Floor Tile Laying – Continual Speed Floor Tile Laying

If you follow the steps to floor tiling which I have mentioned in previous articles on the topic of floor tile laying, you will find that I have explained the process in a detailed manner regarding all aspects. However, as a summary to these articles, I will explain in brief the process with which you can speed up the whole operation of laying floor tiles. Instead of following the steps which I gave to laying a single floor tile at a time, which if followed would actually seem to take forever, I will give you an idea into laying several tiles all at once, which is the actually correct way to lay floor tiles to prevent your mortar mix from drying out before it becomes useless and solidifies.

First of all, scoop out a sufficient enough amount of mixed floor tile mortar to say, cover an area of approximately three 12″ inch ceramic floor tiles in a straight line, for example. Spread this out gently and evenly with the flat edge of your notched   trowel , remembering not to cover your chalk lines or any important pencil marks. This is known as keying-in, which ensures that your subfloor is completely covered with mortar, and there is a good bond forming between the two.

Once you have it keyed-in to an approximate mortar bed depth of between 1/2″ to 3/4″ inch the length of three tiles, you then take either of the short or long cut-out edges of your 3/8″ by 1/4″ inch notched  trowel , depending on your preference of spreading or access to the area, and set to the edge of the mortar bed. Holding the  trowel  at an approximate 45 degree angle, scrape the  trowel  through the mortar for the full length of the bed in straight lines, constantly maintaining downward pressure. At the end of each scrape, tilt and wipe the excess mortar from the  trowel  leaving a mound at the end for later use.

You should now have an area of mortar large enough for three floor tiles, which resembles something similar to a farmer’s ploughed field. Take one tile; butt the edge gently next to an adjacent floor tile keeping the same alignment, and drop the tile down gently. With downward pressure using your fingertips, pull the tile away slightly from the adjacent floor tile to create a gap for grout spacing, and gently push and twist the tile firmly into the mortar bed.

Insert your 3/16″ or 1/4″ inch tile grout spacers between all neighboring edges with two spacers to an edge, and then gently push the tile tight towards the edges which should clamp your grout spacers in place. Make sure that your alignment and level is correct, double-check the existing tile alignment so that it hasn’t moved, then continue these steps with the laying of the second and third tiles.

When all three floor tiles are laid into place surrounded by grout spacers on all edges which meet, check the alignment, double-check the alignment, and then go back to check the alignment on tiles laid previously. That I can’t stress more than enough. Take a tile spacer and run it down the length of the grout lines removing any excess mortar as you go, and be sure to wipe off any spots of mortar from the tile surfaces and edges in the process, and then check the alignment once again.

That is basically all there is to it. So once you master laying one tile, build yourself to two, then three, or four tile sections. Whichever you feel confident and comfortable with, and to speed up the whole process of laying floor tiles. If you ever find that you run short of tile spacers though down the line, just remove spacers from tiles that you are sure may be partially dried and fixed into the mortar bed, and that won’t be disturb by your following section of tiles to be laid.