How do I lay a ceramic tile insert on the floor?


I want to replace a small area in the living room floor with ceramic tile. Have never worked with tile before

  4 answers
  • William William on Jan 01, 2019

    Wood floor...use tile mastic to adhere the tile directly on the floor.

    Concrete floor...use thinset mortar to adhere the tile to the floor.

    Then grout all the joints. Use transition molding around the perimeter of the tile.

    Laying tile

    Transition molding

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 01, 2019

    Hi Kitty, this is instruction for making them flush

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 01, 2019

    Do you have carpet or vinyl or hardwood now?

    What will you do for something like a cut edge on carpet or vinyl? There’s all kind of reducer strips and threshold strips.

    Starting with the Planning:

    When you cut out the area you’re removing, there’s going to be some kind of substrate on top of the floor joists, that may have to be built/up or removed, depending on the following math:

    1.) New floor thickness = tile thickness + thin-set thickness (3/16”) + cementicious tile backer board (1/4”?).

    2.) Old floor thickness = finished flooring thickness + pad/underlayment thickness.

    3.) Those two calcs should equate. If not, then you’ll need to shim one or the other.

    To avoid renting a tile saw and making cuts, buy a tile size that’s going to work with your layout/design. Avoid highly polished tiles, as they will be slippery.

    Grout is always the source of maintenance problems and therefore, buy non-sanded grout and use 1/8” grout joints or smaller. I use pennies for spacers, but spacers are cheap and plastic, so they don’t get stuck.

    The directions are on the package.

    There are tiles made perfectly true that are not to be grouted, but they’re rately at common DIY stores.

    Buy 10% extra tile and buy the same “manufacturing date/lot number” so that the finish colors match exactly.

    I would avoid light and contrasting grout colors for one’s first project.

    The thinset or mastic is to be applied per the manufacturer’s specs.

    Mastic off-gasses which is not healthy in the winter- so don’t use mastic now.

    The backer board must be screwed down with their spec’d coated screws, to the floor joists or solid subfloor.

    The backer board can only be cut outside and the store will not cut it for you, they can’t.

    Therefore, design your tile layout on the sizes of the pieces of backer board. Typically 3’x5’. More planning. I’d use graph paper, if the design is complicated.

    Double masking-off all existing areas is critical. Lots of rags, sponges, buckets of clean water, rubber gloves and wood popsicle sticks ahould be there. I avoid metal tools as the thinset & grout are a bit caustic.

    It’s a messy project and mixing the powdered thinset and grout should be done in the garage, as the dust is unhealthy.

    This is at least a 3-4 day project and personally, I’d wait until late Spring, unless it’s just you occupying the space.

    You can certainly Plan now, purchase the materials now and pry up the existing flooring in a corner or a closet, to work on “the math” for the flooring heights.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jan 04, 2019

    If you mean cut part of the floor you need a reciprocating saw