It’s not all that hard to install a tile floor. I had never done it before and I don’t own a ton of tools. As long as you have patience, you can do it too!
I am serious, over the course of a couple weekends we were able to install a tile floor in our laundry room and it instantly upgraded the look of our home. We did this because the linoleum was ugly and gross and we wanted to upgrade it to match the slate floor in the powder room. The big reason was to put our house on the market!
*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.
Step 1, purchase the materials
In my case, we already had slate floors in a nearby powder room and half a box of leftover tile. We measured the length and multiplied it by the width to get the square footage of space in the room. Luckily for us, the tiles were in 12 in squares so determining how many we would need was pretty easy. Just make sure you account for some overages, just in case you break one or cut one wrong.
Other materials you need from the hardware store: mortar, grout, spacers, backer board, backer board seam tape, a pry bar (if you don’t already have one) and a wet saw. We rented the wet saw, it was fairly inexpensive and we bought a pry bar. I also bought a tile laying kit, which had a trowel, large sponge, and a rubber grout float.
Here is the before picture….notice the I don’t know what I am getting myself into face!!!!!
Step 2, Prep work
Remove everything from the room and take off the baseboards using the pry bar. Make sure you label them so you know where they go when putting them back in the room.
Pull up whatever flooring is already down. We had ugly linoleum so it was pretty easy to pull up.
Put down the backer board. Please read the manufacturers suggestions, I had to put mine down with mortar, a friend of mine bought a different one and he didn’t have to do that. Basically put the mortar down, use the trowel to make grooves. (That’s the notched side:)) Then put down the backer board. Also, you will need to tape over the seams of the backer board. Again, follow the directions that came with the backer board. You will have to let all that dry before you move forward.
Step 3, Install a Tile Floor
Next, you work in small areas putting down mortar, use the notched side of the trowel to make grooves and put down the tile. Make sure you wiggle it down into the mortar, but not so much that mortar comes up between the tiles. Put spacers in between each tile. Let this dry according to manufacturers suggestions…usually about 24 hours.
Now it’s time to grout! Remove the spacers and using the grout float from the kit press grout in between the tiles. Work in small areas then use a bucket of water and the sponge to remove the excess and clean off the tiles. Work at a 45-degree angle. Again, let this dry. (See where patience is needed:))
Now it’s finishing touches time. Put the baseboards back on, you can use a brad nailer to do this or a hammer and nails like we did.
You will need a transition piece most likely for where the tile meets the other flooring. In my case, it was tile meeting hardwood so I bought a T shaped piece and nailed it into the floor. It covers both floors, but also made us have to cut down the wood door because the floor was now about 1/4 inch higher. Ugh! Sometimes it’s the finishing touches that are the hardest. My husband just used his circular saw and cut off the bottom 1/4 inch of the door and no one was ever the wiser! Whew, that was the scariest part for sure.
Now it’s time to fill the room back up and you’re done! Yeah!
See, I told you it wasn’t hard, just takes time and patience. If I can do it anyone can!!!!