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How to Install Ceramic Tile With Thinset

Homeowners use thinset ceramic tile bedding as a leveling and adhesive surface for tile to stick to. If you use it properly, you will have a level, well-adhered section of ceramic floor or wall tile. Improper use, on the other hand, can lead to an uneven floor or wall with dangerous tile corners sticking up or out.

Thinset adhesive keeps tiles in place.

Things You Will Need

  • Thinset
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Stir stick
  • 1/4-inch square notched trowel
  • Tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Premixed grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Dry towel
  • Grout sealant

Homeowners use thinset ceramic tile bedding as a leveling and adhesive surface for tile to stick to.  If you use it properly, you will have a level, well-adhered section of ceramic floor or wall tile.

Improper use, on the other hand, can lead to an uneven floor or wall with dangerous tile corners sticking up or out.  Use the proper tools and procedure to provide an even layer of thinset adhesive to achieve professional-looking results.

  1. Pour thinset along with the amount of water recommended by the manufacturer into a five-gallon bucket. Use cold water and stir the mixture with a stir stick until it is smooth. Mix the thinset in small amounts as it dries quickly when exposed to air. You will need about half a pound for each square foot tile area.
  2. Scoop thinset from the bucket using a 1/4-inch square notched trowel. Apply it to the floor with the trowel in a generous layer. Scrape along the entire layer of thinset with the notched edge of the tile. This will ensure an even layer.
  3. Press the ceramic tiles in place firmly over the thinset, placing tile spacers at each corner to space the tiles evenly.
  4. Allow the tiles to sit and adhere to the thinset for the amount of time specified on the package, or at least 24 hours. Remove the tile spacers after this period of time.
  5. Apply premixed grout to the spaces between tiles with a grout float. Do not worry about getting grout on the faces of the tiles.
  6. Dip a sponge in cold water and wipe over the tiles to remove the grout from the tile faces. Rinse the sponge in the water frequently as you do this.
  7. Allow the grout to cure overnight, and then buff the cloudy surface with a dry towel. Add a grout sealant according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Things You Will Need

  • Thinset
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Stir stick
  • 1/4-inch square notched trowel
  • Tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Premixed grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Dry towel
  • Grout sealant

About the Author

Ashley Kurz, a full-time professional writer since 2009, publishes on various informational websites. An expert in the craft field specializing in craft-related topics, Kurz has taught arts and crafts for group therapy sessions.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images