How to lay a tile with your own hands

More often laying tiles on the floor is trusted by professional tilemakers and they do it for good reason. After all, the longevity and beauty of the coating strongly depends on the quality of laying, and the process itself is very complicated. However, to put their own hands flat tiles on a fairly flat base and according to the standard pattern "seam in the seam" can even beginner. The main thing is to choose the right mounting solutions and strictly follow the technology. In this you will help our step-by-step instruction with a photo and a selection of useful video. This theory of laying tiles will be useful to those who need to control and accept the work of the tilers.

Materials, tools and equipment

Here is a list of materials and tools that you will need during the laying, cutting and grouting of floor tiles.

Tools and equipment:

  • Roulette, metal ruler and corner;
  • Building pencil for marking;
  • Building level and rule;
  • A building mixer or a drill with a stirring attachment;
  • Tile cutter or electric tile cutter;
  • Core or glass cutter (needed for curved trimming of tiles);
  • Nippers for tiles (for trimming curvilinearly);
  • File (for grinding the cropped edges);
  • Putty knife;
  • Toothed spatula (6-8 mm);
  • Master OK;
  • Rubber spatula for grouting joints;
  • Rubber mallet;
  • A bucket with a sponge and a rag;
  • Knee pads and households. gloves.


In addition to the tiles with a 10% margin, you will need:

  • Adhesive for tiles corresponding to the material of the base (for concrete, wood, old tiles, etc.), as well as features of the tile itself;
  • Crosses of the desired size;
  • Grout the desired color;
  • Primer.

See also: Everything about ceramic tiles for the kitchen floor.

Step 1. Preparation of the base

First, it is necessary to prepare the base so that it is even, clean and dry. It is preferable to lay the tile on a concrete screed, but if desired, you can also put it on an old tile or wood, particleboard (or other similar material). However, keep in mind that when installing tiles on the old lining the height of the final floor will increase.

To put the tile on a concrete screed you need to: remove any possible roughness with a scraper, vacuum the floor, wash it with an alkaline cleaning agent, then cover with a primer coat (preferably) and wait 2-4 hours until the floor is completely dry. Further, if the concrete foundation is uneven (deviations of more than 5 mm by 2 linear meters), then it needs to be poured with some leveling compound and wait until it dries.

  • Washing the floor
  • Removing unevenness with a scraper

To put a tile on an old tile you need:

  • To improve the adhesion of the old tile with glue, it is covered with sandpaper or a sanding machine;
  • Then the coating is vacuumed and washed, if necessary, treated with a primer (requires drying in 2-4 hours) and covered with a self-leveling mixture.

Attention! Laying tiles on a system of warm floors, turn off the heating 1-2 days before the start of work. Turn on heating or floor heating only 2-3 days after grouting. For laying ceramic tiles on the "warm floor" you need to use glue with a high content of elastic polymers, which will prevent the thermal deformation of the substrate.

Step 2. Drawing the markup

Once the floor is dry, you can start drawing the markup. There are many ways of drawing markup, but everyone has a goal:

  • The floor must be marked so that, first, the trimmed tiles are not placed in sight; and secondly, the cutting was required as little as possible. Ideally, the tiles should be cut to a third or a maximum of half.

For example, the layout can be constructed in such a way that whole tiles are placed at the entrance, along the axes of the window opening or, say, at the door of the balcony door. In this article we will consider one of the most popular ways of laying tiles on the floor - along two perpendicular axes from the center of the doorway.

So, draw a line from the center of the threshold to the center of the opposite wall using a cord or laser level. Further along this line begin to lay a row of tiles with crosses "on dry". Putting the last whole tile, draw a line along its outer edge so that you get two strictly perpendicular vertical lines as in the diagram below. It is desirable with the help of a square to make sure that the angles are straight at 90 degrees.

Layout of the floor

In the corner of the perpendicular, we will glue the first tile, and from it we will lay the first row (along the horizontal line).

Place of laying the first tile

Step 3. Laying the first tile and the first row

Dilute the bucket in the bucket according to the manufacturer's instructions, put a spatula on it in one of the corners of the intersection and at the same time into the area of ​​several tiles of the future first row, just going beyond it. Then level the adhesive with a notched trowel, keeping it at an angle of 60 degrees. Try to always keep the "comb" at the same angle, so that the glue turns out to be the same thickness.

Attention! If the tile has a size of more than 30 × 30 cm or 20 × 30 cm, then the glue must be applied to the tile itself with a thin layer (apply glue to the tile and immediately remove it with the same trowel). For very large formats, a layer of glue on the tile can be put thicker and tear it with a notched trowel as shown in the photo below.

Application of glue on the tile

Next, place the tile on the glue, adhering to the marking lines and gently tap on it with a kyanko for alignment.

