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DIY Design & Renovation

DIY Design & Renovation

Tiling 101

Tiling 101

TILE LIKE A PRO

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

TILE LIKE A PRO

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

TILE LIKE A PRO

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

TILE LIKE A PRO

TILE LIKE A PRO

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

TILE LIKE A PRO

Out of all the DIY home projects, tiling is one of the ones we get asked about the most frequently. There’s something about a tiling project that just feels “easy” enough to tackle yourself. We’re putting “easy” in quotations because, though manageable, a DIY tile job takes practice (and plenty of patience). It’s where creativity and craftsmanship come together. So without further ado, grab your sense of confidence and a bucket of mortar because we're about to embark on a tiling journey that will have your friends asking, "Did you hire a professional, or are you really just that awesome?" (The answer is the latter, obviously.)

(Right Image Source Credit: Elite Bathware Tiles)

Start your design project with a great tile you love, and the rest will inevitably fall into place.
Start your design project with a great tile you love, and the rest will inevitably fall into place.
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No items found.

Let’s define some commonly used tile terms and talk like the pros do.

Let’s define some commonly used tile terms and talk like the pros do.

Adhesive
A substance used for bonding tiles to surfaces.
Backing
Material that’s used as a base over which a tile is installed. Aka, backerboard.
Battiscopa
A floor trim that goes between the wall and floor. Aka, skirting board.
Broken Joint
A tile pattern where a row is offset for half of its length (not an actual broken joint).
Bull Nose
A trim tile with a finished edge.
Caulk
Waterproof filler used to seal joints and make tile joints watertight.
Cement Board
A cement panel reinforced with fiberglass that's used as a substrate for tile installation.
Coefficient of Friction
The measurement of resistance to friction, aka how slip resistant a tile is.
Cove Base
A trim tile having a convex radius with a flat landing on the bottom edge.
Cure
The time that a tile setting material must be undisturbed and allowed to set. Also, a rock band!
Epoxy Adhesive
A two-part adhesive system consisting of epoxy resin and epoxy hardener.
Epoxy Grout
Used to fill joints between tiles.
Field Tile
The primary tile used to cover a wall or floor.
Grout
A mortar used to fill the joints between tiles. Your best friend when tiling!
Lappato
A tile finish, also known as semi-polished.
Listello
A decorative border, primarily for walls.
Mastic
A wall tile adhesive used to bond tile to wall substrates.

You know them, you love them… introducing: The most popular types of tile.

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Ceramic tiles FAQ and about
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Porcelain tile FAQ and about
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About terracotta tiles and FAQ
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About zellige tiles and FAQ
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About marble tiles and FAQ
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About limestone tiles and FAQ
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About cement tiles and FAQ
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About glass tiles and FAQ
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About mosaic tiles and FAQ
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About quarry tiles and FAQ
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GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS

So, now you might be wondering, "Can I tackle this tiling thing myself?" The answer is… absolutely! With a little (read: a lot of) patience, determination, and a few YouTube tutorials, you can become a tiling pro. It's a manageable DIY project for those who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty (and maybe even their knees sore). Tiling jobs differ slightly depending on what exactly you’re tiling (floors, shower walls, backsplashes, etc.), but the crux of what steps you’ll take and what tools you’ll need remains fairly similar.

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Here’s our beginner’s guide to tiling.

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These are general steps to accomplishing a tile job, but depending on your exact job, there might be something outside of this list! Always read the manufacturer’s installation guidelines and ask questions if you are ever unsure.

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Do yourself a favor and do your research thoroughly before purchasing tile for your project. Use our handy tile cards in this lesson to help you determine what type of tile might be best for your project.

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Once you land on a tile (or tiles!) you love, you’ll want to figure out your layout. Our design software allows you to easily create a rendering of your space and move around tiles until you find the perfect match. Measure the area you want to tile, calculate the number of tiles needed, and purchase all the necessary materials. Don’t forget to clean your surface and make sure it’s prepped for tiling.

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Here are some supplies you may need for your DIY: a level, tile cutter or wet saw, notched trowel, grout float and grout sponge, tile spacers, rubber mallet, tile file, bucket and mixing tools, safety gear, and cleaning materials.

Before you mix any of your mortar, you’ll want to think through how you will move in your space as you are working. There’s nothing worse than having to walk across the room to pick up tile or other supplies every time. Keep your supplies nearby.

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If you’re installing your tile in an area that gets wet, you’ll need to lay backerboard before you get started. Backerboard is less likely to rot or mold, which makes it perfect for wet areas.

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To get your mortar, you’ll need a mixture of cement, water, and fine sand. Starting from a corner, you’ll use a notched trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface, creating ridges to help with better tile adhesion.

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Place your tiles down using tile spacers to maintain consistent gaps between tiles. You can adjust the tiles as needed for a clean and uniform look. Feel free to use a leveler or laser to guide you along the way.

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Make sure to check out the grout instructions from your supplier. Using your grout float, push the grout into the gaps between the tiles at a 45-degree angle. There will be excess grout; don’t panic! Remove it with a damp sponge, working diagonally across the tiles. You might notice something called grout haze, which will come off with a damp sponge the more you wipe the tiles down (post-grout drying).

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After the grout has been set for the recommended time, use a clean, dry cloth to buff away any grout haze from the tile surface. We always recommend sealing your tile to protect it over time.

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There is a lot to be done within these steps, but hopefully, you now realize that it is possible! The final step in the process is to sit back and admire your newly tiled space. You did that!

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