I'm loving this Marble Look Porcelain Tile, guys. The 12x24 size looks beautiful. The non-slip matte finish is pretty and perfect for a bathroom. And the grey marble veining is so subtle. I can't believe how cheap it was! #AbbottsAtHome #MarbleLook #MarbleFloor #PorcelainTile #BathroomTile

DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile – Bathroom Remodeling

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Here are some of my favorite DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better!

After a long week of tiling my Master Bathroom and both closets, it’s finally done. Yay! I’m so excited to show you all this beautiful Marble Look Porcelain Tile Floor, guys! And, I’ve got my favorite DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better for you today.

I went with 12×24 tiles because I love how nice they look in our kitchen. Tiles this big are installed with a 1/3 tile offset. So, the next row of tiles starts 8″ away from the end of the last row. You can see what I mean in some of the photos below.

And, matte tiles are fantastic, guys. They make Stone Look porcelain look and feel more like real stone. And the matte finish is critical in a wet bathroom with little boys, or clumsy adults, around. Really, slippery surfaces with wet feet are one of my mom phobias. 😉

I also really love that the pattern on this tile is really subtle and muted. Some of the marble look tiles have really dark grey lines. I always think that makes the pattern take over the room. The pattern on these tiles is a nice subtle light grey marble veining. So pretty, right?!

I'm loving this Marble Look Porcelain Tile, guys. The 12 x 24 size looks beautiful. The non-slip matte finish is pretty and perfect for a bathroom. And the grey marble veining is so subtle. I used budget-friendly Bianco Matte Porcelain Tile from Floor and Decor.
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My Master Bath Makeover Plan & Projects

Click the links below to see more about each item. 🙂

Watch my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Video

Prepping for your Floor Tile Install

So, I’m not going to tell you how to install tile. There is so much involved in that. But, I have some of my favorite DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile here. If you are new to tiling, check out this professional tile installer on YouTube. He has great videos that can teach you all about tiling.

Tip One – Planning Ahead is the Key to Success

Tiling isn’t hard, but it is detailed and there’s no undo button once that thinset dries. As a DIYer, I literally spend days thinking about each step of the project to try to avoid any mistakes or last minute decisions during install.

I noticed that Floor and Decor has weekend tiling classes. I think Home Depot and Lowes might offer these sometimes too. They’re probably worth checking out, if you’ve never tiled.

Prepping the floor before laying tile is an important first step, you shouldn't mess up! Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYTile #DIYBathroom #BathroomRemodel
Prepping and cleaning the concrete floor before tiling.

Tip Two – Get your Floors ready for New Tile

Floor Prep is an important step on my list of DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile. The plumbers that did my demo removed the old tile in our bathroom. Yay! That saved me hours of back breaking work, especially since we had 2 layers of tile. Then I removed the carpet in the closets.

Then, I prepped the floors for tiling by chipping away any leftover thinset and drywall mud on the concrete. You want that floor to be a nice smooth, clean surface for your new tile. I even scraped away some paint on the concrete floor. Just to make sure my thinset would have nothing stopping it from really sticking to the concrete. Vacuum the floor clean before install too.

Tip Three – Do you need an Uncoupling Membrane?

I didn’t use an uncoupling membrane here. I don’t want to tell you whether or not to use one. Research what they are and whether or not you need one. I will say that I decided to skip it for a couple of reasons.

One, none of my local installers seem to use them. They must have reason to believe they aren’t often needed in Houston. Two, my floor is a 25-year old concrete pad. It’s not a basement floor and it doesn’t have cracks or a history of cracking tile. And, I assume the majority of settling was done decades ago.

But, again, research uncoupling membranes and decide for yourself. Ask local pros what they use in your area.

Prepping the floor before laying tile is an important first step, you shouldn't mess up! Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYTile #DIYBathroom #BathroomRemodel
Mixing up a batch of mortar. I try to only mix enough for a few hours of tiling so that it doesn’t dry out before I can use it.

Tip Four – Pick your Floor Tiling Products Carefully

Here’s what I used in my bathroom remodel. I’d recommend any of these products. Don’t go cheap or just pick something at random. I do like the ‘flex’ type thinsets. They’re supposed to hold up to slight movements better, to avoid cracking later.

I also recommend mixing your own Thinset, the premixed thinset tends to work better for small jobs and smaller tiles, like on a kitchen backsplash. BUT, I do like premixed grout. It will cost you more overall. But, your grout will look more smooth and consistent in color(especially with darker grouts) if it’s premixed.

I like to check out reviews for products on store websites and Amazon to see what people are saying about a product before I buy it.

DIY Tips for Installing Tile

Tip Five – Plan out Where to Start

It took me a week to install my tiles and grout. My Master Suite is basically 4 rooms; 1 water closet, 2 walk in closets, and the main bathroom. That makes installing tile a bit more complicated when you want the pattern to continue across all 4 rooms.

