• In this video, contractor Angelo McRae installs a new mosaic-tile floor.

    Steps:
    1. Plan the tile layout based on the size of the tile and the position of a primary element, such as the tub or vanity.
    2. Snap a chalk line onto the floor to establish the starting point of the tile.
    3. Mix fortified thin-set mortar with water in a bucket using an electric drill and mixing paddle.
    4. Apply the mortar to the subfloor using a ¼-inch x ¼-inch notched trowel. Spread the mortar along the chalk line, but don’t obscure the line.
    5. Set the first sheet of mosaic tiles into the mortar, flush with the chalk line.
    6. Lightly press down the tile using a rubber float.
    7. Continue to spread mortar and set tiles across the floor. Be sure to maintain consistent joints between the tile sheets.
    8. When it’s necessary to fit the tiles around an obstacle, such as a toilet flange, use a utility knife to slice through the backing mesh, then remove the individual mosaic tiles from the sheet.
    9. Use a wet saw to cut the mosaic-tile sheets to fit along the wall.
    10. Mix up more thin-set mortar, when necessary, and set the last tile sheets into place.
    11. Allow the mortar to cure overnight, then mix water and tile grout in a bucket using a margin trowel.
    12. Spread the grout across the floor using a rubber float. Be sure to force the grout down into all the spaces between the tiles.
    13. Wait an hour or two for the grout to set up (partially harden), then wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge.
    14. Allow the grout to cure for three or four hours, then buff off any residual haze with a soft, dry cloth.

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    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Not a job for first-time DIYers
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      Tools List

      • drill
        Drill/driver with mixing paddle and bucket
      • notched trowel
        Notched trowel
      • rubber float
        Rubber float
      • utility knife
        Utility knife
      • wet saw
        Wet saw, used to cut tile
      • margin trowel
        Margin trowel, for mixing grout
      • grout sponge
        Grout sponge
      • cleaning rag
        Clean rag

      Shopping List

      Mosaic floor tile

      Fortified thin-set mortar

      Tile grout