Skip to content

Home » Tile installation » How to install tiles and porcelain in a professional way

How to install tiles and porcelain in a professional way

  • by


In the following article you will find everything you need on how to lay tiles or different types of ceramics, whether it is stoneware, porcelain, enamel, extruded or tile.

We’ll talk candidly about the entire preparation process, finding out what materials will be used and how to lay the tiles using different techniques that you can use depending on the materials you will be laying and planning, all from a professional perspective.

The market is changing by leaps and bounds and we have to evolve with it if we want to be up to date and ready for any kind of placement.

Want to get the guide how to make bulk cuts? Click here and download it for free.

Article contents:

  1.  How to lay porcelain tiles step by step
  2.  Basic materials and tools on how to lay tiles
  3.  Laying tiles by room
  4.  How to lay special ceramic tiles
  5. Tile laying methods and patterns
  6. Final step: joint finishing and final cleaning
  7.  Pottery Cutting Training Resources

How to lay porcelain tiles step by step

Step 1: Choose the material

The first thing we must do before explaining how to lay tiles is to choose the materials we are going to lay.

The choice of material is critical because it will depend on which grip material to choose, how the tile is laid, and how much time is spent laying.


Step 2: Cut the ceramic tiles

This step is very important, as it will differentiate between a good job or an excellent job on the level of finishes.

There are currently ceramics in different shapes and different types of cuts for different uses. It’s time to make a decision on which choice is most important to us: dry or wet?

We must take into account several points before deciding which option is most important to us.

Dry cutting is the most popular and versatile option when it comes to cutting ceramics. If we want to perform this type of cutting, we must bear in mind that the finish will not be as perfect as in cutting wet with an electric machine.

Manual machine maintenance is much simpler and faster than electric machine maintenance, as we have to change the water, clean and dry it after every working day.

The question we usually ask is: What do you prefer a manual or electric machine? The answer is simple, you must have both options in order to master different types of cuts.


The electric machine can help us in the following situations:

  •  We need a high quality finish.
  • We have to hand pottery pottery.
  •  We make non-slip marks for steps steps.
  • When we need to make a miter

What is a counter

Miter is one of the most sought after pieces with the increasing neglect of corner pieces. But what is it and how do we do it? Let’s see that below.

A miter is a 45 degree cut on one of the visible faces of the ceramic. In this way, when we combine two pieces, we get an angle of 90º. We should always leave 1 or 1.5mm from the original edge and start cutting below that line, in order to avoid accidents and get a more professional finish.


How to make a counter

For miter work we recommend using a circuit breaker whenever possible. As already mentioned, both finishing and cutting safety will be much higher.

However, we know that the vast majority of softeners are made by hand using a mill. If this is the option you have chosen, you will need to take extreme precautions and use an appropriate or specific tweak for this task.

We also have the option of thinning with chamfering machines. These work with burs, not disc. Currently, on the market we can find edges where we put the grinder, which gives us more stability and safety when making the miter.

If it is on the wall, then we must pre-plaster it with Portland cement mortar. There are many types. There are even some that actually come in sachets where you just have to add the water indicated by the manufacturer to get the right mixture.

Floor preparation

If we have to lay the floors, we can use a leveling putty, which adds very little weight to the support and is easy to apply. We can also choose the traditional floor leveling.

In the end, no matter what technique we use, we must make sure that the supports are in good shape, because it will save us time and the consistency of materials in placement.

New call to action

Step 4: Mix and apply mortar and adhesive

Mixing and using mortar and adhesive is critical to obtaining results that are up to the task. If we do not mix correctly, we will get a mixture of lumps and burrs, which can interfere with the installation process.

How do we avoid these blocks? Very simple, with an electric mixer.

All adhesive manufacturers include in their specifications that their material must be mixed with an electric mixer to develop all of its properties. In we recommend not to waste time mixing by hand, because the mixer is very cheap and will save us time and effort.


When we need to make a mortar for making a screed or plaster, as a rule, the following should be used:

  • 4 parts of sand
  • One bag of Portland cement
  • 1 part water.

Depending on the type of slurry used, we may need more or more “liquid”, so the ratio can change.

