How to Lay Tile – A Detailed Guide to Floor Installation

Though laying tile on concrete isn’t an impossible job for a DIYer, it can become easy if one has satisfactory knowledge of it. Let’s educate you about it.  

Floor Installation – Pre-requisites and Considerations

We can claim this blog to be a complete tutorial to floor installation; it will be an attempt to acquaint you with the fullest information regarding floor installation that we can provide. The main things that we will consider are:

·        How to lay tiles on concrete?

·        How to prepare a floor for tile?

·        What are the requirements for the process?

·        What are the precautions for this whole process?

·        How to look for the tile floor installers near me? etc.

Once you read this tutorial completely, you would be able to have an idea of the supplies and tools you need, and the process that you will go through from the start till the end.

Floor installation is an exhaustive process from the preparation of the grout to the finishing. 

Supplies and Tools You Need

Laying tile on concrete isn’t a simple process. It is an exhaustive procedure for which either you have to consider things like ‘tile floor installers near me’ or prepare yourself to take the step. 

You would be in need of a range of tools and materials to cope with this task. These include:

• Underlayment

Underlayment is important in preparing floor for tiles. There are various types of underlayment. These include cement or backer board, fibre-glass material etc. If you’re installing tile on a wet area, then it is better to go for waterproof underlayment. You also need cement to smooth those areas which are uneven and cause problems in laying tile over concrete. 

• Adhesives

Adhesives are needed to ensure that the tile remains intact on the floor. There are various types of adhesives which will work for you. Some of these include epoxy, thinset, mastic, and some pre-mixed adhesives etc. It depends upon your need for which one you go. Each of these has its own pros, so go for the one that best fits your needs.  

• Grout

It depends on the type of tile that you use to select the type of grout. Grout is essential in laying tile on concrete. If epoxy is a good fit with your tile, then it can work as both adhesive and grout. Other types are sanded grout, unsanded grout, excel grout, and premixed grout.

It becomes most important when you are working on a tile over tile floor. Type of space is also important in the selection of grout for your tile. 

• Sealer

Sealer is not necessary in most cases. The grout seals the spaces between the tiles, but if it is necessary, then you must go for it.

There are two types of sealers for your floor. These are stone sealers and grout sealers.

The tools you need for laying tile on concrete are listed as:

  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Tape
  • Utility Knife
  • Spacers
  • Cutting Tool
  • Float

Also, consult a tile floor services to ensure that you have taken the right tools and materials for your tile installation.

Layout Consideration and Planning

Either it is a tile over tile floor or a simple single tile installation, you should plan before you start the work. Once you begin the application of grout and installation, it isn’t possible to revise the layout.

Layout selection depends on the height of the floor from the adjoining subfloor if you intend to lay tile over tile or simply lay the first layer of tile. After you are done with this all clean the floor and begin the due process.

To have a fine layout, measure the length of each wall and ensure that tiles fit well in this layout. Check the pattern well because sometimes the whole pattern is ruined due to a single tile’s not fitting into the design. Also, check for the level to ensure the free flow of water. If you’re going to lay tile over tile, then it won’t be a big problem.

Preparing floor for tiles is important because if it isn’t smooth or has some other problems, then it will stain the beauty of your floor.  

Installation Process

After the smoothing and selection of pattern, you are going to do the most interesting part. Before you install, mix the thinset and apply it on the surface. You have to apply the thinset before it hardens, which usually takes 30-40 minutes.

You can apply it with the help of a notched trowel. If the tile is large, you should also apply it to the back of the tile. In case of tile on top of tile, you should apply it carefully to ensure that it holds the tile well.   

You should lay a thick layer of thinset to ensure that the tile remains intact. The trowel needs to be held at 45 degree to ensure the best spreading of thinset. 

Laying Tile

Once you are done with the thinset application, lay the tile on the thinset. You should apply pressure on the tile to confirm that it has fitted will on the thinset. It should be moved back and forth to confirm that no empty space is left below it. Spacers need to be put between the tiles so that a consistent gap is maintained between the tiles throughout.

Also, wipe the thinset if you stop laying the tile. It hardens and is of no use. Along with that, you should be careful with the cleaning of the tools if you stop work for a while. You shouldn’t rinse or dump the thinset in a drain, or it will clog the whole drainage.  

Trimming of Tips and Grouting

If the tiles don’t fit, then grind their sides a bit with a cutting tool. This will help them fit well and look more beautiful. Once the tiles are installed successfully, you will go for the grouting process. It looks like a thin line for decoration, but that isn’t the case. 

In some cases, it is not necessary while for some, it is essential. It ensures the strength of the tiles and enhances the look of the floor. You can apply it with the help of a spatula. Let it dry and after that, remove the extra grout from tiles with a piece of cloth or sponge. Be sure that the sponge or cloth must be dry.  


Though it is not necessary for every floor, check if it needs sealing. Once the sealer is applied, remove the excess with a cloth.

Some people caulk the joints to make them waterproof. 

As you have been through the whole process, look for the above process in a professional’s work if you don’t want to go for DIY.