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

Build a pyramid for diagonal tiles

Back to Top

Special mortar for big tiles

Back to Top

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!
Back to Top

Eliminate lippage

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

Gentle smudge remover

Back to Top

Don’t trust this chart

Back to Top

Get a handle on tile

Back to Top

Big cuts without a big saw

Back to Top

Absolutely essential trowel

Back to Top

Built-out trim

Back to Top

A rag that’s always there

Back to Top

Tough scrubber for tools

Back to Top

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