STOP! Put the Spacers Down
If You want to learn how to lay ceramic tile, than put the spacers down!
People have been been mislead with the purpose of spacers. I do use spacers- on wall tile installations. But that’s pretty much it!
Tile does not come the same size. If you open a box of tile and all the tile in that box are the same exact size, well you should have played the lottery.
Yeah, it’s just not very often this happens. I mean sure, you will find tile that is very close in size but even a fraction of a difference can effect your tile installation.
OK, let me explain. When using spacers, what is it that we are trying to accomplish? We want the grout joints to all be the same size.
If the tiles are all a different size and we want the same size grout joint, what’s going to happen? The tile will not line up.
Even if only a few tiles are a different size, it’s still going to go off.
Warning!! Tile will not line up with the use of Spacers alone
I have not watched every show on TV, so I can’t tell you it’s never been said, I just haven’t heard it.
There really is a better way to install tile anyway and I have many reasons to back this up and I’ll get to them.
Why is a Grid Better?
In this article how to lay ceramic tile I am going to show you why I like to use a grid system when I’m laying ceramic tile. (We will talk more on how to design a tile layout below).
There are so many benefits to it such as –
- It’s easier to measure cuts
- Everything can be cut before installation begins
- You can see where every tile will be before starting any cutting
- You can see how straight the tile will be with the walls
- Makes it easy to tile into separate rooms and having everything line up.
- It takes away any guessing or hoping. (I hope I cut tile right?) or (I think that will work) You will know what the outcome will be.
I can show you an ERROR PROOF measuring method for tile cuts.
It only works with the grid.
Easy Measuring Method for Tile Cuts
How to Lay Ceramic Tile the EASY WAY
Once the grid is done, your tile installation just can’t get any easier. You just need to follow the grid that was marked on the floor.
Let me show how easy this really is, check out my video below.
Hopefully there was a few tips in that video that can help you. The key to the grid is just following the lines that were snapped on the floor with a chalk line.
In the video, I mentioned back buttering the tile. This is when the thin set is spread onto the back of the tile. I use this method in areas where it is too difficult to get a trowel into.
I prefer to spread the thin set on the floor whenever possible. This helps when there are small dips in the floor,because they will get filled with thin set while you are troweling it on the floor.
How to Lay Ceramic Tile in the Main Area
In this next video we are getting out into the open area away from the wall. There still are some tips I want to show you around the toilet and along the cabinet.
Once we get into the open it really starts to go quick. Well here see for yourself.
Now that you have seen how easy it is using the grid when installing tile, I’m sure you are wondering how to make the grid.
I have a broke this down for you two ways-
- a step by step guide
I will guide you through the entire process of how to lay ceramic tile by showing you how to do a layout, which I have made as simple as possible. You can get this guide along with over 75 other videos to help with your installation.
Please leave a comment below. I am always looking for feedback from you. If I can help with anything let me know.
Also you can a free copy of My Project Planner and tips, I will send you other installation tips on How to Lay Ceramic Tile that are exclusive to subscribers.
I came here to learn about tile grids. What’s your recommendation for laying ceiling tile?
I have videos on tiling a ceiling inside tile university. I know they will help you greatly. There is a place to sign up at the top of this page in the menu.
Thanks for explaining this method for laying ceramic tile that’s supposed to be easier. Spreading the thin set on the floor when it’s possible seems like it would make installing my tile a bit easier. I have a few small dips in my floor, so perhaps this method would be best to use when installing tile.
Your welcome. Try to fix the dips first. I have videos on my site on prepping floors.
I was unfortunately unable to watch your videos. My internet is giving me the loading bar of doom. However, I think I get the idea and do think that it would be easier to lay tile using a grid system than using tile spacers. I really just don’t like using them because it is so easy to push tiles out of place. However, they are better than just trying to eyeball it.
Thank you for all of the tips! I didn’t know that using a grid made laying down ceramic tiles a whole lot easier. I like how you explained that using a grid to lay down ceramic tiles “Makes it easy to tile into separate rooms and having everything line up.”. I know that ceramic tiles are very durable, so making sure that they are lined up correctly and perfectly wil insure the best results from your tiles.
Stumbled upon this site today. I am a super novice at home DIY. As in, I can’t say I have really done ANYTHING before (other than 1 project I found on Pinterest whereby I spray painted the cover of my fireplace… I had never spray painted before then; Oh! And I have sealed a stall shower with silicone also!). We have to have our main bath remodeled and I have convinced myself that I will be able to save a ton of money by tiling the shower surround and possibly the floor by myself (once a contractor comes and refinishes walls, floors, etc as a clean slate to work with). I have been doing a TON of research on how to do it and I am so glad I found your site. I think it will be immensely helpful and give me the confidence I need to actually carry through with a tile job.
Thank you for letting me help you!! If you have any questions please feel free to ask anytime! You can do it, I know you can. My videos will show you what to do and what not to do, so I’m confident you will succeed. Prayer always helps!
Joe, Your site and videos are awesome! so unbelievably helpful with my bathroom tile project, Am thankful I found your site and that you take the time to do what you do, your an awesome teacher and do some fine work! through all the sites I ve came across during my research for my tile project, yours is by far hands down the best! Be lost without ya! just surprised more people haven’t found this site, God bless!
Thanks a lot Jake, I really appreciate it. My site is still pretty new and it takes awhile to get ranked in the search engines and not be buried 500 pages in. Youtube has been good to me though. God Bless you Too Brother.