I decided to start with the main room. I used the length of the tub as my starting point after figuring out that it wouldn’t leave me with a weird thin line of tile along the shower wall. I planned my work in phases, since I have to stop work to pick up kids from school and feed them every 20 minutes. 😉

I'm loving this Marble Look Porcelain Tile, guys. The 12x24 size looks beautiful. The non-slip matte finish is pretty and perfect for a bathroom. And the grey marble veining is so subtle. I can't believe how cheap it was! Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #MarbleLook #MarbleFloor #PorcelainTile #BathroomTile
My new marble look porcelain tile is down and ready for grouting.

Tip Six – Clean the Edges Around Tiles

The first day I installed all of the full tiles I could before having to quit. Then I had to stay off that tile for 24 hours for the thinset mortar to set. So, any work the next day had to be done without walking on that tile. I also had to be sure that all excess mortar was removed around the tiles and that the tiles were lined up perfectly so that tile fit in the open spots the next day.

Carefully, clean away all excess mortar around and between the tiles as you work. Once it dries, it’ll be extremely hard to remove. So use a thin tool to scrape the thinset out from between the tiles as you work. And wipe any thinset residue off the tile with a damp rag, before it dries.

I'm loving this Marble Look Porcelain Tile, guys. The 12x24 size looks beautiful. The non-slip matte finish is pretty and perfect for a bathroom. Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #MarbleLook #MarbleFloor #Tiling #Bathrooms
Grout halfway done. Yay! I love how that white grout looks with this tile!

Tip Seven – Use a Light Thinset with Light Grout

Here’s one of my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better that I learned on this project. It’s not always available, but if you can find a Light or White Thinset that works with your tile AND you’re using light or white grout, use it! I used grey thinset. It stained the rough, unfinished edges of my tiles dark grey, which sometimes was visible through the light grout. So, I had to use a grout restorer to turn that grout white in a few spots. So, avoid that if you can.

For small rooms like this, you’ll have cuts all along those walls. You’ll also need to plan how you’ll lay the tile and still get out of the room! For the closets, I worked the left side of the room, so I could walk out on the right. Then worked the right side after that sides mortar set.

DIYers can save time installing tile if you cut them and lay them out in batches. Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #InstallingTile #TileInstall #Tiling #LayingTile #DIYTile
I sketch out a section of tiles to cut on paper so that I can save time and cut a bunch at once.
Use a China Marker to make cutting guides on tiles. Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better.
Use a China Marker (aka Grease Pencil) to make cutting guides on tiles. The Wet Saw won’t erase that marker easily, but you can wipe it away with a rag.

DIY Floor Tile Installation Tips and Tricks to help you tile your floor faster and with less waste. DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile for beginners.

Tip Eight – Make Cuts for Large Sections before using Thinset

If I am explaining this right, you can see how I had to move around to different parts of the bathroom while sections were drying. That’s why planning ahead is so important AND making sure the tiles are perfectly straight so that you have enough room to put tiles in the open spaces the next day.

I also think it saves me so much time to make a bunch of cuts at once. So, I would sketch out a guide with measurements for 5 to 10 tiles. After cutting all of those tiles, I’d lay them in their spots and make sure everything fit before spreading any mortar.

DIYers can save time installing tile if you cut them and lay them out in batches. Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. #AbbottsAtHome #InstallingTile #TileInstall #Tiling #LayingTile #DIYTile
A look at a section of tiles I cut and labeled with numbers before installing.

I’d then decide which order I wanted to install them in. Then number them and stack them up with the first one on top. I’d spread the mortar for that whole section, then lay them all in one go. Making sure to level and line them up perfectly.

Again, make sure to clean mortar out of cracks and off the tiles as you go. And, watch loads of YouTube videos to make sure you know every single thing to expect. There are so many details to think about when tiling.

That’s it for my tips. If you watch my video, there are a couple more in the video. They’re much easier to explain on video. So, check that video out, if you’re looking for more DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. You can also find the rest of my DIY Bathroom Remodeling Videos in this Playlist on YouTube.

Cutting tile takes patience and a lot of practice. Don't be afraid to restart a tile to get a perfect fit. Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better.
Cutting around door frames is tedious work, but makes everything look so much prettier. You can see a quick video of how I do this on my wet saw in the YouTube video above. 🙂

If in doubt, I say you should hire a professional. I saved thousands of dollars installing my own tile. But, it would have been a huge waste of time and money if I didn’t have enough experience to do it properly. 🙂 I really recommend starting with a small bathroom floor, small entryway, or backsplash as a first tiling project

Here are my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. See before, during, and after photos for my DIY bathroom tile floor tutorial. #AbbottsAtHome #TileFloor #Tiling #BathroomTile #Bathrooms #BathroomRemodel #BathroomDesign #MasterBathroom
This bathroom looks amazing. I can’t believe how much it’s changed since I shared the before photos. You can find DIY tutorials and videos to help with Mosaic Wall Tiles, that Dark Blue Chalk Paint Vanity Makeover, and that DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling. 🙂 And, here’s the final before and after pics in my Master Bathroom reveal post.

Feeling inspired? Now you know my DIY Tips for Installing Floor Tile Faster and Better. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.