How to Install Ceramic Floor Tiles

Three weeks ago I found myself knee deep in the mess that is my only bathroom at home. I stood there covered in sweat and dust with my third smashed and swelling finger wondering what on earth had possessed me to think about how to install ceramic floor tiles. After flooding the bathroom, breaking the toilet base, smashing three fingers and now having to go to the neighbors to use the toilet I realized that I should have indeed, hired a professional before thinking I could learn how to install ceramic floor tiles.

The project seemed so easy at the time simply remove the old tiles, pick some new ones, mud the floor, lay some new tiles and grout around them. I even had a book on how to install ceramic floor tiles. Simple prep work and you are on your way to being a professional at how to install ceramic floor tiles. No one mentioned how difficult it was to learn how to install ceramic floor tile. I had no reason to think so after all there were only a few steps:

1. Remove old tile – this step ended up taking two of the three weeks instead of the approximate two days the book stated. None of the tiles were removed in one piece. Instead each one had to broken multiple times and pried up with a crow bar not a putty knife. I wasn’t even successful at removing them much less installing them.

2. Prepare the subfloor – unfortunately for me the ceramic vase subfloor came up one chunk at a time with the broken tile. There is no preparing subflooring when it is broken. The floor has to be replaced. All of it. Entirely. This was another setback to my unsuccessful project on how to install ceramic floor tiles. It also created additional steps. Ten of them. All necessary in completing the travesty that left me wondering how to install them successfully. The author of the how to install ceramic floor tiles book LIED!

3. Find the center of the room hold the chalk line there, chalk a line from the center to the wall – this is supposed to give you a straight line to begin laying the tile. Supposed to. But first the person holding the line must place it in the center of the wall in order for installing ceramic floor tiles to be a straight project. Good thing I like wavy lines. Tell me again how to install ceramic floor tiles it still won’t work.

4. Start at your center point and lay tiles out to the wall – someone forgot the page that tells you what to do if you don’t have enough room left at the edge for a full tile. That requires a special saw and water. Must be a special instruction section in my how to install ceramic floor tiles book. It also requires someone who knows how to operate the saw and can cut a straight line. Obviously that person is not me. Did I mention if you are wondering how to install the tiles you should hire a professional? Once again this step added seven more steps.

5. Choose the layout of the tile – I still haven’t made it to this step yet. I am somewhere in the middle of the seven step tile cutting process. At this point I don’t care about the layout. I haven’t even begun and I still don’t know how to install ceramic floor tiles. All I want is to use my own bathroom again so that the neighbor’s dog will stop staring at me longingly while I use theirs.

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