Prepare and Install a Tile Floor

Getting the subfloor properly prepared will make the tile go down smooth and easy.
HDSWT513_Nelson_kitchen_makeover_After2

HDSWT513_Nelson_kitchen_makeover_After2

Ceramic tile is an inexpensive choice for new flooring and is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project.

Ceramic tile is an inexpensive choice for new flooring and is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project.

Materials and Tools:

gloves
grout float
knee pads
notched trowel
wet tile saw
tile
concrete board
tile mortar
tile grout
tile spacers

Steps:

1. Plan the layout of the tile floor. When planning the floor, remember to leave a 1/4-inch space around the perimeter for the tile floor to expand and contract.

2. Remove the old linoleum floor with a pry bar, hammer and utility knife. If the subflooring is in decent shape the tile can be laid on top with a little sanding. If not, then use backerboard. It creates a uniform surface and will protect the tiles from damage. Before screwing down the backerboard, lay down a thin layer of mastic or thinset mortar. Then use 1-1/4-inch decking screws to fasten down the backerboard. It's important to use decking screws because they do not rust or rot like untreated screws.

3. It is important to lay the tile in a checkerboard pattern running parallel to the walls, not at an angle. Begin laying the tile at the kitchen entrance, so you'll have a clean line at the most visible spot.

4. Using a 1/4-inch notched trowel, spread a layer of thinset under the working area of the tiles. To keep a uniform consistency, place 1/4-inch plastic tile spacers between each tile. Use the wet tile saw to cut the pieces to fit.

5. After the last tile is put down, allow at least 12 hours of dry time before walking on the floor.

HDSWT513_Nelson_Kitchen_Floor_grouting_slate_tile2

HDSWT513_Nelson_Kitchen_Floor_grouting_slate_tile2

For an even application, spread the grout diagonally across the tiles.

For an even application, spread the grout diagonally across the tiles.

6. Mix the grout to the consistency of a thick paste (like peanut butter) and apply it by forcing the grout between tiles with a rubber float held at a 45-degree angle. Wipe away excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Take care to pack all joints.

7. After 20 minutes, wipe away all excess grout with a damp sponge. Be sure to wait at least four hours for the grout to dry before walking on the floor.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Landscape Design Supplies and Materials

How to choose the best landscape design supplies and materials for your next residential landscaping project

How to Install Tile on a Bathroom Floor

Learn how to install ceramic flooring tiles in a bathroom to give it a fresh update.

How to Install a Shower Tile Wall

Update your bathroom by installing tile in the shower.

How to Install Plywood Floor Tiles

Plywood is an inexpensive flooring alternative. Use a single type of wood for a standard look or use particle board for a more patterned look.

How to Install Laminate Flooring

Completely change the look of a room with new laminate flooring.

How to Install Tile in a Bathroom Shower

Use these step-by-step instructions to take your shower from drab to fab by installing Italian marble tile.

How to Install Snap-Together Laminate Flooring

Installing snap-together flooring allows anyone with moderate DIY skills to create a beautiful new laminate floor.

How to Install a Marble Tile Backsplash

Boost your kitchen's wow factor in a three-day weekend by installing a timeless Carrara marble backsplash in an updated subway tile pattern.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.