Install Tiles: A Step-by-Step Guide

So you are thinking of installing tiles for a home project. Here are the steps on how to properly install tiles.

How Do I Prepare The Surface?

To ensure a level of quality, we prepare the surface with a process called ‘floating cement’. We start by nailing a wire mesh that comes with black structural paper to the wall studs. Then top it off with silicone putty to cover the nails and ensure that moisture won’t seep through the nails.


After applying the first layer of cement to the wire mesh, we will now install wood beams to guide us to a perfect level for the second coat of cement. 


Depending on whether it is for a kitchen or a bathroom, you would then have to apply a layer of waterproofing foundation coating


-Use a level to make sure that the surface is level.

-Use a putty knife to scrape away any loose material.

-Wipe the surface clean with a damp sponge.

Floating Cement VS Cement Board

You may be asking yourself, “What’s better, floating cement or installing a cement board?


Floating cement is not entirely tied down to the level of the wall studs. It will allow us to have way more flexibility to ensure the exact perfect level and not suffer any of the imperfections that were originally there from the start.


Cement board offers no flexibility, and any imperfections that were originally there would continue to show through the tiles and would be noticeable through the light glare that the tiles would reflect.


-Winner ‘Floating Cement’ by a TKO

Why Should I Cut The Tiles?

We would all like for the tiles to fit perfectly, but unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. We would recommend measuring the layout and preparing the materials before applying them with mortar. The saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ is not just for carpenters.


Especially If you are using tiles of different sizes, you will need to cut them to size using a tile saw.


-Use a tile saw to cut the tiles to the desired size.

-Be sure to wear safety glasses when using a tile saw.

How Do I Apply the Thin-set Mortar?

Apply the mortar to the surface using a notched trowel. Be sure to spread the adhesive evenly over the entire surface.


-Use a notched trowel to apply the thin-set mortar.

-Be sure to spread it evenly over the entire surface.

How To Lay The Tiles

Depending on the style pattern or direction you would prefer the tiles to go, we would recommend starting in the center of the room and working your way out. Be sure to press the tiles firmly into the adhesive.


-Use spacers to keep the tiles evenly spaced.

-Use a level to make sure that the tiles are level.

How to Fill the grout lines

Once all of the tiles are in place, you will need to fill the grout lines using a grout float. There are cases when laying tile without grout will probably leave the job looking a lot better. But here’s the thing: if you want the job to last, then you need to use grout.


If you decide to fill it with grout, be sure to fill the lines completely and evenly.


-Use a grout float to fill the grout lines.

-Be sure to fill the grout lines completely and evenly.

Clean the tiles

Once the grout has dried, you will need to clean the tiles using a damp sponge.

-Wipe away any excess grout immediately.

-Let the grout dry completely before using the surface.


If you are not comfortable installing tiles yourself, you can hire a professional to do it for you. However, here is how to properly install tiles.

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