Wanderlust Uncategorized Installing Ceramic Tile Floors: Tools and Materials

Installing Ceramic Tile Floors: Tools and Materials


Thinking about installing a ceramic tile floor? The first thing you need is a proper sub-floor. Ceramic tiles are heavy and lie best over a flat, smooth concrete surface or a solid floor base topped with 1/2″ thick plywood. The basic tools and materials necessary for installing a ceramic jewelry tray ceramic tile floor successfully are listed below.

  • tape measure, t-square and pencil for measuring the area and making notes, and for measuring and marking tiles for cutting
  • enough ceramic tiles to cover the entire floor surface, allowing five percent extra for waste
  • mortar powder (also referred to as thinset or cement adhesive), water, a large empty container and a stir stick or a drill with a mixer attached
  • 1/4″ notched trowel for spreading the mortar
  • a metal rail or some other type of flooring transition to protect the ceramic and hold it in place at the doorway, along with a saw to cut the transition to fit
  • a ceramic wet-saw filled with water and equipped with a protective guard
  • protective eye gear for cutting the ceramic
  • grout powder, water, an empty container and a stir stick for mixing the grout
  • a small plastic trowel or a special trowel made specifically for applying grout
  • an absorbent sponge and water to wipe away the excess grout
  • ceramic base tiles for finishing along the wall, premixed mastic glue for applying the tiles to the wall and silicone sealant for the top of the tiles or quarter round or shoe molding
  • a clean cloth for buffing

Do your research beforehand. Visit a retail flooring store and ask your questions. A flooring specialist can advise you on the type of doorway transition best suited to your needs. There are dozens of transitions available on the market and which is best for your job will depend on what type of flooring the ceramic tile butts up against. A flooring expert will also advise you on suitable mortar/thinset and glue choices for the ceramic tiles you’ve chosen.

While ceramic base tile provides a nice look, it is much more common to finish the job with baseboard. If good baseboard is already installed you have two choices. You can remove the baseboard, lay down the ceramic floor and then reinstall it or you can install the tiles right up to the baseboard and finish with shoe molding or quarter-round. If you decide to remove the baseboard, make sure to number the pieces and replace them in the proper order.

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