How do you install porcelain tile?


Quick Answer

To install porcelain tile, remove the old flooring, apply thin set with a trowel, lay cement boards, apply more thin set on top of the cement boards, and lay out the tiles. Once the tiles are set, mix and apply the grout.

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Full Answer

  1. Demolish the old floors

    Remove the existing flooring, including the trim and subflooring. Scrape off any glue, and make sure the surface is level. Vacuum up any dust and debris.

  2. Prepare the subfloor

    In a bucket, mix thin set and water until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter. With a 1/4-by-1/4-inch square-notched trowel, apply the thin set to the cleaned subfloor.

  3. Position the cement board

    Score and snap the cement boards to size, and place them in the fresh thin set. Stagger the boards to break up the seams.

  4. Secure the cement boards

    Nail roofing nails every 8 inches on the center of each board. Then, apply cement board tape along the seams.

  5. Lay out the tiles

    Mix another batch of thin set. Starting at the center of the room, apply a layer of thin set, and position the tiles on the floor. To keep the tiles straight, use spacers to align them. Let the tiles set overnight.

  6. Mix and apply the grout

    In a bucket, mix the grout until you can form it into a ball. Remove the tile spacers. Using a grout float, apply the grout to the joints at a 45-degree angle. Wipe excess grout with a wet sponge. Let the grout dry completely before use.

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