Tile Installation Tips From a Tile Expert

Special tricks for special tile

Take your tiling skills to the next level. Learn pro tricks for dealing with complicated diagonal layouts, extra-large tiles, uneven walls, dried mortar cleanup and other tiling problems.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Similar Projects

Build a pyramid for diagonal tiles

Special mortar for big tiles

Size a niche to suit the tile

A Symmetrical Niche

By building features like this wall niche based on the size and layout of the tile, you can create designs that look balanced and symmetrical.

The finished niche!

Eliminate lippage

Clean cuts in porcelain

Porcelain tile is incredibly hard—and incredibly brittle. So it often chips along cuts or cracks before the cut is complete. Here’s a three-step routine that eliminates those problems. The first step only works with saws that allow you to adjust the depth of cut. If yours doesn’t, you can still make the second and third cuts to avoid cracks.

Gentle smudge remover

Don’t trust this chart

Get a handle on tile

Big cuts without a big saw

Absolutely essential trowel

Built-out trim

A rag that’s always there

Tough scrubber for tools

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Tape measure
  • Bucket
  • Nippers
  • Level
  • Grout float
  • Notched trowel
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses
  • Sanding block
  • Utility knife

You'll also need a tile saw, margin trowel, abrasive pads and a suction cup.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Thin-set mortar
  • Tile
  • Tile spacers
  • Alignment clips
  • Tile backer

Shopping List