How to Apply Tile Mortar

hands laying long tiles on mortar with tools
  • 5-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-3,000
What You'll Need
Tile mortar
Stirring paddle

Using tile mortar is essential when you are planning on installing tile. If you want to make the tile job look professional, you really want to make sure that you apply the mortar correctly. Here are the basics of how to successfully apply tile mortar.

Step 1--Getting the Mortar

Before you get started with your tile job, you are going to want to make sure that you have enough mortar and the right type of mortar. There are several different types of tile mortar that you could potentially purchase. For example, you could get a latex fortified mortar that works well to prevent cracking in the tile. Check with the flooring store in which you made your purchase to see what they would recommend.

You also want to make sure that you have enough to cover the area that you are going to install the tile in. As a general rule, you should be able to get about 100 square feet out of a large bag of mortar. However, depending on the size of the bag, this footage can vary. Typically, you will be able to read the side of the bar to determine how many feet it is going to cover. Buy the appropriate amount of bags for the job.

mixing mortar

Step 2--Mix the Mortar

Once you're ready to begin the job, you will need to mix up the mortar. For this portion of the job, you are going to need a large bucket and some water. Be sure to read the side of the mortar bag in order to determine how much water you are going to need. Pour the appropriate amount of water into your bucket. You will then need to pour a certain amount of mortar into the bucket as well. You can mix the mortar up in the bucket in a few different ways. You could use a large stirring spoon or the trowel in order to mix up the mortar. However, the easiest way is to get a stirring paddle that attaches to an electric drill and mix it up.

Step 3--Apply the Mortar

At this point, you can start applying the mortar. Depending on the job that you are doing, you may need to apply it to the back of the tile or onto the floor. With both methods, you are going to utilize your trowel. You should be using a v-notched trowel for this application. Tilt the bucket of mortar and then use your trowel to get some of it out onto the floor.

You will then angle your trowel and push the mortar away from you in an even motion. You will need to spend some time making sure that the mortar is completely level and even on the floor. If you are applying it to the back of the tile, make sure that you are not using too much mortar. Spread it onto the back of the tile, and you can then place the tile onto the surface.