How to glue tiles: the details of the process

The modern market of finishing materials is extensive. Each buyer has the opportunity to select the appropriate products for a reasonable price. One of the most popular and sought-after finishing materials is tile. It can be put not only on the floor, but also on the walls. Today we will talk about the intricacies of mounting these coatings.

Special features

The tile is the popular and demanded finishing material. This is due to its aesthetic qualities and a rich assortment. Today it is possible to choose materials of a suitable style and shade for any interior. It is worth noting the fact that high-quality tiles can be put even in rooms with a high level of humidity (in the bathroom, kitchen, toilet).

The main condition is a perfectly flat and prepared base for the direct laying of the material. If you neglect this work, the tile may lie carelessly.To hold on to such a basis it will not be sufficiently reliable.

Level the bottom in various ways. Different owners turn to a variety of materials. It can be PVC canvas, high-quality leveling plaster, plywood or plaster lining. Such materials are indispensable, especially when it comes to applying tiles on brick or wooden walls, as these bases themselves are not perfectly smooth.

Most experts recommend dividing the base into several separate squares or zones when pasting tiles. Due to this popular method, the installation of finishing materials will be faster and easier.

A distinctive feature of working with tiles is the fact that the laying can be done with your own hands, but for this you need to take care of the high quality of the purchased materials and sufficient alignment of the walls. Low-quality tile not only looks poor, but is also flimsy: it easily remains damaged. Maximum care should be exercised in the choice of tile glue, as a low-grade compound will not hold tiles on the walls or will, but not for long. There are several ways to tile.If you want to save money, you are confident in your abilities, you can finish the walls or the floor in the dwelling by yourself.

Surface alignment

Leveling the base is a necessary process if you plan to tile the walls or the floor. For this stage of finishing work, you can use different materials. Let's get acquainted with the most common of them.


Laying tiles on plywood is one of the most common ways. With sheets of this popular material, you can quickly and easily get rid of irregularities and various surface defects. The tile can be glued to a plywood sheet with a universal glue or a special mortar designed for wood-based materials. The second option often has a more liquid consistency, so it is perfectly distributed over the surface of the base of the floor or wall.

Experts recommend the use of such compositions also because after all the finishing work you do not have to knock the tile with a mallet.

Slightly less tile attached to plywood with liquid nails or special liquid glass. Their rare use is due to the fact that such tools can not provide sufficient quality assurance of adhesion materials. Over time, the tile can move away from the wall.That is why experts recommend to give preference to special adhesive mixtures.

It should be noted that the tile will not be able to glue on the finishing base of plywood, so you have to take some steps to improve the adhesion of finishing materials.

To do this, experts recommend treating the plywood lining with a special antiseptic and moisture-proof mixture. These works must be carried out even if you have purchased waterproof sheets of plywood. After that, in order to improve adhesion, a special mesh (serpyanka) is attached to the leveling plywood sheets. This detail will provide better and more reliable adhesion of the lining to the tile, waterproofing of structures.


When choosing a material for leveling the base, consumers often prefer drywall. It is environmentally friendly and pliable. Using such raw materials, you can save yourself from a long wait, until the base dries out, and you can glue tiles on it. In the process of installation of drywall sheets does not remain dust and dirt, which is also an important advantage of this method of alignment.

Lightweight sheets made using special gypsum fiber are produced by semi-dry pressing of a mixture in which gypsum, cellulose components and other binders are present. There are no hazardous resins and other toxic substances in the composition of such materials, so they can be safely used in the decoration of residential premises. Drywall boasts excellent thermal insulation properties. To glue the tile on the surface of the drywall, you must use high-quality and reliable glue.

For this fit the following compositions:

  • Glue with cement, which is often treated paper base.
  • Elastic tile adhesive. This composition is sold in dry form. It needs to be stirred independently. If you do not want to spend time on this process, you can find ready-made solutions in stores.
  • Liquid Nails.

To prepare the adhesive composition is necessary in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer, which, as a rule, are present on the packaging. If you do everything according to the instructions, the tile will lay on the drywall neatly and securely, over time it will not peel off.Before laying plasterboard sheets, you must install metal strips (or guides). There must be a distance of at least 40 cm between them. If this parameter is not observed, the tile will eventually move away from the base, and the seams will undergo deformation. Sheets of drywall are attached to the guides using self-tapping screws or special brackets.

