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7 Common Tiling Mistakes to Avoid


The right tiles can add beauty, convenience, and style to your home. But tiling is no simple task, and even a minor error could spell disaster for the entire project. That’s why it’s so important to do a little homework before laying a single tile.

Here are the most common tiling mistakes to watch out for.

1. Not Ordering Enough Tiles


With any DIY project, it can be tricky to estimate exactly how much you’ll need of a given material. Getting it right is essential, however—and never more so than when ordering tiles.

If you end up with fewer tiles than you need, the whole job will have to come to a standstill until another batch arrives. Worse still, tile colors and designs can also vary significantly between batches, even if they’re supposed to be identical. You could end up having to finish the project with tiles that don’t match.

Always take the time to establish a reliable estimate for how many tiles you’ll need—and order an extra 10% just in case. Chips and cracks happen, and you want to know you’ll have what it takes to finish the job regardless.

It’s always better to have too many than not enough.

3. Not Preparing the Surface

Whether you’re tiling a floor, shower, or fireplace, not preparing the surface is one of the quickest ways to doom the final product. You could end up with crooked tiles, cracks, and lippage.

Always make sure that the surface is level and smooth. If necessary, fill in any gaps and sand down bumps or ridges. Do you have nails or screws protruding from the floor or wall? Be sure to get those out of the way.

Then, clean the surface thoroughly, wiping away any dust, debris, or liquids that could interfere with the adhesive. This will make the tiling process much easier and help keep the tiles in place longer.

4. Using the Wrong Adhesives

TilingMistakestoAvoid3.jpgDifferent tiles and surfaces call for different adhesives, and picking the wrong type could cause serious problems in the long run. Here are some of the options:

  • Waterproof adhesives are best for areas where the tiles may get wet. This is the ideal choice for tiling backsplashes, showers, bathtubs, and outdoor areas such as porches or patios.

  • Heat-resistant adhesives can be exposed to high temperatures without cracking. This is essential for tiling fireplaces or a recess behind a wood-burning stove.

  • Flexible adhesives should be used on surfaces that will move or flex over time, such as a wooden floor.

  • Rapid-set adhesives are designed to dry quickly and keep heavy or large tiles from slipping.

  • Ready-mix adhesives can be an easy, efficient choice for novice tilers, but you should only use these if you’re working with ceramic wall tiles.

5. Dotting and Dabbing the Adhesive

Once you have the right adhesive for your tiles, it’s important to apply it correctly. Some DIYers and contractors will “dot and dab” the back of the tile, usually at the center and corners.

This method seems like a great way to save time and money, but in reality, it’s just asking for trouble. Moisture can get into the gaps between the adhesive, wreaking havoc on the surface and loosening the tiles over time.

Always apply your adhesive evenly using a notched trowel.​

6. Eyeballing the Layout

One of the most common tiling mistakes you can make is putting too much trust in your ability to eyeball a straight line. You’d be surprised how easily your eyes can play tricks on you. And because it’s rare for walls and floors to be perfectly straight, using a skirting board or other existing feature as a guide could still leave you with wonky tiles.

Keep a level, chalk line, and straightedge on hand to guarantee a precise layout.

7. Grouting Too Quickly


The more time you spend on a tiling project, the more tempting it is to rush things. This is especially true when it comes to the final stage of the process: grouting.

Grout should never be taken lightly or treated as an afterthought. It’s the seal that prevents moisture and dirt from getting under your tiles, and if it isn’t applied properly, it can shorten the lifespan of your tiles.

Use a grout float to carefully spread the grout into every tile joint. Once you’re finished, let the grout dry for at least three hours before cleaning anything up.

Get Some Expert Help and Skip the Risks

Installing tiles is complicated, and it’s all too easy for something to go wrong. If you’d rather avoid these common tiling mistakes—as well as any others that might pop up—we can help.

At Downright Tile and Renovation, we have extensive experience installing, repairing, and replacing tiles for a wide variety of projects. Just contact us, and we’ll put our specialized skill set to work for you.


client Reviews

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Ann Butler

Cody was very professional, he was very good at advising us what would work well together. He showed up when he said he would , and never left a mess. We were under a time crunch , and Cody came through. The bathroom turned out beautiful. We are very happy with the end result.
We really appreciate all the hard work Cody and Trenton put into this job.

Stillwell, KS.

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James Pate

Downright Tile are true craftsmen. They take genuine pride in their work and make sure the customer is happy throughout the entire process. Some specifics from my experience:
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I couldn’t be happier with my experience. Would hire again without question.

Weatherby Lake, MO.

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Nicole Galemore

Our experience with DownRight Tile was exceptional. We hired DownRight to install glass subway tile for our kitchen backsplash and coffee nook. They were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. From the get-go, they answered my millions of questions quickly and thoroughly. They were on-time throughout the project. I would say our project was a bit more complicated due to using glass tile and having a 70+ year old home with warped walls that weren't square. They exceeded our expectations and now we are using them for our bath remodel!

Shawnee, KS.

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Patricia Landwehr

My husband and I contracted with Downright Tile and Renovations to tile our basement laundry room and bath. Our house is 100 years old and the basement floor is not flat in places. They were able to level it out before installing the tile. The walls are not perfectly square, so we had lots of discussion about the best way to lay the tile to minimize the issue. They were very professional, arrived when they said they would, cleaned up the area daily and did a great job installing the tile. My husband is an engineer and very picky and was very pleased with the work. We highly recommend them. They are true craftsmen.

Brookside, MO

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Donald White

Downright Tile and Renovations repaired a faulty installation of a tiled shower floor. The previous contractor did not know what he was doing and the floor leaked badly. Downright Tile was great to work with on the project and now the shower works great. They were responsive, on time and within reason on cost. They finished the job ahead of schedule.

Independence, MO

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Dan Welter

Downright Tile and Renovations were wonderful. They are true craftsmen. Easy to work with and the results are just what I wanted. I think their pricing is too low, but don't let them know till I call them again. Thanks.

Overland Park, KS

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Shanna Smith

We are so happy we found Downright Tile. They were able to give us a custom look using the products we preferred, including modern design elements like a linear drain. They were friendly, respectful, and communicative, and do everything they can to pass cost savings on to you. Their attention to detail is fantastic. We recommend them to everyone we can, and we plan to have them back for a project in the future!

Overland Park, KS

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Jon Sestak

I cannot speak highly enough about my tile experience with Downright Tile and Renovations. First of all I want to say that the attention to detail is fantastic. Our job took a little longer, but the overall product looked amazing once finished. Typically, I would expect a job to be rushed in our circumstances, but the attention to detail did not diminish as the project went longer than expected. Would give these guys six stars if possible.

Overland Park, KS

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Kiven Moise

Downright Tile and Renovations are very professional. They did an excellent job tiling my shower walls. If your up against the fence about a tile job give them a try you won't be disappointed.

Independence, MO

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Alexzis Thomson

Thank you, Downright Tile and Renovations, for the awesome tile work! You helped convert our nightmare shower into a working shower! We initially hired a family friend to tile our master shower and shower floor. Long story short, the shower floor was not set properly and did not drain the water. :( I found Downright Tile and saw they had a knack for tile (especially showers), and knew they were the right company for the job. They knew exactly what to fix and how to fix it PROPERLY. They came in and did the job fast and effective! I can't wait to use the shower and not have to use a squeegee every time I get out. Thank you again!!! I highly recommend!

Blue Springs, MO

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Brian Joy Wilhide

We hired Downright Tile to install new tile in our fireplace. Our old tile was pretty dull... we replaced it with Jinshan Coffee tile. They advised us as to the condition of the new tiles (some chipped, some cracked, etc.) and we were able to request a new batch before we start our bathroom tiling project. They were able to select some very nice tiles for the fireplace and it is quite beautiful now. As soon as we have our ducks in a row with the new tile, we will be happy to bring Downright Tile back to replace our bathroom tile.

Lenexa, KS

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Angie's List Customer Review

We hired Downright Tile and Renovations to re-tile two fireplaces and our master bath floor. We picked our floor tile and when it arrived, found a lot of surprises. It was the last tile of it's kind from the quarry and there was a lot of variety. Downright Tile came up with a unique design which made great use of the variety and the final product is truly beautiful. They also re-tiled our family room fireplace with the same tiles. They suggested stacked stone tiles for our bedroom fireplace. Both fireplaces were transformed from boring to beautiful. Downright Tile took on our project where others might not have. It required a lot of extra cutting of tiles. They enjoyed the challenge and we are very happy with the outcome. We would confidently hire them again for any future tile work.

Kansas City, MO

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Daniel J Lopez

I am very happy with my experience with Downright Tile and Renovations. They had great communication, explained everything well, were punctual, and kept the job site clean. The finished product is exactly what we were hoping for and the price was good. I would definitely recommend them for any tile jobs you have in the future.

Overland Park, KS

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Will Woodford

Downright Tile and Renovations were extremely helpful and fast. They solved problems created by other contractors so that I didn’t end up having to deal with it. Downright Tile are perfectionists from step 1, and will not leave you without an excellent result.

Shawnee, KS

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Imene McCoy

Prompt, professional and clean! I had the best experience- Downright Tile and Renovations were fast, efficient and made the whole process super easy!! I highly recommend them!

Kansas City, MO

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Madison Grace

Very nice work & very friendly guys

Kansas City, MO

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Angie's List Customer Review

Downright Tile and Renovations were excellent to work with. They clearly understand their craft. They were professional, clean, and conscientious. I'll hire them again when I need more tile work done and refer them to others.

Kansas City, MO

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Beverly Bellinger

The project went beautifully. There were several areas around the tub and where the tub meets the floor that needed to be re-caulked; Downright Tile noted wherever new caulk was necessary within the shower/tub area and took care of it all. The amazing difference is in the floor. White tile with white grout can become discolored and hard to clean after a decade. Now it looks as good as when first installed, plus they offered care tips to maintain it. They also very graciously looked at a couple of loose kitchen backsplash tiles and provided advice on those. They're meticulous, professional and probably something of perfectionists—color matching was of critical importance to them. Our minor restoration project was clearly unworthy of their talents. Their charge was exactly as estimated ($300 plus materials). Imagine what a wonderful job they'd do on a start-from-scratch tile installation! If I had another tile project, Downright Tile is the only supplier I'd call.

Kansas City, MO

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Angie's List Customer Review

We were very satisfied with Downright Tile and Renovations' services. They were very responsive via text and were able to schedule us quickly. We had a very positive experience working with Downright Tile and love our new tile. We highly recommend them and would use them again if we eventually need tile work again.

Kansas City, MO

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David Duffield

As a very competent DIYer, it has always been difficult for me to relinquish control and hire someone else to do work on my home. My past experiences with hiring contractors has always left me disappointed in the quality of workmanship and/or the professionalism of the contractor. I can honestly say that, for the first time, Downright Tile and Renovations have exceeded my expectations. The crew were professional, timely, and the level of craftmanship was exceptional. Downright Tile took the time to plan the layout of the tile so there were professional results. I couldn't be happier and will definitely use them again on other projects. Thanks Downright Tile for all of your efforts!

Overland Park, KS

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Dan Lopez

Our house sold opening weekend. I’m sure the bathroom was a key contributor. We’re in a brand new house now so we’re set but I will definitely pass along your info to anybody who is looking. You did great work.

Overland Park, KS

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James Densmore

We recently remodeled our basement bathroom. We had multiple bids and they were all about the same. We chose to go with Downright Tile and Renovations as they warrantied their work more than the competitors. We picked out the tile and materials and then Downright Tile installed. They were on time and finished the project as expected. They explained various things when asked. We would use Downright Tile for a future project.

Mission Hills, KS

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Anna Challacombe

We hired Downright Tile to re-tile our guest bathroom and they did a phenomenal job. We've never hired anyone with more integrity or attention to detail. They always showed up when they said they would, communicated expectations, did a really exceptional job on the tile itself, and went above and beyond to make sure we were happy with the finished project and that it met their exacting standards. I would highly recommend Downright Tile to anyone looking to have tile work done.

Merriam, KS

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