Aligning the tiles with a kijan

Then, in the same way, you should glue the second tile and compare it with the first with the help of a kayak and a rule. Make sure that the tiles are laid flat, applying the building level directly to the two tiles immediately as shown in the photo below.

Controlling the height of tiles

Check the height of each laid tile with the previous one. If necessary, remove excess or, conversely, add glue

Only when both tiles are aligned, insert crosses on the corners of the tiles and into the seam.

Insert crosses

Now continue to glue the tiles in the same way until the entire first row is ready. Go through it again with the rule and check the levelness level.

Monitoring of the leveling of the floor tiles

Next, collect excess glue on the edges of the row, between the tiles, on the tiles and proceed to the next row.

A few rules and tips for laying

  • The base of the floor and tiles should always be dry.
  • Try to apply glue no more than 1 running meter of the facing area at a time.
  • Glue, standing for more than 30-40 minutes, becomes not suitable for work (with the exception of adhesives of some manufacturers). So try to mix the glue in a little bit.
  • So that the glue does not dry out to the comb, always soak it in water.
  • Crosses must be removed before the glue dries.
  • It is not advisable to use knees on the laid tiles, as this can disrupt its flatness.
  • Tiles should be taken from different boxes, so a small variety will be invisible. Before starting work, be sure to check that the tone indicated on all boxes is the same.
  • On the back of the tile is always the manufacturer's logo, by which you can understand where the tiles have the top, and where the bottom. Sometimes tiles have a special indication of the orientation of the masonry, which for convenience can additionally be indicated on the end of the tile with a pencil.
  • Do remove excess glue before it dries. From the surface of the tile it is best to remove it with a cloth moistened with a solvent.

Alternative way of marking and laying the first row

Do not want to bother with the markup? Then act in the old fashion - start to lay the tile from the most visible angle. If you put the tile on the floor in the kitchen, then you can start laying from the corner opposite the headset of the wall, then a number of trimmed tiles fall just under it.

More useful information on marking and laying tiles on the floor with their own hands can be found in this video.

Step 4. Laying the remaining rows, cutting the tiles

Hurray, the first row is ready and now, orienting on it, we can lay a second row of cut-off tiles (see the picture below), and then all the rest.

Layout of rows of tiles

  • Attention! The first row consists of only whole tiles, the cut off tiles are laid later (in the scheme "cut" the row is designated as row 2).

Trimming of cut tiles

Scheme for cutting wall tiles

How to cut the last floor tile adjoining the wall? First of all, you need to determine the line of cutting it: put it on the pasted tile with the next last tile, put one more tile on it and move it to the wall, but not reaching the wall at the distance of one seam. Along the outer edge of this tile, draw a line on the paved tile. This line is the line of cut.

Cutting tiles on a machine

You can cut the tiles in different ways and devices. Ideally, you should use a manual tile cutter or an electric tile cutter (see the photo above), if there is no such tool, then use the grinder. However, if the floor tiles are ceramic and not very thick (up to 9 mm), then you can apply the old construction trick and cut it ... with a conventional glass cutter as shown in this video.

How to cut a tile curvilinearly? Apply a paint strip to the tile to be cut to prevent memorizing the decorative layer. Then with a pencil, mark the round line of the cut, say under the pipe. Next, drill a few holes along the planned rounded line with a carbide drill (suitable for ceramic tiles). And finally, with the help of nippers, pliers and special tongs for tiles, gently break off the unnecessary part. Sand the cutoff location with a file.

When you cover the entire floor, make sure that all the crosses are removed and leave the coating to dry for 24 hours.

How to trim the floor tiles with a L-shaped bulge, for example, under the ledge of the ventilation duct, you can learn from this video.

Step 5. Grouting

After 24 hours you can begin to grout the joints. To do this, first lightly wet the seams from the spray gun or simply a wet rag to improve the adhesion of the grout, and then dilute the trowel.

Смешивание закирки

Application of grouting

While holding the rubber spatula at an angle, apply a joint mixture for approximately 1 sq. M. meter floor and distribute it so that all the seams are completely filled. But be careful and do not try to squeeze the grout into the seams.

Application of grouting

Treatment of floor tiles with trowel

After 15-30 minutes, remove excess grout with a damp sponge. In the same way, continue to wipe the seams on other sections of the floor, with the exception of joints along the walls. An hour after grouting the entire surface of the floor, it can be washed clean with water or soft cleaners.

Removing excess grouting floor tiles

Washing the tiled floor from the grout residue


A week later the seams can be covered with a sealant.

Attention! Walking on the freshly laid tiled floor is not recommended for the first 2-3 days, ideally - 7 days.

To find out more information on how to properly wipe the seams of floor tiles with your own hands, we recommend you look at the next video lesson.

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