On the other hand, the choice of adhesive is crucial before explaining how to lay the tiles.

Choosing the right adhesive

traditional stoneware

If we are going to use traditional stoneware, we must use a standard adhesive. In the event that we are talking about the outside, we must choose another, more suitable product, since temperature changes can harm us.

Porcelain for stone

If we have to put porcelain stoneware, we must use a more flexible adhesive. In this case, a conventional adhesive will not work for us, since there is a high probability that the curb will rise.

In short, we must use the required adhesive for the ceramics that we are going to install, and not the other way around. It sounds simple, but these kinds of mistakes are still made today. If you have doubts when choosing the right adhesive, consult your regular distributor, and he will definitely point you to the right adhesive.


Step 5: How to lay tiles or other ceramics

It’s time to focus on laying tiles and ceramics in general.

The first thing we need to do once we have support in optimal conditions is figure out what materials to put in.

One of the main mistakes that occurs when laying tiles is wetting the material before laying. It should be borne in mind that porcelain tiles absorb less than 3%, and if we wet it, we will reach 0%, so the adhesive will not “penetrate” the ceramic and will separate as soon as it dries.

This is why we sometimes see loose ceramic pieces and when we pick them up we see that they are in perfect shape. It is something similar to wood: when we paint we have to open the pores, otherwise the paint will not stick.

On the other hand, other ceramics must be pre-moistened in order to clog the pores a little and achieve a better adhesive consistency. With the backing in good condition, we can now use a notched trowel to spread the adhesive evenly. To do this, we can use two methods:

single paste

simple paste

This technique will be enough depending on what ceramic we use. We will only apply the adhesive to the combed backing, always in the shortest direction of the ceramic and then apply the ceramic.

double glue

This technique is what we should use when we have a segment equal to or greater than 900 cm2 or a side greater than 40 cm. Double adhesive is the technology that will ensure wetting close to 100%, that is, we will make it completely solid. We will be brushing the backing in the same way as simple adhesive but we will also apply adhesive to the back of the ceramic spread as if we were buttering the toast. ?

Remember that the bracket hairstyle should always go in the shortest direction of the ceramic, in this way, the air remaining inside has less movement to exit the ceramic, and we will avoid unsightly air pockets.

With this technology, we achieve the effect of an instant suction cup, which will ensure that the ceramic does not move and remains completely solid.

Basic materials and tools on how to lay tiles

Now that we know how to lay tiles, we’ll take a brief tour of the basic tools we’ll need to perform a job with guarantees.

Mixing and handling of the adhesive

Mixing and Handling of Adhesives Obviously we will need a basket or basket to house the adhesive, no matter if it is made of plastic or rubber. At RUBI we recommend rubber, as it is easier to clean and has much better durability than plastic.

Second, we will have to select the type of basket we want to use. There are more manageable smaller sizes or larger to accommodate a larger amount of adhesive. Nor can we forget the buckets that are necessary to transport one of the most important items inside the work: water. ?


What types of plates to use Shovel or serrated to use?

The mixture (either slurry or adhesive) should be done by an electric or battery-operated mixer. Its use is necessary to achieve a homogeneous mixture free of lumps and burrs.

When applying the adhesive, a pad should be used to move it around, but which pad is best suited? There is no correct answer. There is a wide range of platforms to adapt to the taste of the installer. The board you learn with will become the one you feel known and used forever.

Unlike trowels, the choice of a notched trowel to apply the adhesive must be adapted to the type of backing we have. If we had a perfectly smooth support, we could use a smaller tooth, but if the support was in poor condition, we would have to use a larger tooth. In this case, we will use a conventional toothless trowel to install it.


When we talk about trowels, we have to choose the type of handle we like the most.

  • This wooden handle is the most traditional option.
  • Plastic handle. It is the cheapest option,
  • handle. It is the most technologically advanced option, as well as the most modern.
  • The metal part of the board will be the same, only the handle will change, it seems to be an easy choice, but you must be sure of your choice.


Leveling and Separation Systems

There are many ways to lay tiles, but what customers always want is a seamless fit between the pieces. To do this, we must use the leveling system.

