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Mix the Mortar and Lay the Tile

I used mortar on my floor but there are other adhesives out there as well. Your choice. Spread the mortar or adhesive with the trowel evenly and begin laying the tile using the spacers. I like to lay about two rows of four full tiles on one chalk line and then cut and lay the borders. Then I do the same for the other line. Seat each tile by lightly rapping it with a rubber mallet.

Remember to spread the mortar slightly beyond where the tile will lay so there's no void. Voids cause tiles to crack at some time in your future, drawing displeasure from your spousal unit and casting a shadow of doubt over your impressive DIY skills. Don't go there.

All done? Clean up your tools and have an adult beverage of your choice.

Time to Grout!

Grouting is the fun part. I let the mortar dry for twenty four hours first. Mix the grout using the ribbon mixer again. I know you can buy it premixed, but that's cost-prohibitive for all but the smallest of projects. Start grouting where you started laying the tile if that worked well for you. Arm yourself with the sponge in a bucket of water.

First scoop some grout onto the float and work it in between the tiles (removing the spacers as you go). Then grab your sponge, wring it out, and start wiping the grout off the tile surface with a light touch, and forming the concave shape typical to grout lines. As the tiles dry off, you'll see a glaze on them. Don't worry about that now; you'll wipe it off with cheesecloth later.

Finally, after a day or so after the grout's dry, come back and apply a high-quality grout sealer. Other than nailing up the baseboard, your work here is done. As before, clean up your tools and enjoy an adult beverage. You've earned it!

Tile Floors(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Additional resources:
Laying a vinyl tile floor (This Old House)
Tile setting tools (The Tile Doctor)
Installing hardwood floor (Hometips)
Laying floor tile (Hammerzone)


  • Bill

    There is no such thing as "pre-mixed" grout. What is called "pre-mixed" grout is not a portland cement product. It is basically a caulk. I would not use it.

  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages

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