If you’re tiling a room you’ll need to access regularly, such as a bathroom or kitchen, consider tiling one half of the room and then tiling the second half once this is dry. It’ll take a little longer, but will allow the tiles to adhere properly to the floor to give a hard-wearing surface. Check whether rapid-set adhesive is suitable for your sub-floor type too – as this will allow you to walk on your tiles sooner.
Starting in the centre of the room, pour enough adhesive to cover a square metre (m) of floor – check the manufacturer’s instructions for how much is needed, as well as any specific application advice.
Spread the adhesive evenly using a notched trowel or spreader – make sure you can still see enough of the starting line to position your key tile. Use the smooth side to spread the tile adhesive on the floor, then draw the serrated edge back through the adhesive to form ridges. This will leave an even depth of adhesive to help create a level surface.
Place your key tile in position, giving it slight twist to bed it into the adhesive. Work outwards, placing additional tiles in row.
Fit plastic tile spacers between each tile to ensure an equal gap between each. Floor tile spacers are usually 3-5 millimetres (mm) wide – choose a wider spacer for larger tiles. Be sure to press the spacers well below the surface of the tile so that hey’ll be hidden once your floor is grouted.
Check that the tiles are level using a spirit level – if they’re not, tap them lightly with a rubber mallet to level them. Lay the next row of tiles out from the key tile, working at right angles to the first row, and continue working in rows in this quarter of the room.
Continue tiling the first quarter of the room, until you cannot place any more whole tiles. We’ll add cut tiles to complete the edges later.
Wipe the surface of the tiles regularly with a damp sponge to remove any adhesive before it dries.
Once this first quarter of the room is complete, move round the room to complete the next quarter until the whole floor is tiled.
Be sure to remove any surplus adhesive between the tiled area and the edge of the room, as you work. A trowel will make light work of this.
Leave the floor to fully set before adding the edging tiles. Drying time can vary from just a couple of hours (with a rapid-set adhesive) up to 48 hours, so always check the instructions.