How to Lay Terracotta Tiles

Written by ashley kurz
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How to Lay Terracotta Tiles
Terracotta tiles add an earthy feel to a room. (Footprints in Tile image by bnstrong from

Terracotta tiles can really refresh and add a natural feeling to any room in your home. Planning a new floor requires time and consideration, but it does not need to cost you a lot of money. By buying the materials and doing the job yourself, you can save the cost of hiring a flooring contractor. You will need to learn how to lay the tile and complete the floor from start to finish.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tiles
  • Utility tub
  • Cotton dust sheets
  • Cement mix
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Sand
  • Tile cutter
  • Trowel
  • 12-mm tile spacers
  • Grout
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Soak your tiles in water for a half hour before beginning your project to prevent the spongelike material of terracotta from dehydrating the cement and grout. To do this, place the tiles in a clean utility tub and fill it with fresh water.

  2. 2

    Place the tiles in a clean area of the room and lay a cotton dust sheet over them to protect them from dust and debris.

  3. 3

    Mix your concrete according to package instructions to make 1 gallon inside of a 5-gallon bucket.

  4. 4

    Fill the rest of the bucket with sand (4 gallons) and mix the sand into the cement thoroughly.

  5. 5

    Lay the edge tiles, upside down, along any walls or other barriers where they need to be cut to fit against to mark off the lines that must be cut. Mark the lines with a pencil. Laying them upside down will avoid permanent pencil marks in the top of the tile.

  6. 6

    Use your tile cutter to cut all of the tiles that you marked.

  7. 7

    Spread your cement and sand mixture over the area to be tiled. To do this, scoop the mixture out of the bucket with a trowel and spread it over the area about 20mm thick.

  8. 8

    Lay your edge tiles along the edges of the area first so you can match your cuts with the walls. Start with the corners.

  9. 9

    Place 12-mm tile spacers at the corners of each tile you place, before placing the next tile. Finish the entire floor this way and remove the tile spacers.

  10. 10

    Apply pre-mixed grout along all of the spaces in between tiles. Wipe away the excess grout that gets on the tiles with a sponge and water. Allow the grout to dry for 24 hours before using the floor.

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