Updated on March 7, 2023
How to Install Tile Using a Levelling System
A DIY ceramic tile installation is a great way to save some money, and you can keep things looking professional and make sure the floor is straight with a tile levelling system.
1Apply the Mortar
- 1.1Go through the steps up until Spread the Mortar in our guide on How to Lay Floor Tiles.
- 1.2Use the layout lines to spread mortar, using enough product to fill membrane gaps and covering the area of about 2 or 3 tiles at a time.
- 1.3To create ridges, rake through the mortar with the notched edge of a trowel. Orient all ridges in the same direction.
2Install Tiles and Clips
- 2.1Position a ceramic tile onto the mortar following the reference lines, and press down lightly.
- 2.2Wipe away excess mortar.
- 2.3Under each side of the tile, slip 2 levelling clips so they’re firmly set in the mortar. Position each clip 2-3” from the tile’s corners.
- 2.4As you position the next tile to the levelling clips, check that the clips’ feet have proper mortar coverage.
Larger tiles (12” or larger on any side) may require 3 clips per side. Make sure you purchase extra clips and wedges if needed. To help keep them in place when you press them into the mortar, we also suggest applying a fine, uniform coat of mortar on the back of these larger tiles.
3Insert the Wedges
- 3.1After you lay the next 2-3 tiles, take the levelling wedges then insert them, by hand, into the levelling clips.
- 3.2Set your levelling system pliers to the right length for the wedges.
- 3.3Gently use the pliers to push the wedges into the clips, bringing the surface of both tiles into flushed alignment.
- 3.4Insert the wedges until you feel resistance. The wedges need to be snug but not too tight so as not to snap the clips.
- 3.5Repeat the steps above for every tile.
- 3.6As you go through the process, wipe any excess mortar away from the clips, wedges, and joints.
- 3.7Let everything dry for the duration specified by the manufacturer guidelines, or for a minimum of 24 hours.
4Remove the Wedges and Clips
- 4.1After the mortar has dried, you can remove the clips and wedges.
- 4.2Take a rubber mallet and give a brisk tap, in the direction of the joint, to each clip and wedge. You could also use your foot.
- 4.3Use a utility knife and long-nose pliers to remove any remaining parts of the clip in the joint.
Save and keep the wedges for your next tiling project!
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