Applying large format tiles for an elegant look? While it looks great, laying the large format tile needs expert help. Here’s how you can do it effectively.

If you see modern interiors, the use of large format tiles is rising, providing an elegant and rich look compared to standard tiles. But while this can look spectacular, large format tile installation cost is usually extremely high, and installing large format tiles on drywall can be tricky.

In this article, we will touch upon the multiple facets of installing large format tile on walls, showers, floors, or other surfaces and how to get the installation done correctly:

Installing Large Format Tiles on Different Substrates

In this section, we will go over the key question on how to lay large format tiles for both floor and wall surfaces:

How Do You Install Large-Format Floor Tiles? How Should the 12×24 Tile Be Laid?

If you are wondering how to lay 12×24 tile on the floor or large tiles, here is a look at the process that you will need to follow:

  • First, you need to ensure that the floor is even or flat. Next, the substrate and tiles need to be perfectly aligned, as even a tiny gap or rough surface can lead to the tiles being dislodged over time.
  • Once the surface is levelled, you need to use a suitable adhesive, which is ideal for a large format tile installation. Heavy or large tiles require suitable thick or non-slip adhesives for the best installations.
  • Lastly, start putting the tiles in place, and use a compatible grout near the joints to ensure they stay in place. Since these tiles are heavy and cover a larger surface, the grout needs to be strong enough and not develop cracks or lose its adhesive properties in the long run.

Where Do You Start When Tiling a Large Floor?

Wondering how to lay large floor tiles on concrete or any other floor? The point at the room’s centre is where you should ideally start tiling and complete each row so that by the time you reach the final row, you are aware of how much space is left and the dimensions in which the last tile needs to be cut.

How Do You Install Large-Format Wall Tiles? How Do You Get Your First Row of Tiles Straight?

Large-format tiles can also enhance the look of a wall in a bathroom, kitchen, and other areas. The process for installing large format tiles in a shower wall, kitchen wall, or any other wall is as follows:

  • First, determine the layout or pattern for laying the tiles.
  • Next, level the wall surface, and do not forget to seal the tiles before installation (especially if you use stone tiles that should be protected from staining due to mortar during installation).
  • Once this is done, you need to plan the tile placement. You will need to plan the right area from where you will begin the process and ensure that the tiles are perfectly aligned and straight. Next, draw rough layouts on the wall to know where to place each tile.
  • Now, start mixing the mortar and cut the tiles for use. For a wall or especially wet surface, the mortar and adhesive mix need higher bond strength and resistance to sagging or water absorption. Epoxy Tile Grouts and adhesives are the perfect options for this requirement.
  • Once the tiles and the mortar are ready, start laying the tiles as per your plan. Ensure the tiles are level and placed in the right area to avoid any gaps.
  • After grouting, check the tiles and clean the surface with a wet sponge to get a clean finishing and remove any excess grout right off.

Do Large Format Tiles Need to Be Back Buttered?

Back buttering is the process of spreading the bond coat on the backs of ceramic tiles before being placed and helps to make the installation more robust and secure. However, it is not always necessary, and using a proper grout and mortar can also ensure that the large format tiles stay in place effectively.

How Do You Stagger Large Tiles?

To ensure that large format tiles stay in place and do not experience slippage, they should be designed in a pattern that does not exceed a 33% stagger, i.e., when placing tiles, three adjacent tiles should meet in a way that they cover 33% surface with adjacent slides. This is ideal instead of the 50% or higher stagger patterns.

Do Large Tiles Crack Easier?

Although larger tiles can be prone to cracking, especially when set on a floor surface, a large but thick tile is more robust and, in fact, ideal for floors instead of small tiles. In addition, the larger surface covered ensures that the tiles do not come off easily and last you longer.

Which Way Does a Large Format Tile Go?

Large-format tiles can be laid vertically or horizontally, depending on the preference and length of the room. For smaller rooms, it is wise to lay the tiles vertically to give the illusion of the length being more, while applying them horizontally gives the impression that the room is wider.

Are Large Tiles Harder to Install?

Although installing large format tiles on drywall or floor is tricky, the larger surface covering the process is much simpler and can be completed faster than smaller tiles. The larger tile requires levelling on the four sides, while the smaller tiles need you to keep repeating the process and take up a lot of time.

Do You Need Special Mortar for Large Tiles? How Thick Should Mortar Be for Large Format Tile?

Since large format tiles are heavier and cover a larger surface than a standard tile, the mortar needs to have a minimum of 3/32″ thickness on the surface and a maximum of 1/2″ once the tile is placed. Therefore, we recommend the MagicBond Tile Adhesive Superflex, which is ideal for large tiles and suitable for both external and internal floor tiling.