Tips for professional-looking floor tiles

Since then, I’ve completed many courses in floor tiles setting and gained valuable experience working directly with a number of expert tile setters. I’ve gained a great deal from each experience, and I’d want to share what I’ve learned with you in order for your next tile work to turn out nicely.

1. A Level and Sturdy Underlayment:

Tips for professional-looking floor tiles

The foundation of your home, much like the structure of your house, is quite significant. Is your floor flexing, bouncing, or squeaking as you walk over it? If this is the case, you must address these concerns immediately. Make use of a level and place it in various distinct locations (and directions on your subfloor). Is there a slope, low regions, or a combination of these? If your subfloor has dips or valleys in it, you will be unable to install a professional tile work that will survive? Your floor tiles will break if it is not robust and bends, resulting in broken grout or worse, cracked tiles.

According to the TCNA (Tile Council of North America), there should be no more than a 1/4 inch discrepancy in 10 feet and no more than a 1/16 inch difference in 12 inches. If your subfloor isn’t level, you may learn how to level your floor by reading the rest of this guide.

If you have a wood subfloor, be sure that your wood substrates are spaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations (usually a 1/8-inch gap between plywood sheets). Before tiling, backer board or uncoupling membranes should be installed on the flooring to prevent the floor tiles from sticking together.

Never lay tile directly on top of freshly laid concrete. Continue reading to find out why I employ uncoupling membranes and how to avoid your floor tiles project being destroyed by expanding or contracting concrete during the installation process.

2. Take into consideration the use of an uncoupling membrane.

Tips for professional-looking floor tiles

The application of the orange Schluter Ditra waterproof membrane before tiling was covered in another prior article. As an added benefit, the Schluter Ditra material functions as an uncoupling barrier, which helps to avoid fractures in your floor tiles and/or grout.

It is impossible for me to tile a room without using an uncoupling membrane after attending the Schluter training. Furthermore, their membranes are waterproof, which is a nice plus. There is no longer any need to be concerned about water leaking into your floorboards and causing mold to grow.

3. Make Use of a Quality Tile Cutter

The use of quality equipment will ensure that your floor tiles operation runs smoothly and that your tile cuts do not seem to be a jagged jumble of pieces. If you can’t afford to purchase high-quality tools, consider renting them or asking a fellow DIYer if you can borrow their equipment. (Be sure to clean their tools thoroughly before returning them.) There is nothing that irritates me more than unclean tools.) learn more about floor tile tools at

4. Prepare Your Tile Layout Ahead of Time

If you’ve heard it said that investing time in preparation will save you time in the long run, nothing could be more accurate than when it comes to tiling your floor. I always start by laying out my floor tiles before beginning any tile project. I dry spread them out to have a better idea of what I’m up against. Before I begin, I lay out a run of floor tiles down the length of the room, positioning the tiles such that I don’t have to cut a little sliver of a tile at either end of the line. In order to prevent repeating the issue, I arrange a run throughout the width of the space, making alterations as needed.

If I have printed tiles, I sort them into heaps according to the design of the print on each tile. Then, when I go back to pick tiles later, I grab them from various stacks of tiles. I also take a step back to ensure that two of the identical tiles are not next to one another (like in the example below thanks to that so-called professional I hired).

Nothing screams “inexperienced tiler” quite like two printed floor tiles being put next to each other on the same wall. And in the same direction as well!

5. Remove an Expansion (or Movement) Joint from the equation.

Despite what you may believe (particularly if you are a perfectionist), you do not want to cut and place your tiles so that they are flush against the wall (or other objects in your room like columns, pipes, or walls.) The perimeter of your room or the area surrounding immovable items must be at least 1/4 inch thick. If you do not follow this guideline, you may find that your tile floor is popping up or tenting. Additionally, you must build a movement joint in every interior space every 25 feet in both directions in order to accommodate movement. If, on the other hand, this space is subjected to direct sunshine or heat, an expansion joint will be required every 12 feet in both directions.

6. Make use of the recommended trowel size.

Tiles are available in a range of forms and sizes, necessitating the use of a number of trowels. Make careful to examine the tile’s specs to determine the appropriate trowel size for the job. Alternatively, you might ask a salesperson from your tile business for their advice. When working with huge tiles, using a trowel that is too tiny will result in the tiles not adhering to the surface. Using a trowel that is too large with smaller tiles can make it difficult to get the tiles level.

Back Butter Large Tiles

If you are tiling a floor with huge tiles, back buttering is absolutely necessary. To lay thin-set mortar on a floor, I’ll often spread it out and then trowel it through. Extra paint will be scraped over the back of the floor tiles using a metal scraper to create a thin layer of sealant. This fulfills two goals: first, it saves time.

1. It helps to fill up any spaces on the back of the tile with mortar.

2. It guarantees that the tile is completely covered on the backside.

Unless you back butter huge tile, you face the danger of having air pockets behind your tile, which may make the tile sound hollow when stepped on or cause the tile to jump up when it is trodden on.

Make use of Leveling Spacers 

Despite the fact that leveling spacers are a relatively new product, I will never tile a floor again without them. I’ve tested a few other types and have found that the wedge-shaped leveling spacers work best for me. It is necessary to put the wedges into the tile spacer and tighten them in order to bring nearby tiles to the same height as the neighboring floor tiles. To show how they function and how to remove the spacers, please go to the video I have provided above. (As you will see, removing them is a lot of fun!) Lippage between tiles may be practically eliminated by using leveling spacers.