Useful information to help you with installing the tiles on your floor or walls.

  1. Check the soundness of any surface where you are planning to install tile. Regular drywall/wallboard may be sufficient to hold ceramic tile on a backsplash, but backer board is stronger. If you are putting the tiles in your bathroom, backer board is a requirement, and if you are putting it on a countertop be sure the surface is sound with no loose areas or bubbles.
  2. Measure the height and width to be covered with tiles. Ceramic tiles very from four and a quarter inches to six inches. Divide the area by the size of the tile you’ve chosen. Buy some extra tiles since tiles can break during installation and, if you need to replace a tile in the future, die lots will differ and the tiles may not match.
  3. Clean the area where you are going to be installing the tile and allow it to dry thoroughly. If you are going to be installing tiles around electrical outlets, be sure the power is turned off to the outlet and then remove the cover plate.
  4. Dry fit and plan the layout of your tile pattern. Try to maximize the number of full tiles you will use so you don't need to spend a lot of time cutting and fitting half and partial tiles.
  5. Apply manufacturer recommended adhesive with a notched trowel (one quarter by one quarter) to a small area and set the first tile in place by pressing it firmly into the adhesive. Check that it is level, insert spacers at the corners and apply the second tile. Work you way along the first row and then move up to the second row and continue until the area is covered.
  6. Cut partial tiles to size using a tile cutter or tile saw (can be rented from your home center or a tile store). Cut tiles to shape using a tile nipper to "bite off" small pieces of the tile.
  7. Clean off any excess adhesive after all the tiles are installed and allow the adhesive to dry overnight or according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  8. Remove spacers after the adhesive has dried and mix your grout following manufacturer's directions.
  9. Apply the grout using a rubber float and pushing it down into the cracks between the tile. Wipe away any excess by passing the float over the tiles at a 45-degree angle.
  10. Wait about a half hour (until the grout has partially set up) and using a damp sponge wipe away traces of grout on the tile surface.
  11. Pack and shape the grout by running a rounded stick (popsicle stick) in the grout lines.
  12. Wait until the grout has dried and then wipe away any haze left behind (again using a damp sponge and clean water).
  13. Reattach outlet covers (use longer screws than those that came out).
  14. Wait three or four days and seal the grout to ensure it keeps its fresh clean appearance.