Laying it Down: Basic Considerations for Installing Your Tile

Sure, there are professionals who decide to lay their own tile. Some of you out there, however, are do-it-yourselfers. We salute you. This is by no means a complete guide to laying your tile, but here are some special considerations you should make when placing the tile for your own project.

Here are some of the basic tools you may need:


Chalk line


Rubber gloves

Tile mastic

Tile grout sealer


Edging cap

Outside corner edge caps for ceramic tile

Paint stirring stick or old toothbrush  (optional)

Grooved trowel  (optional)

Tile nippers  (optional)

Tile cutter  (optional)

Rubber squeegee   (optional)

Saber saw with carbide blade (optional)

Pre-gaming your tile

First, you need to check your walls to ensure that everything is smooth, fairly level and free of debris that could interfere with the adhesion of you tile material. Additionally, you should read all the instructions that are provided with your tiling materials and tools.

Laying the tile

Be sure to have spacers on hand that evenly and purposely space the tile that you are laying. When laying the tile out before placement, try to be mindful of edge cuts and other awkward tile placement that could arise from edges or other obstructions to laying a full piece of tile before any tile is laid or cut.

When placing the tile, try to ensure the adhesive is not pushed in a way that causes “bunching” or otherwise may cause difficulty in creating smooth and even grout lines. Before completing any stage of the project, be sure to give the tile adhesive plenty of time to “set” before continuing to grouting or other steps.

Grouting the tile

Remember, do not start the grouting process until the tile adhesive has dried completely. Before beginning the grout process, be sure the grout is thoroughly mixed and ready for application. Wetting the placed tile will help prevent the tile from pulling moisture from your grout material.

A rubber squeegee can be used to even the grout and a sponge should be used to wipe up any excess grout from the tile. A blunt stick can be used to push the grout further into the joints of the tile.

Once the grout has dried, the thin film of grout that has formed over the tile needs to be cleaned from the tile. For some projects, this can be done by simply polishing the tile. Others may require some other materials. Stop by the store and we can help you out if you are having troubles.

If any areas need to be caulked around the tile edges, now is the time to do so. Once all of the above is complete, apply a grout sealant, per the manufacturers instructions.

Most important tip

The most important tip of all is to consult us for any problems! We can answer many questions online, but we invite you to stop by the store any time during our business hours to ask any questions you may have about your project. We have decades of experience and want to help you create the very best project possible!