John Bridge's

Ceramic Tile Installation Book

Book Cover: Tile Your World by John Bridge

View 3 free pages: Laying the tiles.

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How to Lay Tile

There are many ways and methods of laying ceramic tile. Most of the problems associated with layout are due to the room being out of square.

The following method is simple, easy to use and does not require a square room.

Before you start you should always remember to make sure the area is free of dirt and dust.

Tile Installation Technique 4

The first thing you will need to do is to snap two chalk lines. Take the chalk line and snap a line down the center of the room. Snap another chalk line down the center but perpendicular to the first line. This is a good start for laying ceramic tile and get an optimized tile layout. In other words you will have one line down the center width of the room and one down the center length. Next you will want to add thinset to the floor (see: Set Thinset Mortar)

tile layout Technique 5

Next place a row of tiles down along both lines, Make sure to leave room for spacing of the grout. It is a good idea for laying ceramic tile to use grout spacers here. If the thinset comes up between the grout joints, remove it before it dries. Place the ceramic tile into the thinset with a slight downward pressure.

Once you have laid out the ceramic tile, check to make sure that the spacing is ok. You may need to move the tiles some so that you end up with as many full tiles as possible thus avoiding lots of cutting. Take a rubber mallet and lightly tap the tile to assure good coverage. Work in small sections and take your time. Keep an eye on the thin set, if it gets too dry, it may be necessary to add more water and remix.

When cutting the tiles, in a small room in particular, may want to cut tile to fit both sides of the room, giving an equal appearance. Let your eye be the judge. We recommend using a wet-saw for the act of tile cutting as it is likely to snap and break less tiles than other methods, in addition they are available relatively cheaply, for a full list of cutting equipment see: Cut your Tiles.

Laying Ceramic Tile with The Tile Estimator

One easy tip that can make laying ceramic tile easier is to use this new innovative online tool. Simply draw your room, select your pattern, and the tool will automatically calculate the best way to lay your tile. You can even select your preferred grout width, tile sizes, and select from 15 different patterns to find out exactly how many tiles you need for your project. Once you're done, simply follow the computer generated layout during your installation.