Installing Tile Floors for Beginners

How did I, a mom of three with zero background in carpentry/renovations, demo and tile our powder room all on my own? Youtube! Where would I be without it! This past year as I have really delved into the DIY world and learning new skills have relied so much on Youtube tutorials, and not just I have a problem let me youtube a solution. I have spent hours researching every step of the process before I dive in. If I had to put a number on it I probably watch at a minimum 10 videos per step of the process, but the cool part is once I’ve done it with my own two hands I have mastered it and have that knowledge from here on out! Isn’t that cool!? Okay I fear I’m sounding nerdy so I’ll digress!

Things You Should Know

  • Youtube is your friend. Let it be your guide. I find a lot of DIY accounts come with a handy dad who is just a phone call away and can solve any issue. For me, I didn’t grow up that way. My dad is an amazing salesman and raised and provided for 7 kids, he didn’t teach me a darn about carpentry but can I blame him? I don’t think I even expected I’d be asking for power tools for Christmas!
  • Demo’ing (especially tile) is the hardest part. No i’m not joking and I’ve never tiled before. I competed gymnastics for 8 years and had callouses like you couldn’t imagine. My hands have never hurt worse than chiseling away at 30 year old thinset! Get through this, its worth it!
  • It’s messy. Like real messy. If the tile doesn’t come up in whole pieces you’ll have tiny shards of tile poking you and flying everywhere. Use protective wear – close toed shoes, glasses, pants.
  • Don’t skimp out on mortar and grout. Go for the good stuff. According to the several youtube tutorials I watched, there is a big difference in quality with only about a $20 difference. You don’t tile a floor everyday and repairing can be costly, go for the good stuff.
  • Trowel size matters. Pay attention to the recommended trowel size for your tile. The notches are specifically created to give the tile the buoyancy it needs.
  • Leveling kits are a game changer. It seemed weird when I first discovered them, but as I was laying the new tile it all made sense. this allows your tiles to sit flush with one another and ensures no bumps!
  • Rent your tools. If you don’t expect to tile often, rent your tools. Mine only cost $26 to rent for the day versus dropping $400 on a nice manual tile cutter.


*contains affiliate links

1. Heavy Duty Sponges 2. Tile of Choice (Linking mine here) 3. Trowel

4. Utility Bucket 5. Grout 6. Tile Cutter 7. Mortar/Thinset 8. Grout Float

9. Grout Mixing Paddle 10. Tile Leveling System

Coming Next!

Be on the lookout next week for a full budget breakdown of the powder room project, as well as some BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER photos!

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