6 Steps to Install Tile Flooring

Materials

  • Tile
  • Mortar
  • Grout
  • Two 5 Gallon Pails
  • Sponge
  • Trowel
  • Electric Mixer

1. Demolition

If your current tile is vinyl, all you need to do is tear it up off the floor. If your bathroom was formally tile, you have a few different ways to remove the tile including using a chisel and an electric hammer drill.

You can start by taking a sledge hammer to break up the tile and then using a chisel to pick away at the tile. Another option an electric hammer drill, which is extremely loud. Be careful for those tiles, because they are sharp and fly.

2. Lay out the Pattern

Measure to find the center point of the room. Place your first tile in the middle of the floor and work your pattern out. Start in the center to keep everything even.

3. Mix Mortar

Using an electric trowel, mix the mortar. Mortar is a powder mixed with water. You always want to use a little bit less water than the instructions call for to get pancake consistency. Once the mortar is mixed, spread the mortar on the ground evenly with a trowel.

4. Cut & Lay Tile

If you have two people working, you can use a quick set mortar. It works well if one person cuts the tiles while the other spreads the mortar and lays the tiles. If you are doing all of the work by yourself quick set mortar is probably not the best option. The benefits of using quick set mortar is that you can grout the same day as you lay the tile. Otherwise you have to wait 24 hours minimum before you can grout the flooring.

 5. Grout Joints

After the tile is installed, grout the gaps between the tiles. Doing a proper grout job will ensure that the floor under the tiles stay safe from moisture. Make sure to get some knee pads since you will be working on your knees for an extended period of time.

Grout comes in a variety of color options. Lighter colored grout tends to make the tiles blend more, while dark grout helps to accentuate the tile pattern. Choosing a darker color is also best used for high traffic areas. Light colored grout is difficult to keep clean.

Mix the grout according to the packaging directions. Just like the mortar, you only want to mix as much as you can apply in a half hour since it will quickly dry out. Dump the mixture into a 5 gallon bucket, add water, and mix with the electric mixer.

Scoop the grout with a trowel and apply on top of the tiles. Move the grout float at a diagonal angle to the grout lines for a smooth finish.

After applying, wait about 15 to 30 minutes for the grout in the joints to set and start cleaning. Get a bucket of clean water and dip a large sponge with rounded corners into the water bucket, wring it out and start wiping.

Go back over the tile at least three times to clean off the grout. No matter how effectively you cleaned the excess grout from the tiles, you’re likely to have a “grout haze” covering your tiles after your job is done. Take a dry towel to wipe the haze off.

6. Seal

Make sure the grout is dry before applying the sealing and then pour a small amount of sealant on the grout.