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The Troubles of Laying Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile setups are usually shown as easy on reality TV remodel shows and in redesigning manuals. This is one that definitely falls into the classification of house redesigning tasks that look easier than they are.

Bottom Line

Laying tile is simple however laying tile and doing it well is tough. From that angle, it might make more sense to work with a professional tiler than to do it yourself.

If you’re attempting to conserve cash, one way to approach it is to hire the pro for the most noticeable locations. Then you can do your own tilework in rooms that are less often visited.

One problem for do-it-yourselfers is that it is hard to reverse tilework, ought to you make a mistake. Thinset mortar permits some repositioning. Regrettably, thinset will likewise reposition your tile for you, especially when it comes to vertical wall tile.

Some tilework is simpler to pull off on an amateur basis, too. This guide aims to show you what’s harder, what’s simpler, and some techniques for making the task go smoother.

Easier Tilework

Tasks that tend to be much easier and the styles that revolve around them:

  • Dry areas: Locations where leakage might occur are harder, requiring unique support material and grout-sealing. Showers, specifically, can be infuriating for the amateur tiler to make totally water resistant.
  • Floorings vs. walls: Slippage is something you are always combating with tilework on walls.
  • Backsplashes that are more ornamental than functional.Tile in the 4″ to 12″ variety: Smaller tiles, especially mosaics, shift around a lot– even if that mosaic is attached to mesh.
  • Using adhesive tile mats (though this has very restricted usages).
  • Ceramic and porcelain tile vs. stone tile: Stone tile is heavy to handle and tough to cut.

One idea is to start your amateur tiling career with the most out of the way place possible in order to sharpen up your skills.

Tiling Difficulties


  • Dry thinset mortar is cheap, but it is also tough to mix. Plus, blending up dry thinset is physically hard.
  • If you do not have an excellent subfloor, your tile will not lie flat. Even worse, a base flooring that is not solid enough will ultimately cause the tile to crack.
  • Boundary tiles will need to be cut. You can use either a wet tile saw or what is often colloquially called a breeze tile cutter for this.
  • Even tiles within the border can be hard. They do not immediately fall into straight lines: you need to enforce this.
  • Laying tiles on a diagonal. Diagonal tile cutting can be a discouraging experience for the beginner tiler.
  • Spacing tiles correctly is difficult. Make sure to use plastic tile spacers to impose the appropriate distance. While spacers are a pain to remove, they guarantee perfect spacing of tile joints.
  • Continuously being on your knees on a difficult surface area can affect the quality of your work. For this reason alone it is worth buying an inexpensive set of tiler’s knee pads.

Thinset will likewise reposition your tile for you, particularly in the case of vertical wall tile.

Even worse, a base floor that is not strong enough will eventually trigger the tile to crack.
Boundary tiles will need to be cut. You can use either a damp tile saw or what is frequently colloquially called a breeze tile cutter for this. Be sure to utilize plastic tile spacers to enforce the proper range.

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