If you follow Western technology, it is worthwhile to install drywall in two layers and only then proceed to the finishing of the base tile.


Often, plaster is used to prepare the base for tiles. This method is considered universal, but plastering various surfaces is not so easy, and it takes a lot of time. But if all the alignment work was done neatly and correctly, then the tile can be laid on such a foundation rather quickly and easily. It will look aesthetically pleasing. Even an inexperienced user who cannot professionally install tile can cope with this work.

The main disadvantage of plaster is that it is quite difficult to work with it. In the process of its application to the substrate, a lot of dust and dirt remain.The plaster dries for a long time, so you have to lose some time before applying the tile. If on the basis there is a former finishing material, it is necessary to get rid of it.


It is recommended to putty the surfaces before laying the tile in cases where there are no significant irregularities or defects on them.

In this case, the composition should have some important characteristics, which should include:

  • Moisture resistance. Special gypsum plaster, not resistant to moisture and moisture, can be applied only in dry and warm rooms in which there are no differences in air humidity.
  • Clutch. Putty should stick well to the base and not affect its quality characteristics. For example, for the walls of gas silicate blocks or foam block produce special mixtures, different silicone lime-cement or silicate base.

When buying a putty, you need to consider for which surfaces you select it. Today, stores sell formulations for exterior and interior decoration, with different characteristics.

Before direct work, the base must be cleaned from dust and dirt. If there are cracks and chips on the surface, they must be repaired with construction foam or plaster.

Next, apply a primer on the substrate. Primer is necessary to strengthen the base and protect it from mold and mildew. It will provide better adhesion with putty. When the soil layer is completely dry, you can proceed to puttying. The layer of putty should not be more than 5 mm. There are cases when this thickness is not enough to fully align the base. Then you can apply several layers of putty, each of which should be covered with a primer.

It is impossible to tile a surface that has just been coated with a putty. Experts strongly recommend to wait for the base to dry completely, then once again treat it with a deep penetration primer. Before tiling, you should make sure that there are no voids under the putty layer, and it is firmly supported on the base. To do this, tap the surface with a special rubber mallet.

The preparation of the walls or floor is an integral part of laying tile.Without this stage, all the work will be useless, because the finish will not keep quality.

Room layout

After you have completed the preparatory work, you must proceed to the next important stage - the layout of the room in which the tile is planned to be laid. This is necessary in order to accurately calculate the required amount of material and its location. It is necessary to make a marking of the area before passing to drawing a tile. So the finishing of different surfaces will be much easier, and you will be able to decide on the sequence of your actions.

An important role in the layout is played by the arrangement of decorative objects in the room, as well as curbs.

Floor layout

In order to qualitatively mark up the floor, you need to stock up on the following simple devices:

  • ruler;
  • a pencil;
  • building level;
  • tape measure.

For marking, draw on the surface of the floor or walls a neat contour along which the tile will be installed in the future. By sticking to the drawing, the material will be attached to the base in exactly the specified sequence.


The following types of room layout are standard:

  • From the visible corner of the room. This option is suitable for rectangular layout. With this method of marking the first tile is placed in the corner of the available space, and the next two tiles are placed from it, facing in different directions.
  • In the run. This type of tile installation is a good solution for rectangular rooms. However, such finishing works are quite complex. First you have to calculate the center of the space where the first tiles will be laid. After that, vertical lines are drawn from the midpoint of the first element, and then the second and third tiles are laid out on the left and right side for the next rows. They will be followed by the third, fourth, fifth and sixth rows.
  • Perpendicular rows. This layout is ideal for a room with a non-standard layout. In such cases, it is also necessary to find the center point of the space for laying the first part. After that, two perpendicular central stripes are laid out relative to this tile. Following on them, from wall to wall, they are laying tile.
  • Diagonally. If you want to lay the tile diagonally, you will have to draw diagonal lines (excluding axial). To determine these elements, it is necessary to combine the opposite corners of the room.
  • Unusual. If you like interesting and original interiors, you should turn to non-standard marking, which will allow you to lay out the tile in the form of interesting patterns, geometric compositions and mosaics. To create such a unique element, experts recommend using special millimeter or checkered paper. On such canvases, it is much easier and more convenient to make markings, for example, of the floor. The drawing can be made independently, although today many owners turn to experienced designers to bring in really bright and non-trivial surfaces.

