How to Master Porcelain Tile Installation

You might have perused the Porcel-Thin tile collection and discovered which tiles top your wish list, but have you thought about how you’re going to install them or even considered hiring a professional? Whether you’re a property developer, architect or seasoned tiler, you might not have fitted our porcelain tiles before and we have some top tips on how you can do it right to achieve the very best from your thin porcelain tiles.

At last year’s Trimline/Porcel-Thin Tilers’ Event, our MD Ray Smith waxed lyrical about the importance of preparation to the tiling process. He couldn’t be more right. Here are some top tips to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for your next Porcel-Thin tiling project:

Plan your space

Setting out floor tiles ready for tiling

Not only do you need to think about the size and shape of the space you want to tile, but you’ll also need to think about: the size of tiles for the space; where doors, windows and alcoves interfere; where you’ll need to cut to size; and where grout lines will work best. Remember that the idea isn’t just to fill the space with tiles but to also make them look balanced and symmetrical and to allow for continuous patterning where possible for the most stylish and authentic effect.

To cover or strip?

Are you going to lay your wall or floor tiles over the existing surface cover or are you going to strip everything back and start from scratch? While many prefer the blank canvas approach others will embrace Porcel-Thin’s ultra-thin nature and go for the easy pop-them-on-top option. Whatever your preference, you need to think about the surface you’re installing on to and its suitability. Thin porcelain tiles like a nice flat surface so sometimes concrete is best (if level and non-porous) and at other times the use of a tile backing board is better. This is also the stage to consider whether you’ll need movement joints or anti-fracture mats to naturalise stress between the layers and minimise the occurrence of fractured tiles.

How to cut tiles

From a Sigma 3EM tile cutter and a speed/T-bar cutter for sizing porcelain tiles to an angle grinder for cutting out L-shaped spaces for plug sockets and core pieces for cutting out space for piping, you’ll need some specialist equipment to get the most out of your porcelain tiles. Please see Ray’s How to cut and drill Porcel-Thin Porcelain Tiles video for a step-by-step process.

How to secure tiles

Porcel-Thin approved tiling contractor GB Walsh installing large format porcelain tiles

No matter what brand you favour, porcelain tiles perform best when laid using a high-performance powdered tile adhesive that you mix with water to accommodate movement and set quickly or slowly – as you prefer. For hints, check out our Rapid Guide to Tile Adhesives here. When it comes to waterproofing while porcelain tiles are non-porous and highly water-resistant the grout between them and the substrate below them might not be. This means for wetrooms water-resistant tile backing boards and tanked joints are your best bet.

Training for tilers

A tilers training event at Porcel-Thin

If all this overwhelms you, consider hiring a skilled and experienced professional from our list of Porcel-Thin approved tilers. On the other hand, if this sounds like something you’d like to achieve but you’re lacking in the finer details, you should consider attending one of our individual or group tiler training sessions where Ray and his team of trusted tilers will help you to master Porcel-Thin tile installation from cutting and shaping to grouting and laying.
Contact Porcel-Thin today for more information on porcelain tile installation and for details on our upcoming tiler training sessions.