tips for installing tiles (2023)

Heim parts of the house slabs

Updated: 10/05/2018

    Easier installation, less frustration

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    tips for installing tiles (1)handyman family

    Laying tiles in a kitchen or bathroom is hard work. This collection of tips may not eliminate all tile problems, but it will help you avoid the most common headaches.

    From the DIY experts at The Family Handyman Magazine

    mix smooth

    tips for installing tiles (2)

    expect a smooth mix

    Mix the thin mortar or grout and then let it sit for about 10 minutes. This gives the dry pieces time to absorb water before making the final mix.

    After all the prep and design work, you are finally ready to start tiling and see some results. The last thing you want to do is stop and wait. But giving the thinset time to soak up or "quench" the water is the key to a smooth, lump-free mix. A chunky mix will drive you crazy trying to style the flimsy ensemble on the wall or floor. After turning off, mix again and add a little water if necessary. Play the same waiting game when you mix the mortar later.

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    Start with a flat floor

    tips for installing tiles (3)

    Pour a perfect floor

    The self-leveling compound gives you a flat, smooth base for laying tiles. It's also a quick way to embed carpet or underfloor heating cables.

    Tiling a corrugated floor is a nightmare. You push and pry to make each tile flush with its neighbors, and still end up with "lips" (edges that stick out beyond adjacent tiles, usually at the corners). So before laying the tiles, check the floor with a 4 ft. ruler. If you find low spots that are more than 1/4-inch deep, line them up with a ruler to create a level surface.

    For really bad floors, self-leveling compound (also known as "self-leveling primer") is a lifesaver. Simply mix the powder with water and pour to create a flat, smooth surface. A perfect tile base doesn't come cheap, though: expect to pay around $2 per square foot. Some products require metal or plastic slats; some don't

    Self-leveling putty is almost foolproof, but there are two major pitfalls. First, it slowly seeps into the smallest crack or hole, leaving a crater on the surface. So before you drop the bar, take a caulking gun and fill in every little gap, even the little nail holes. Second, you have to work fast. Most composites will begin to cure in approximately 30 minutes. To pour the entire floor in this amount of time, you need at least one helper to mix the batter as it pours. And even with help, you have to do it fast.

    remove motherboard

    tips for installing tiles (4)

    give yourself some freedom

    With the baseboards removed, measurements and cuts don't have to be precise. That means faster work and fewer badly cut tiles in the scrap heap.

    You can leave the base trim in place, tile over it, and seal the gap. But this "shortcut" looks second-rate and will cost you hours of cumbersome measuring and cutting. With no skirting, your cuts don't have to be precise or perfect; The skirting hides broken edges and small imperfections. If you're just absolutely opposed to removing the baseboards, consider adding baseboards along the bottom of the baseboard after you've laid the tiles.

    Get started with guide tables

    tips for installing tiles (5)

    Boards are better than lines.

    Unlike chalk lines, guide boards won't get lost under thin tiles or cause tiles to shift when you lay other tiles.

    The usual method for laying the first few rows of tiles is to draw chalk lines. But there are two problems with this method: First, the chalk lines are hard to see once you've smeared them on. Second, the first row of tiles can be moved around as you set up the next row. Guide panels solve both problems. Lay the boards as you would with the layout lines and screw them to the floor. Be sure to choose perfectly straight boards or cut strips of plywood. Also, wrap tape around the edge of the guide to prevent the slim assembly from sticking.

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    Video: create your own tile design

    Design planning for a tiling project is often the most difficult and time-consuming step in the tiling process. Watch this video to see how a professional does it. You'll see how to rip the chalk lines and make sure they're perfectly square. You'll also learn how to avoid unsightly, narrow, and hard-to-cut tiles along a wall. Don't start a tile project before watching this video!

    Start directly on the walls

    tips for installing tiles (6)

    Place tokens in a ledger

    Attach a straight stud to the wall to support the shingles. Later, remove the ledger and cut the tiles to fill the space below.

    The obvious way to tile a wall is to start at the bottom and work your way up. And this works well when the base of the wall (usually the floor or the bathtub) is perfectly flat and level. If not, the tile simply accentuates the imperfections; You'll end up with misaligned tiles and grout that vary in width. To get a straight and level start, lay a batten against the wall, leaving a gap under it, about 1/2 inch less than a full tile. The ledger shown here is an angle piece of steel supported by wooden blocks bolted to the wall. A strip of plywood or a perfectly straight board will also work.

    Clean up now!

    tips for installing tiles (7)

    Compression reset

    Remove excess thin-set joints with a utility knife, pencil, or tile spacer. Whatever you use, do it now, not later.

    When you're done laying the tile, step back a minute to admire it. So back to work. First, drop your dirty tools in a bucket of cold water. This will delay the hardening of the fine sentence, but it will not stop it. Then inspect any grout for thin bedding that has crept between the tiles, and clean it off before it hardens. Also pay attention to thin spots on the surface of the tile. If a stain has hardened and doesn't come off easily, dampen it and scrub with a synthetic scouring pad (the kind you use to scrub cookware). Use minimal elbow effort; If you rub too hard, polished stone or even glazed tiles can become dull. Now clean these tools.

    Tackle tough cuts with a grinder

    tips for installing tiles (8)

    cut exit holes

    Draw the light switch or outlet on the face of the tile. Cut as much as you can, then finish the cut from the back where you can easily trim the corners.

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    A grinder is not the best tool for cutting tiles. It produces a nasty dust storm and often leaves jagged or broken edges in its wake. Plus, it's simply slower than a tile cutter or wet saw. But equipped with a diamond blade, a grinder carves curves and makes tight cuts that these other tools can't. Choose a "dry cut" blade and do the cutting outdoors.

    delay drying

    Professionals like to get the job done quickly and sometimes use quick-setting thin-set paints. For the rest of us, slower is better, and even standard products sometimes harden or dry too quickly. Here are two ways to gain extra work time: First, dampen the backer board or concrete with a sponge before spreading the thin putty. A wet surface will not immediately absorb moisture from the thin layer. Second, mix the thinset with latex additive instead of water. Latex additive dries slower than water and improves adhesion in both thin coats and slurries. It also makes the grout more stain resistant. (Some latex additives are said to speed up the curing process; check the label.) If the thin putty or grout starts to harden before you can use it, simply discard it. Do not add water and mix again. That's a recipe for weak ties and later problems.

    Tools needed for this Tile installation project

    Have the tools needed for this DIY project ready before you begin – it will save time and frustration.

    • angle grinder
    • Bucket
    • rechargeable drill
    • square frame
    • mortar float
    • Knieschoner
    • eben
    • pliers
    • Gekerbte Kelle
    • OMS
    • utility knife

    You will also need a putty knife, rubber gloves, a sponge, and a tile saw.

    Materials needed for this tile installation project

    Avoid last minute purchases by having all your materials prepared in advance. Here is a list.

    • drywall screws
    • ground leveling
    • mortar
    • latex additive
    • thin-set mortar
    • teja
    • wood strips

    Originally Posted: October 03, 2018

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