Using the resulting drawings and patterns, it is necessary to calculate the required materials, cut tiles, as well as decorative elements, based on the ratio of the dimensions of the piece material.

Wall markings

The marking of walls is most often carried out using a bubble level, aluminum guides (rules), a pencil and a tape measure, a breaker thread, a hammer, steel dowels and a cut board having a perfectly smooth edge.

After you have stocked up with all the necessary tools, you need to do the following:

  • On the basis of the screed (parallel to the wall being trimmed) a rule is laid (on the edge). After that, he placed the level in a horizontal position.
  • During this procedure, it is necessary to find the highest point located on the surface of the screed.
  • At this point on the wall located next, you need to put a mark in pencil (it will be 0).
  • Just above the first mark (departing 10 mm), you need to put the second mark and draw a line. So you leave an extra margin, given the thickness of the adhesive composition and the tile itself.

Choosing glue

Floor or wall tiles must be laid using high quality and reliable glue. Cheap sealant will not provide tight retention of the lining on the basis that after some time can lead to unstuck tile.

You can glue tiles on the following compositions:

  • inexpensive silicone sealant (single component);
  • universal adhesive solution;
  • moisture repellent glue;
  • highly elastic tile adhesive with an effect of increased fixation of the cladding.

According to its characteristics and composition, tile adhesive is divided into the following types:

  • epoxy;
  • dispersive;
  • cement based.

The most expensive is the epoxy composition, so buy it less often. It differs in the increased characteristics of durability, water tightness, frost resistance, durability (does not burst and does not break up over time). Dispersion glue is not so expensive. It has increased flexibility of the hardened mixture. Therefore, such a composition is most often used in the finishing of tiles of rooms with uneven surfaces (for example, walls made of wood). Dispersion glue dries quickly and is suitable even for painted surfaces.

Standard is glue with cement base. This composition is inexpensive, sold in many stores, has good performance. It should be noted that such adhesive mixtures can be chosen for any base and tile, which indicates their versatility and easy selection. Cement glue is easy and quick to apply. Even an inexperienced user can work with it.

How to cut a tile?

Various tools are suitable for cutting tile, which today can be easily found in many stores. These devices should be selected based on the volume and distinctive characteristics of the raw materials present in the tile composition.

Most often, this finishing material is cut with the following handy tools:

  • roller glass cutter;
  • diamond glass cutter (often used for cutting mirror tiles);
  • electric tile cutter;
  • manual tile cutter;
  • special nippers for tile;
  • angle grinder (or grinder).

How to make holes?

To make a hole in the tile, you can use several methods. Different tools are suitable for each of them. Consider them in more detail.

  • Drill for ceramic tiles. Glazed tiles can be drilled using a special drill for ceramics. It is not so easy to work with such a material, since on such a tile there is a reliable top coating (glaze) with which it is covered after being sent to the kiln, and it goes through firing. This layer is slippery, so the usual drill in the work with him can quickly dull and not cope with the task.This type of drill has a special shape of the cutting element, complemented by a carbide insert with a pointed tip.
  • Carbide drill bit for concrete. Using a carbide drill on concrete is one of the most popular ways to create holes in a tile. Such an uncomplicated device is inexpensive, it is not difficult to work with it.

The main distinguishing characteristic of tile drilling with this tool is that it is necessary to begin work at the minimum speed of the power tool, otherwise the finishing material could be damaged.

