How to Lay Tile Properly

Lead Image for How to Lay Tile Properly
  • 4-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1-2,000
What You'll Need
Wet saw
Tile spacers
Grout float
Tape measure
Chalk line
Concrete board

In order to lay tile properly, there are a number of steps that have to be followed. Laying tile is something that most people can do if they have the proper knowledge. Here are the basics of how to lay tile properly.


Start out by measuring the room in which you are going to install the tile. You need to get the dimensions of the room. Multiply the length and the width to get the square footage of the room. You will then need to add 10 percent to that number to allow for waste.

Prepare the Room

You will need to move everything out of the room and take up any old floor. You need to get down to the subfloor. If you have a concrete subfloor, you can lay the tile directly onto it. If you have a wood subfloor, you are going to need to install a concrete board. Put some tile adhesive on the bottom of the concrete board and then nail it down to the floor.

Mark Center

In most cases, you are going to want to lay the tile from the center of the room out towards the wall. This is going to center the tile and make it look more professional. In order to do this, you need to measure the center point of both walls and snap a chalk line in both directions. Where the lines cross is where you should start laying your tile.

Spread Adhesive

You will now want to spread out some of the adhesives onto the ground. Using your trowel, place some tile adhesive on the ground and spread it out evenly. Make sure that there are no uneven spots in the adhesive.

Place the Tile

Take your first tile and press it down into the adhesive firmly. Make sure that there are no gaps in the adhesive underneath and that it is solidly down in the adhesive. Put a tile spacer on each corner of the first tile.

Continue Laying

Take your next tile and press it directly up against the tile spacers from the first tile. Make sure that the second tile is pressed firmly down into the tile adhesive. Place tile spacers around the second tile as well. Continue putting tiles up against the previous tile and using the spacers for alignment.

Cutting the Tiles

When you get to a wall or the cabinet, you are going to need to make a cut. In order to do this, measure the appropriate size that you need and then place the tile in your wet saw to make the cut.


After the entire floor has been laid, you are going to want to allow the adhesive to dry overnight.


You will then need to remove the tile spacers and start grouting. Use your grout float to apply the grout to the grout joints. When you are done, use a sponge and water to clean the tops of the tiles. This will remove any extra grout and smooth everything out. Let the grout dry overnight before anyone walks on it.