Tiling can be a daunting task for those who have never attempted it before, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, it can be a relatively straightforward process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of laying tiles, from preparing the surface to grouting and finishing.


Before you begin laying tiles, it’s important to ensure that the surface you will be tiling is clean and level. This will ensure that your tiles are laid evenly and that the final result looks professional.

  • Clean the Surface: Begin by removing any dirt, dust, or debris from the surface you will be tiling. This can be done with a broom or vacuum cleaner.
  • Level the Surface: If the surface is uneven, you will need to level it before you begin tiling. This can be done with a self-leveling compound or by using a trowel to smooth out any bumps or holes.

Tile Cutters
Tile Adhesives
Tiling Tools
  • Measure the Area: Measure the area you will be tiling to ensure that you have enough tiles to cover the entire surface. It’s also important to note that some tiles will need to be cut to fit in certain areas, so make sure to factor this into your calculations.
  • Plan the Layout: Before you begin laying tiles, it’s a good idea to plan the layout. This will help you to ensure that the tiles are laid evenly and onto a solid base and that any cuts are made in the most inconspicuous areas.

Laying the Tiles

Once your surface is clean, level, and you’ve planned your layout, it’s time to begin laying the tiles.

  • Apply a Flexable Adhesive: Apply the adhesive to the surface using a notched trowel. Be sure to spread the adhesive evenly and to work in small areas to ensure that it doesn’t dry out before you have a chance to lay the tiles.
  • Lay the Tiles: Begin laying the tiles by starting in the center of the surface and working your way out. Press the tiles firmly into the adhesive and use tile spacers to ensure that they are evenly spaced.
  • Cut Tiles: If you need to cut tiles to fit in certain areas, use a Wet Tile Cutter or tile saw to make the cuts. Be sure to measure carefully and make any cuts as precise as possible to ensure a professional finish.

Grouting and Finishing

Once all of the tiles have been laid and the adhesive has fully dried, it’s time to grout and finish the surface.

This is the moment when you need to apply some sealer to protect the terracotta from grout staining. Apply whichever product you were going to use as a Pre-seal (read our articles on Sealing Terracotta) whether an oil or an impregnating sealer. This method will help stop the grout soaking into and staining the terracotta, while making it easier to clean off with a sponge before it dries.

Grouting Tools
Tile Sealer
Wet Tile Cutters
  • Remove Spacers: Remove the tile spacers and wipe away any excess adhesive that may have squeezed out.
  • Apply Grout: Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the joints. Be sure to work the grout into the spaces between the tiles and to remove any excess. DO NOT slurry grout terracotta, rather slide the grout from the trowel into the gaps and push the grout deep into the grout lines, smooth the grout as it dries with a damp sponge.
  • Wipe Tiles: As you grout and once the grout has partially set, use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles clean. This will remove any grout haze and ensure a smooth finish.
  • Seal the Grout: Once the tiles have been cleaned, it’s a good idea to seal the grout to protect it from moisture and staining. This can be done with a grout sealer that can be applied with a brush or roller.
  • The tiles are now ready to seal See our articles on Sealing Terracotta
  • Enjoy Your New Tiles: Congratulations, your tiles are now laid and your surface is ready to enjoy!

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