How to Install Wood Look Tile


        In recent years, the wood look tile has gained a good amount of popularities. The reason for their popularity is because after some years, they don’t display ugly patterns. Also they don’t ding or dent and you would not need to refurbish them.


        However, you might come across some unique challenges when it comes to installing wood look tiles. But you need not panic. This article will show you step by step on how to install wood look tile. Read on!         

Image: How to Install Wood Look Tile.


       If you are planning to install wood look tile to your home or office, you would need some basic tools and materials. These are:

  • Wet saw and tile cutter – both are for cutting tiles
  • Measuring tape – basically a builder’s tape and also painter’s tape
  • Tile spacers and wedges – To accurately floor or wall tiles before grout is added
  • Wood look tile
  • Caulk – used to seal the tile from moisture
  • Thin-set – Used to attach tiles to the under flooring. It is an adhesive mortar made of fine sand, cement and a water retaining agent.
  • Notched trowel – To apply mastic adhesive or thin-set to the floor
  • Grout – powder used to fill the joints between tiles
  • Sponge – used to wipe off excess grout 

        After introducing you to the tools and materials, let us go through the installation steps and process.

Step 1: Pick a Pattern

        In any tile installation process, the first thing you need to do is to determine the orientation and pattern you want. Take some of the tiles and lay them on the floor in different patterns. Also, try to experiment different grout spacing.

Image: Pick a Pattern.

Step 2: Measure and Mark Guidelines

        This step of installation requires that you commit yourself fully to careful measurements. Ensure that you calculate your area perfectly before cutting and selecting any tiles. This will help you know if you have enough wood look tile to get the job done. Also, measure the size of the tile. You will have an idea of the number of tiles that will lay across the room you intend installing the tiles in.
        Additionally, you need to ensure that the walls of the room are square. In case they are not, you will need to mark guidelines across the floor for you to have a good tile arrangement. The tools you can use for marking the guidelines is chalk. When you follow the guidelines, it will ensure that as you move across the floor, your pattern does not drift.

Step 3: Cut the Tiles

        You might need to begin with some cut tiles depending on your preferred pattern. The best tool to cut the tile is wet saw. This will prevent any aggravation and time wasting. If you don’t have it, you can rent. It only takes a few bucks. Use a pencil and a perfect square to mark a cut line on the tile and then push the tile through the cutting area in a slow way. This will ensure you make a perfect cut.

        You need to be careful when cutting the tile. Don’t force it by applying too much pressure. Just allow it to contact the blade and it will do the cutting work for you.

        Don’t cut lots of tiles at once. If you cut them in advance, you might end up losing lots of tiles in case you make a single miscalculation in your dimension. Cut the tiles as you need them. Just a few at a time so you can have an even and consistent pattern.

Step 4: Mix the Adhesive Mortar

        If you have an output power driver with cord and a mixing paddle, it is not a tough job to mix the mortar. If you want to save effort and time or you don’t have the right tool, you can purchase pre-mixed mortar. You can get it at the hardware stores but at an expensive rate.
        In case you want to mix the mortar yourself, follow the steps below:

  • Get a 5-gallon bucket and put a small amount of water in it
  • caret-right
    Put enough mortar inside the water
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    Stir the mortar and water using the mixer paddle. Ensure you start to stir slowly
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    As you stir add more water and mortar. This should be done a bit at a time. So you can mix with ease.

Image: Mix the Adhesive Mortar.

        You can stop as soon as you notice the water and mortar have mixed perfectly. Ensure the mixture gives you a result that looks like toothpaste.

Step 5: Spread the Mortar and Lay the Tiles

        Put the mortar on the floor starting with a section of the room. Don’t forget to be careful when applying it so as not to cover the chalk guidelines. When the chalk guidelines are exposed, you can use them as a guide. Spread the thin-set mortar on the floor. Use the trowel flat side. Then use the trowel notched side to double back over the thin-set mortar.

Image: Spread the Mortar and Lay the Tiles.

        Once you spread the thin-set mortar to a particular area start laying the tiles starting with the tiles you cut. Use the cut tiles at the corner of the room. People would not notice if the cut is hidden against the walls. To archive your desired spacing, you can use your eye to determine the grout lines or use grout spacers.
        During the laying of the tiles do not apply too much mortar on the floor. If there is a reason for you to stop the work ensure you don’t have the mortar on the floor. If you do, pack it back into the bucket. It is because the mortar can set up in 20 minutes and you wouldn’t want to give yourself an additional stress.

        It is easier to get off the floor when wet than when it is cured. Additionally, don’t forget you would need to tile yourself out of the room. So always work your way towards the exit. Don’t tile yourself to the corner. You will not be able to walk on the tiles for about 24 hours.
        Note: ensure that the edges of your tiles match well with each other and they are at the same level. It will not be the best if a floor that is supposed to be smooth and lat is elevated. To achieve the same elevation, apply more thin-set mortar to the back of the tile and if necessary remove some. 

Step 6: Let the Floor Dry and Grout In Between the Tiles

        Once you are done laying the tiles allow it to dry properly. You would need at least a day. To ensure nobody steps on the tiles you can barricade the door.
        As soon as the tiles dry, the next thing is to grout between the tiles. If possible, you can use sanded grout because it is more durable. However, if you need astonishing grout lines you might not need a sanded grout. Using the same method you used when mixing the mortar, mix the grout. Spread the grout evenly into the seams using a grout float.

Image: Spread the grout evenly into the seams using a grout float.

        Ensure that there are no sunken areas or gaps. Make sure you cover the spaces thoroughly. You can then sponge off the excess and wipe the tiles to make them clean. All these should be done between 10 minutes and 15 minutes.
        If there is any chunk of grouts on the tile face, get it off. If it dries it would be difficult to remove compared to when it is still wet. Before any intense cleaning is done, allow the grout to cure. It only needs 12 to 24 hours.
        Additionally, you can use a grout sealer if you like. It depends on the nature of the area. If it is a high moisture area, use it and if not it might not be necessary. 

Step 7: Make the Last Touchups

        No doubt, the face of the tiles might be cloudy after the grouts have dried. To clean it up, use white vinegar or warm water.


        Above are the steps on how to install wood look tile. We believe you will no longer have any problem installing the tiles yourself. Just ensure you follow each step mentioned carefully.
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Jessica Grace

Hey there! I am Jessica Grace - Main editor of I'm a writer about home improvement, kitchen, and bathroom, and hope to share with everybody. I have a passion for exploring and listening to music during my free time. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for!

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