  • Crowns with a diamond dusting. This method is most often used if you need to build a cavity for sockets, the withdrawal of taps for the installation of the mixer and other similar trifles. Using such devices, drilling is carried out by rotating the crowns, put on the guide drill. The quality and aesthetics of the hole largely depends on the quality of the deposited state and the direct grain size of the tool.
  • Circular drill bit. Otherwise, this item is called "ballerina".The essence of drilling holes with such an element is a movable cutter mounted on a rod and rotating in a power tool along with a guide drill. Such a device can be easily adjusted to any bore diameter (it is limited only by the width of the rod).
  • Drilling holes of large diameter. If you need to drill holes of large diameter on the tile, you should use the following technique:
  1. Mark the center, and then outline the circle of the desired diameter.
  2. Insert a special drill for ceramic tiles (or a simple drill for concrete) of small diameter into the electric drill. With this part you need to drill the necessary holes from the inside of the circle. They should be located as close as possible to each other.
  3. After that it is necessary to remove the drilled inside. Using nippers or pliers, remove the remaining burrs on the resulting hole.
  4. At the end of all actions, the diameter of the circle from the inside should be polished with emery paper or a special abrasive stone.

How to glue?

Proper gluing of the tile to the prepared surface requires care.First you need to remove from the base of the former finishing material (wallpaper, water-based paint, linoleum, carpet). Then decide on the layout. For example, for the floor, you can choose the original decorative and mosaic composition, if you are an adherent of old traditions, you should prefer the standard options. After that, it is necessary to level the surface, and it does not matter at all what it is (wooden, concrete, brick or consists of MDF, OSB of the plates). Any foundation must be made smooth and even, even if it has minor defects.

Let's take a closer look at how to glue tiles on walls and floor indoors.


The decoration of the walls should adhere to the following work plan:

  • It is necessary to apply glue to a certain area of ​​the wall or floor with a spatula with cloves. Get rid of air bubbles and voids under it. The thickness of the layer must be at least 5 mm.
  • In accordance with the markup, it is necessary to make a sticker of the first tile, and then fix the remaining elements, moving from the starting part upwards. You can also glue the tile from the center of the wall, if we are talking about finishing floors.Materials should be pressed to the base, but do not press too hard. Knock the tile lightly with a wooden hammer.
  • After fixing the second part, a special plastic cross must be inserted into the seam. Then it is necessary to act on the same principle. Small crosses made of PVC are necessary so that the tile does not move, and you can apply grout between different parts.
  • The glue that has protruded at the seams must be removed immediately, and not postponed, because the high-quality adhesive compound is fast drying.
  • Use a tile cutter if you need to cover the remaining small areas (where the area is less than the width of the standard tile).
  • After all the work, you must leave the room open for a day. This time is enough for complete drying of finishing materials.

Grouting and washing

Grout must be applied to the joints of the tiles. To do this, use a rubber spatula. This work can be started only after the tile adhesive has completely dried. If we are talking about a room with high humidity, it is recommended to buy moisture-resistant grout.

After filling the joints with grout, remove the excess solution with a rag. This should be done optimally quickly. Choose a mixture that matches the shade of the tile. Grout must be diluted in portions until such a consistency, so that it does not flow down the coating, but looks like a thick paste. At the end of all work, wipe the facing material thoroughly with a soft cloth, remove dust and dirt.

Useful tips

If you decide to lay your own walls or floor tiles, you should heed some of the advice of experts:

  • Be sure to use high quality, reliable materials and tools. In pursuit of low prices, you risk making unreliable gluing of tiles and detect over time a fallen off tile.
  • Always remove the old coating on the walls or on the floor, otherwise the quality adhesion of finishing materials will be broken.
  • Do not use too much glue. This can lead to the fact that over time it will begin to stratify and crumble.
  • The solution should not be too small. An insufficient amount of glue can lead to the fact that the gluing of the bases with tiles will not be reliable and durable.
  • If the tile fell off the base, do not panic. Dropped items should be replaced. To do this, it is necessary to qualitatively clean the surface on which the tile was located. Then you need to apply the adhesive composition and set the finishing material in its place.
  • When choosing a tile, do not forget that a large number of joints between the elements can lead to moisture penetration under the tile, this can provoke the appearance of fungus, mold and unpleasant putrefactive smell. Experts do not recommend choosing too small tiles: there will remain many vulnerable gaps between them.

To learn how to properly tile, see the next video.

Information provided for reference purposes. For construction issues, always consult a specialist.

Entrance hall

Living room