DIY Network

How to Lay a Slate Porcelain Tile Floor

DIY remodeling experts show how to lay an affordable slate porcelain tile floor that looks like real slate.

More in Kitchen

  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Lay Out The Floor

To start, measure the floor area to get an estimate of the amount of tile and thinset you'll need.

Starting at either the center point of the longest wall in the room or at the focal point in the room (e.g. a special design feature), dry fit the tiles to your desired pattern. Snapping chalk lines or using a laser line (Image 1 ) helps to keep your lines strait.

Step 2: Lay the Tiles

Mix your thinset with water to a peanut butter consistency. To avoid breathing the dust from the thinset mix, wear a dust mask when pouring dry thinset into the bucket (Image 1).

Spread the thinset on the floor with a notched trowel, keeping your trowel angled at 45 degrees to create substantial grooves (Image 2).

Set each tile down carefully into the thinset and "wiggle" the tile into place, working with just one tile at a time (Image 3).

Use spacers between tiles to preserve your grout lines (Image 4).

Clean up thinset as you go, as it’s difficult to do once the thinset has dried on the floor.

Step 3: Cut the Tiles

Most tile projects involve some cutting. It’s best to use a wet saw to make precise cuts (Image 1). You can typically rent a tile saw for about $50 a day.

To start, measure the cut, remembering to include room for grout lines. Mark the cut on the tile using a speed square and wax pencil or permanent marker (Image 2).

Work around the floor adjusting grout lines and any deviations in height of tiles. Clean off all thinset from the subfloor, walls and tops of tiles. Let the new floor set for a day.

Step 4: Grout and Seal

When the tile has set for a day, test the tiles for movement. If all tiles are secure in their place, mix the grout according to manufacturer’s directions. Apply grout with damp sponge, working it into all the grout lines. Make sure there are no indentions. Let grout set (again according to manufacturer’s directions) and then sponge off any excess. Clean tiles thoroughly and let dry completely before applying sealer.

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