How to Install a Tile "Rug" Within a Hardwood Floor

Add high style to your high-traffic entry with this transitional floor tile inset.

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter

MaryAnnCarter

Tools and Materials

  • tile
  • mastic
  • premixed grout
  • caulk
  • caulk gun
  • putty knife
  • dust mask
  • safety glasses
  • gloves
  • 1/4" x 1/4" notched trowel
  • float
  • sponge
  • bucket
  • water
  • oscillating saw
  • permanent marker
  • tile spacers
  • measuring tape
  • stain touch-up pen
  • hammer
  • painter's tape

Skill Level: Intermediate
Estimated Time: 2 days
Estimated Cost: $200


Step 1: Plan the Design

Start by choosing a tile that contrasts with your existing floor in both shape and scale. Larger tiles are easier to work with. Lay out a pattern to determine your design. If you want a transition look like ours, feather out the edges of the pattern. Be sure to leave room between each tile for spacers.

Step 2: Add Spacers and Trace Pattern


Use a tile saw to make any necessary cuts. Insert spacers in between the tiles so that the pattern is balanced. When you’ve got everything in place, use a permanent marker to trace your pattern on the floor so you know where to cut.

Step 3: Cut Existing Floor


Use an oscillating saw to cut the flooring to fit around the tile design. Use a putty knife and hammer to pry off the flooring. If necessary, use a stain touch-up pen on the existing floor to cover any areas that may have chipped during removal.

Step 4: Lay Tile


Apply painter’s tape to the edge of the pattern to protect the transition between the tile and current flooring. Spread mastic on the flooring substrate with a putty knife and a square-notch trowel for any tiles between 4” x 4” and 12” x 12”. Pull the trowel toward you at a 45-degree angle. Lay the mastic as thin or thick as needed to keep the tile the same height as the existing flooring. Twist the tile into place and add spacers between each tile. Be sure to clean up any smudges before the mastic dries. Let mastic dry for 24 hours.

Step 5: Apply Grout


Choose a grout color that coordinates with the colors in the tile. Load up the grout float and spread across the tile diagonally at a 45-degree angle to ensure the grout gets into the tile joints. Clean off the excess grout using a wet sponge.

Step 6: Caulk Edges

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter

MaryAnnCarter


Apply caulk as necessary to fill gaps where the tile meets the existing floor. Match the caulk color to grout color for a cohesive look.

Step 7: Let Dry

Photo by: MaryAnnCarter

MaryAnnCarter


Let grout and caulk dry for 24 hours.

Next Up

Maximum Value Home Exterior Projects: Doors

One of the easiest ways to freshen up your home's style and bring major curb appeal? A new front door!

How to Install Metal Door Arches

Remake an entrance with these step-by-step instructions.

Read This Before You Paint Your Front Door

So, you’re ready to paint your front door. Whether it’s just a touchup with a favorite hue or an entirely new shade that will grace your entrance, take note of these helpful hints before you pick up your brush.

Weekend Projects: Frame an Outside Entry With Porch Columns

Make your front entry grand by adding pilasters and molding around your door. It'll take less than a weekend and cost less than $100 in materials.

How to Make a Geometric Upholstered Door

Dressing up a dull interior door? Think beyond paint by adding design and texture with upholstery and nailhead trim.

How to Remove a Deadbolt

Follow our easy steps on how to remove and replace a deadbolt.

How to Build and Install a Sliding Door

See how we added privacy between bedroom and bathroom with a sliding barn door.

How to Make a DIY Interior Dutch Door

Keep an eye on kids or pets by giving an existing interior door a split-level update.

How to Widen a Doorway

Expanding a narrow doorway can open up a space and make your home feel bigger.

How to Install Tin Ceiling Tiles

Get the look of 1920's glamour on your ceiling with unbelievably real-looking fake tin tiles.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Building Roots

11am | 10c

Building Roots

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30am | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30am | 4:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

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