We should not confuse leveling systems with separation systems, known as cross heads or “T”. Although we use a flattening system, we should always use a vertex or “T” intersection to make sure all the pieces have the same separation between them and the corners are perfectly formed.

suction cups

When it comes to placing bulky pieces, we’ll need a little help to ensure good placement.

We can use rubber pads for this purpose, there are several types of suction cups, pressure or vacuum. Whichever you choose, they will help you hold the piece to position it correctly.

This tool is becoming more and more important as formats become larger and more difficult to work with.


Safety is vital if we are to maintain the standard of our work over the years. We all know that we have to use gloves, hearing protection, glasses, etc. Now we need to do this!

A vital component to a healthy wearer is the knee pads. Keep in mind that they kneel for many hours on the sidewalk and need to protect the only part of their body that permanently touches the ground.

The main function of knee pads is to protect the knees from the same weight as the stabilizer, but they also protect against gravel and other debris on the construction site.

Laying tiles by room

Placement by Stay The placement of tiles varies depending on whether we are outside or inside. When doing the work indoors we should leave a minimum joint of 1.5 mm while when doing this outside the minimum joint will be 3 mm.

It is necessary to take into account that the joint recommended by the manufacturer is larger, but at least we must respect the ones that we commented on.

There are many types of placement, but usually we start by laying tiles on vertical walls, leaving the first piece that will be in the corner of the floor without a place, how do we place the tiles in that area? It’s very easy to use a ruler bracket placed in the middle of the first piece, from there we’ll start putting it up, trying to close the perimeter and going up to the last row above.

Later we will mark the pier using the door as a guide, remember that everything should always be solid, if not, we run the risk of breaking.

Once the berth is in place, we must lay the last row of the vertical facade.

How to lay special ceramic tiles

How can we lay special tiles? Placement is very similar.

Corrected ceramics is perhaps the most complex to lay. We must take advantage of the facilities offered by the settlement systems to achieve the correct finish. It is also necessary to be very careful not to break these corners, since they are 90 degrees they are very sensitive to the small bumps you may receive.

special tiles

The trend that is growing in recent months is self-adhesive tiles. Applying this type of ceramic is very simple because it already has double-sided tapes for sticking.

So the tools we will be using are limited and we will have to rely on the quality of this double sided tape, which is the only one that does the gluing.

Tile laying methods and patterns

What will differentiate the different types of laying is the type of joint chosen, as it will determine what shape the ceramics will have.

We can put ceramics with different joints:

  • Horizontal or vertical racing hinge
  • Horizontal or vertical racing hinge
  • Follow the line of joints vertically and horizontally.

vertical running joint

It’s a situation similar to that of parquet, we keep putting it on no matter where the next piece ends or begins.

This is one of the most used. In this case we put the porcelain and the top we put a third or half of this piece, in this way we will make a placement in the form of a step. For this type of placement, we will be using the “T” as the class arrays.

wide height

It is a classic placement for brick balconies, we are going to put a piece that is usually 28 cm in length and next to it we will put two inverted pieces of 14 cm, in this way we will get a very classic vertebral pattern for terraces.


We will simply place the piece and the next one we will place in the middle of the already placed piece, this way we will have a bigger step effect than the reverse hinge placement.

Final step: joint finishing and final cleaning

Despite this, it is on the letter of the most important steps. From setting the ideal, the most beautiful, connectors to connectors.

On the market there are a variety of colors to choose the one that we like the most, but the most important thing is to apply it correctly.

How to apply joint mortar

  1. This is reversed with his finger firmly, pressing until each icon is firm.
  2. Applying joint mortar, we will allow the material to be installed.
  3. Do, we will help, a special sponge. Indication of the transition to the joint, the third stage
  4. We make one last pass over the entire surface to finish off all residue that may be left.
  5. Reaching the final elimination path. Doing so, product a specific product product.

Its original value, because the water in which we will get wet, because the water in which we will get wet, is part of the slurry that we removed earlier. When that becomes vital when he says epoxy joint, we’ll have to change the water frequently, because it’s set, it’s going to be, much more complicated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *