How to Install Ceramic Tile

Written by: Brent Holland

Diy Specialist
Follow Brent's step-by-step instructions for installing ceramic tile

  • Tools/Materials
    • Tile cutter
    • Angle grinder with masonry blade
    • Sponge
    • Notched trowel
    • Tile spacers
    • Rubber float
    • Knee pads

Laying tile can be more challenging than standard DIY projects, but with time and patience it can save you quite a bit of money. The most important part is starting with a flat surface.


Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Lay out tiles and cut accordingly. Since most walls are not square, you need to start in a straight line and then lay the tiles.



Step 2

Make round cuts with the grinder. Mark a line and score with the grinder until you completely cut through. Note: Using a diamond blade can work better.

Step 3

Make straight cuts with the tile cutter. You do not always need a wet tile saw, a more affordable slide tile cutter works well on basic cuts.

Step 4

Spread adhesive with the notched trowel. You want to work in small areas and spread straight, even lines.

Step 5

Lay tile down on the adhesive. Do not put pressure on the tile; simply make sure that the tile are laying flat.

Step 6

Add tile spacers to keep straight lines. Let the adhesive cure for 24 hours.

Step 7

Wet tiles with a sponge. This makes cleaning up the grout from the tile easier.

Step 8

Add grout to all the gaps with a rubber float. Make sure to fill in all the gaps thoroughly.

Step 9

Diagonally spread grout from one tile to another tile. Avoid following the grain because this can cause you to pull the grout out of the gaps. Allow the grout to cure for 15 minutes, but no longer, then you can clean off the excess grout.

Step 10

Clean off the grout with a wrung out sponge. Work in a circular motion to avoid pulling out the grout. Work on 3 to 4 tiles at a time. Let the grout cure for 24 hours before thoroughly cleaning and spraying grout sealer.


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