avoid small cuts. Therefore, tiles saws must be used for the cutting.

Measure And Mark The Datum Line

Datum makes a point of reference for laying tiles, and therefore they must be straight and symmetrical. A spirit level, pencil or chalk, and a tape measure are vital to ensure a straight and symmetrical datum line.

On either side of a datum line, a full tile can be fixed while tiles of the same width can be fixed at the edge of the area being tiled. Lay tiles in a row along a straightedge about halfway across the room

Mix Up The Adhesive For Your Tiles

The mixing of the adhesive is best done in a bucket. Pour water then add the powdered adhesive while stirring. Mix to the consistency of that of the toothpaste for best results. Other adhesives do not require water.

In such cases, some powdered thin set is mixed with latex, for example, to give a mayonnaise consistency. Let the adhesive to stand for about ten minutes to get tacky.

Dry Layout

A dry layout is important because it is the determining point of where to start tiling. Also, it helps determine the width of grout lines. To do this;

Determine the center of the room. Make two lines that exactly intersect at the center of the room. These are the datum lines. Lay down the tiles starting from where the lines intersect. After placing the first tile, snap another line, the size of the width of the tile out from each wall.

This is important because it will help fix the tiles perfectly straight. Continue fixing the tiles until they fit perfectly along the lines. Check that the tiles are spaced evenly on each side of the wall. If they do not fit evenly, then adjust the datum lines.

Insert A Tile Spacer

Tile spacers are inserted between rows of tiles. Insert tile spacers between all the tiles you lay.  They serve to make the grout lines straight, and they ensure the uniform distance between tiles, and therefore professional final look.

Moreover, they ensure that joints are consistent. For the large sided tiles, use two spacers for each side. Tile spacers can be removed when the adhesive dries by use of a nose needle plier.

Applying The Adhesive

If the tile fit perfectly and the adhesive is ready, start applying the adhesive. Start at one section of the room by applying the adhesive in an area of approximately two by three feet using a trowel.  To obtain an even layer, use a notched trowel.

Alternatively, you can apply a small a thin layer of the adhesive on the lower side of the tile. For efficient results on how to tile a house, work on a small area at a time. This will prevent the adhesive from drying, before laying the tiles.

Placing Tiles

Place the tiles in place and press them gently. Always start along the datum line.

Cut Tiles To Sizes

This requires sharp equipment. Tile saws are best at this. To find the best tile saw, you can find the best wet tile saws with reviews for the money online. Cutting tiles are necessary especially when small fitting spaces near the walls. Accurate measurements must be taken to ensure a perfect fit.

A tape measure is used to measure then marking is done with visible ink. The tile is then placed beneath a cutter and the blade run along the mark. Press down to break along the line.

Standard tile may not fit on the floor especially when you get to the wall. Under this circumstances, cut the tiles to the required size.

Applying Grout

Gout is used to fill the spaces between tiles. Use grout color that matches the color of your tiles. Grout is available in different colors just as the tiles. While applying grout, use a steal or a wood float.

Spread the grout with the float held at an angle. This ensures that the grout gets in between the tiles. Fill the grout lines to the level of the tiles.

Remove Excess Grout

When all the grout is in place, use a damp piece of cloth to wipe away all the excess sponge. Repeat the procedure until the all the grout is removed on the tiles. Take care not to remove the grout in between the tiles, i.e. the grout lines.

When laying the floor tiles, some tools are vital. In addition to the tape measure, tile saws and spirit level, mixers, scrappers, wood floats and markers are equally important. For a perfect finish and fixing of the floor, the tools must be strong as well as versatile.


There you go! We have covered all the important steps you need to know about tiling a floor. But if you are not sure about this, you should consider getting help from an expert.

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Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Robert Patrick

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Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick is the Chief Editor of Tools Adventure.He spent around 25 years in the construction and woodworking industry as a professional worker.Based on his experiences with the different type of tools; he is sharing his opinion about various tools so that a beginner can get started right away.Happy reading!