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How to Tile Over a Leveled Wood Floor

by Mia Carter

Tile flooring

Things You Need:

  • Floor tiles
  • Vinyl tile spaces
  • Tile cutter
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Chalk-line tool
  • Quick-setting mortar
  • Mixing bucket
  • Mixing stick
  • Grouting compound
  • Trowel with both toothed and smooth edges
  • Spray bottle
  • Rags

Once your wood sub-floor has been properly secured, sealed and leveled, you are ready to begin the tiling process. Whether you are using slate or ceramic, mosaic or hex tile flooring, this article will guide you through the step-by-step process of how to tile over a leveled wood floor.


  1. Measure each wall. Use chalk to mark the center point of each wall. Extend a chalk-line tool between the center points of each set of opposing walls and snap the chalk-covered string to create a chalk line on the floor.

  2. The tiles must be laid from the center of the room moving out toward the walls. Place a vinyl tile spacer over the chalk "X" and position four floor tiles at the very center of the room, arranged around the tile separator.

  3. Move the tile spacer and two of the tiles aside. Apply a thin layer of fast-setting mortar to the floor using the toothed edge of a trowel.

  4. Press the two tiles into the mortar and put the spacer in place. Use the other two tiles as a guide for the alignment, and then apply mortar under the other two tiles and press them into place.

  5. Tile the rest of the room by moving out toward the walls. The tiles may need to be cut using a tile cutter in order to fit at the very edges of the room.

  6. Allow the mortar to fully set. Wait for 24 hours (or longer, if indicated on the mortar packaging) and avoid walking on the tiles during this time.

  7. Mix water and grouting compound in a bucket. Use a trowel to apply the grout to the spaces between the tiles by sweeping the trowel diagonally across the tile.

  8. Immediately wipe away excess grout with a wet rag. If necessary, use a spray bottle with water to keep the grout moist while cleaning off the tile.

  9. Allow the grout to fully set. Wait for 24 hours (or longer, if indicated on the grout packaging). After the grout has set, the floor is ready for normal use.

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