Regardless of whether you are installing in your kitchen, bathroom, or hallway, laying large format tiles can be a daunting task for many homeowners. Here are easy-to-follow DIY tips to make the process smoother and less stressful.

Tips for Installing Large Format Tiles

Planning the layout

Tapering lines draw the eye at the edges of out-of-square rooms. There’s nothing worse than starting at one side of the room and laying tiles across the floor only to discover that your last row of tiles is wider at one end than the other, giving the whole floor a cockeyed look. Your best bet is to measure the floor and create a scale layout on paper. If the floor is out-of-square less than 1/8 inch per 10 lineal feet, you can usually adjust your working lines to compensate. Greater disparities are tougher to camouflage. For the best results, use the most visible wall in the room as the focal point. The closest grout line to that wall should be perfectly parallel. Source: HomeGuides.SFGate

Preparing the subfloor

Carpet and vinyl plank flooring can allow for some imperfections when it comes to the subfloor. Large format tile made of porcelain or stone are not as forgiving. Proper preparation for any large tile installation begins with ensuring that the subfloor is entirely level. Most subfloors will not be level. When this is the case, use a self-leveling material to prepare the substrate for the needs of the tile. When you live in an area that experiences extreme temperature changes in the summer and winter months, additional steps may be necessary. Source: BuildDirect

Choosing the right mortar

Thin-set mortar is the best bedding adhesive for most tile. But if you’re setting tiles larger than 12 x 12 in., look for terms like “medium bed,” “large tile” or “large format” on the bag label. Bigger tile requires a thicker bed, and unlike standard thin-set, medium-bed mortar doesn’t lose its bonding strength when you lay it on thick. It’s also firmer and shrinks less, so tiles stay in position better while the mortar hardens. Medium-bed mortar is available at tile stores and some home centers. Source: FamilyHandyman

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