Tile Tattles

WTT? What the Tile?

Being a big DIY fan, I figured I would throw in a couple of notes that I’ve learned over the years about laying tile.

Once I began a project with a Family member. I began laying the tile one of the time, and he said to me are you sure you want to do it that way?

I told him yes and I told him why. You see I was starting from the center of the room. I had snapped a couple of chalk lines to make sure that it was all at a 90° angle and I work from the center outward to the edges of the room.

The reason you do it that way so that you can ensure that it doesn’t end up cockeyed.


If you go in all directions you can make sure that your lines remain 90° and that if a wall is not at 90° it won’t matter. When drywaller’s put walls up, sometimes they have to nail the studs that are uneven. If you let the wall be your guide, you can often end up with a very crooked room of tile.

So, always start in the middle. At least that’s my rule of thumb. Also, make sure that you make sure thin set well and properly so that you don’t have the powdered donut a fact while you’re trying to adhere the tiles to the floor.

Also when you’re putting in the grout, make sure that you have a bucket of water and a couple of clean sponges.


The first project I ever did ended up being a complete disaster because I managed to get grout on all of the tiles. If you wait long enough, it’ll dry into the grooves of the tiles especially if it’s porous. That is exactly what happened to me. So, I went to the store like anyone else would and asked how I get rid of the grout stuck on the tiles. They told me to use muriatic acid.

Oh yeah and a whole a lot of elbow grease. Bottom line, it was a nightmare. I never did get all of the grout off of all of those tiles. But one thing is for sure I learned a lot even through the frustration and exhaustion.

Sometimes, knowing what not to do is just as important or more important as knowing what to do.

Back to the story on how I did the tile. So, my family member told me they would’ve been a completely different in would’ve really wrecked it had they done it alone.

I have found that there is really no substitute to experience. You should always keep an open mind, learn what you can from other individuals, and apply as much as you have learned from these types of projects to every other projects you ever entertain.

So, now it really doesn’t matter what I am doing, I am always trying to learn what not to do right up front. I asked lots of questions and let people back it up with fax. I seek out individuals with the experience and expertise that I’m needing, and I ask them.

So, from running a business all the way to laying tile, the rules still apply.

Now, when I’m looking to hire a contractor, I asked them what they would do in a particular situation. This way I can understand how the mind works and whether or not they know what they’re talking about.

I had a friend of mine tell me the other day, I’m all for letting new people learn on the job. However, I’m not for them learning at my expense.

Remember you don’t know what you don’t know. So learn, listen, investigate, and figure it out before you start the job. If you happen to start the job without knowing all of those things in advance well, good luck to you. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot.