How to Lay 18 Inch Tile


Large format tiles, or tiles over 16-inches, are being used more frequently than ever before. A large format tile in 18-inches can make a room appear larger, minimize grout lines and give a room a clean, modern look.

When installing 18-inch tiles, the substrate must be completely level. Self-leveling compounds are the fastest way to ensure that the substrate is flat enough for the large tiles to avoid lipping and cracking over time.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-leveling compound
  • Tile saw
  • Trowel
  • Thin set
  • Wooden mallet
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Grout sponge
  • Check the substrate to make sure it is free of any debris. Pour a self-leveling compound onto the substrate. The compound seeks out hills and valleys in the floor, and level them off, leaving the substrate level. Allow this compound to dry for 24 hours.

  • Lay out the 18-inch tiles directly on to the substrate to check fit. Lay the first tile in the center of the wall, furthest from the door and evenly out to each side, leaving cut tiles on the edges.

  • Cut the tiles to fit on a tile wet saw and return them to the dry-fit to ensure proper layout before installing.

  • Lay the tiles in the pattern determined by spreading thin set mortar onto the substrate. Rake the thin set with the trowel held at a 45-degree angle to produce deep ridges that are uniform in height. Press each tile into the thin set and tap it in with a wooden mallet, until each tile is level.

  • Allow the thin set to dry for 24 hours after installation of the tiles. Grout the tiles by pushing the grout between them with a grout float, wiping up any excess grout with a damp, grout sponge. Allow the grout to dry for an additional 24 hours.


  • Photo Credit tile installation image by Greg Pickens from
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