Quick Tips to Simplify Laying Tile

Written by Tom Crudele of A Master of All Trades
Updated June 15, 2021
laying tile
Learn tricks of the trade to make a tile installation go faster. (Photo by Steve C. Mitchell)

Laying floor tile requires a lot of time and effort.

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There are two tips that can help tile installers reduce the install hours, minimize scrap and material cost and pass along the savings to their client or back in their pocket in the case of a DIY project. Follow these steps for a more successful tile installation.

Cutting the tile

When laying tile in a diagonal pattern, the angles can be confusing and difficult to figure out, especially when there are multiple angles on one tile. To simplify the process, I purchase 16-by-24 inch sheets of white cardboard paper and pre-cut them into the size tile I am using. I then lay the pre-cut cardboard on the floor and fold it to form the angle needed. Next I transfer that angle onto the tile and cut it. Doing so eliminates all the guesswork and gives me a perfect cut every time. 

Laying the tile

When asked to redo an existing tile floor, I first assess its condition by checking to see if there are any cracks or soft spots. If there are none, I will tile over the existing floor, which saves me time and the customer money. The key here is to use a belt sander to remove the glaze from the old tile and make sure that the new thresholds are at the correct heights. I have done this more than 50 times and never received a call back.

CHECK OUT: Angie's List Guide to Tile Flooring

Hopefully these tips will help you have a faster style when it comes to laying tile.

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About this Experts Contributor: Tom Crudele is the owner of A Master of All Trades, located in Apex, North Carolina. He has more than 35 years experience in home improvement and does a variety of jobs, including painting, flooring and general handyman services. 

As of Aug. 25, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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