image
image

If you don't feel confident enough to install your own tile and would like to learn the proper way to do it, so you don't get overwhelmed and give up on your project halfway through, you've come to the right place.

We've compiled a step by step guide on proper tile installation, which you can follow to the point and finish your project like a pro.

Before you begin working on the installation process, you'll need to prep the area properly, so you can start working on a clean and prepped surface.

1. Prep

If you're going to be remodelling the entire room or area in your home, you'll need to remove all of the appliances, fixings and so on so you can have a nice clean area to work on. 

Next, use a large demo bar to pry up the old tiles and remove them. To get all the mastic off the subfloor, you might even need to use a hammer drill with a scraping blade, if you can't get everything out on your first try.

Before you begin laying your new tile, you need to make sure you install the proper tile underlayment material for long-lasting tiles. There are many acceptable options that make for adequate underlayment, such as cement boards, exterior-grade plywood, slab concrete, and so on.

2. Installation

Once you've prepped your surface, you can begin the installation process.

Get your tiles out of their boxes, and mix a few tiles from different boxes in case there are slight differences in colour. 

Mix some thin-set tile mortar following the instructions until it gets close to the consistency of peanut butter.

Use the flat side of your trowel to fill the cavities in the matting with thin-set mortar. Start at the mark in the centre of the room which you've measured beforehand so your finished surface can appear balanced and symmetrical.

Use the notched side of the trowel held at a 45-degree angle to comb additional thin-set. Do not make swirls or use mortar spots to avoid trapping air inside and prevent cracks and tile breakages. Instead use straight lines when applying the mortar, going back and forth in a perpendicular motion. This allows for less if any voids to form, making your tile more resilient to breakage and cracks.

Divide the room into four equal parts and start laying the tile by going outwards from the centre. Lightly twist and press the tiles into the mortar, making sure you get full contact. Keep laying the tile, using spacers in between. Every few tiles lift one up to see if there's full contact between the mortar and the tile. If not, use your trowel to back butter the tile and lay it back in its spot.

Check for high spots using a level and even them out using a rubber mallet. 

Keep laying the tiles, anticipating the amount of space you have left until you reach the wall. Once you get a meter from the wall, you can start tweaking the joints between the tiles so you can finish the final row with tiles that are no less than half-size. This will keep everything symmetric and pleasing to the eye.