The Top Things to Know About Calgary Tile Installation

Tiles are truly one of the most beautiful materials homeowners can choose for updating floors and backsplashes. That is why Calgary tile installation is such a popular service—not to mention, a great way to increase your home's resale value. Available in a wide range of colors, materials, textures, shapes and sizes, your tile installation choices can turn an outdated home into one that is absolutely stunning.

If you’re thinking of completing a bathroom remodel by adding tile to the shower walls or getting rid of outdated carpets in favour of tiling, then you’ve come to the right place. At Mr. Handyman, we know all there is to know about tile installation. This blog will outline some of the common varieties used in Calgary, explain the basics about different types of grout, and give you the ropes for tackling a tile installation project on your own.

If you're not DIY-inclined, or don't have time to get down and dirty, then don't worry. We've also included a section outlining how the experts at Mr. Handyman of Calgary South can bring your tiling dreams to life. When you hire one of our skillful Calgary handyman experts, you can have peace of mind that the job will get done right the first time.

What are the Common Materials Used for Tile Installation in Calgary?

The world is truly your oyster when it comes to choosing the best material for your installation project. There are numerous options available to Calgary homeowners and businesses. Whether ceramic or a synthetic material like laminate, the options are endless when it comes to selecting colours and materials for your kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry rooms or hallway. To learn more about a few popular types of tile you can choose from, keep reading.


This is the most commonly used type of tile in Calgary homes. Ceramic tile can work well in any part of the house, including the bathroom and kitchen. This clay-fired material is very durable and water-resistant, making it perfect for areas of your home that have lots of foot traffic, such as foyers, mudrooms, and bathrooms. Also, it doesn't attract dust, dirt or allergens, making it very easy to clean.


Porcelain is actually a kind of ceramic, however it's made out of a finer clay and fired at a higher temperature. This makes the material harder, stronger, and even more water-resistant. Additionally, ceramic and porcelain tiles both come in a variety of sizes and colours. Since it's stronger than ceramic, porcelain tile tends to be at a slightly higher price point.


This material is very durable and doesn’t break, chip, or crack easily because it's quarried from a very strong stone. However, it does require a little extra maintenance. Slate needs to be sealed regularly to prevent staining, usually at least once a year. If you choose this material for your Calgary tile installation project, it gives your home a very luxurious look. However, since it is quite a heavy stone, installation is best left to the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Calgary South, as your subfloor may need additional support to bear its weight.


Available in a variety of naturally created colours, marble is a smooth and cool stone sourced from quarries all around the world. It exudes luxury and is a very beautiful, natural stone. However, despite its many aesthetic benefits, marble is quite a soft stone. This means that marble can be chipped and scratched easily. It's also very porous. If water is left too long on a marble floor or countertop, it could cause permanent damage. For this reason, it's best to avoid using marble in high traffic areas.

Laminate and Vinyl

Popular synthetic options, modern technology has made it so that laminate and vinyl tiles can look almost identical to their ceramic counterparts. Laminate flooring clicks together, whereas vinyl tiles require mortar to set, making laminate a simpler material to install. It's also highly scratch-resistant and durable. However, laminate can also buckle when exposed to significant moisture, such as from a leak or flood. Meanwhile, vinyl is made out of plastic. It's highly durable and water resistant. Either choice is a great option for many types of Calgary tile installation.

What are the Different Types of Grout Used for Calgary Tile Installation?

You might think that all grout is the same, but that is not the case. There are different types, and each one has its own particular uses. To learn the basic differences between the most common types of grout, and when to use them for your Calgary tile installation project, keep reading:

  • Unsanded: As suggested by the name, this type of grout is sand-free. It's very smooth and should be applied to vertical surfaces with joints that are less than 1/8” wide.
  • Finely sanded: Since this adhesive contains sand, it's much thicker and more durable than unsanded grout. However, for this reason it should only be used on horizontal surfaces. Sanded grout is best used when applied to floor tiles where the joints are 1/8” to 3/8” wide.
  • Quarry-type: This type of adhesive is made out of a coarser grade of sand than finely sanded grout. It is best used for joints that are 3/8” to 1/2” wide, and should only be used on horizontal surfaces, like the floor, for your Calgary tile installation project.
  • Epoxy grout: Made out of an epoxy resin and hardener, epoxy grout is highly resistant to stains and chemicals. It is also highly durable. This material is perfect for countertops, a kitchen backsplash, and other areas that are stained easily.

DIY Tile Installation in Calgary, AB

Are you curious about completing a Calgary tile installation project by yourself? Continue reading to discover our basic step-by-step process for laying a new floor.

Collect Your Tools and Materials

Before starting on your Calgary tile installation project, be prepared by gathering the following tools and materials:

  • A level
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hammer
  • Notched trowel or spreader
  • Tile cutter or saw
  • Plastic tarp
  • Safety mask
  • Rubber mallet
  • Chisel
  • Knee pads
  • Line chalk
  • Rubber float
  • Tape measure
  • Drill with bits
  • Floor scraper
  • Sponge
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Buckets
  • Tile
  • Grout
  • Spacers
  • Silicone caulk
  • Silicone sealer
  • Thinset
  • Membrane
  • Backer board

Prepare Your Subfloor for Installation

Now that you have your materials, it's very important to properly prepare your subfloor before beginning installation.

  1. Remove anything that might get in your way, such as furniture, toilets and vanities, as long as it can be safely removed.
  2. Block-off open doorways and windows with a plastic tarp. Wear safety goggles and a mask at all times to protect yourself against dust.
  3. Use a hammer and chisel or a drill to break up a section of the old flooring. After removing one piece, it'll be easier to get rid of the rest.
  4. Use a floor scraper to remove remaining thinset.
  5. Look at your subfloor. Is it wood or concrete?
  6. Make necessary repairs to your subfloor. Different materials require different repairs. Your floor should be even, thick, dry, and level. Cracks and dents in concrete floors will need to be patched properly. Wood subfloors may need planks replaced. In either case, it's imperative your subfloor is in good condition before continuing, or you risk damaging your newly laid flooring.
  7. Roll the membrane along the floor and cut it to shape where it hits your walls. Be sure to mark where it goes with chalk.
  8. Mix your thinset mortar according to the package instructions
  9. Use the flat side of a trowel to spread the mortar onto your subfloor. Then, comb it over with the trowel's notched side. Comb in one direction.
  10. Making sure the bottom of the membrane is face-down, carefully roll it over the mortar. Press it into the mortar using a wood float. You can check to see if it's sticking correctly by gently lifting a corner.
  11. Mark the floor where the tile should go. Find the room's centre and mark it clearly.
  12. Add a second layer of thinset mortar on top of your subfloor. This will hold all the tiles in place.


Once you’ve prepared your subfloor and added your top layer of mortar, it's time to get down to business and lay your tiles!

  1. Lay the first piece at the crossing of your reference lines. Gently press into the mortar.
  2. Place spacers along its corners.
  3. Continue laying tiles, working from the centre out and adding spacers as you go.
  4. Complete a three-foot by three-foot section and level it out by hammering gently with a rubber mallet. Use a level to ensure this section is straight.
  5. Clean as you go by removing any excess mortar with a damp sponge.
  6. Continue spreading thinset and laying tile in three-foot by three-foot sections. Ensure you use spacers and level each section before moving on.
  7. If you have to navigate around cupboards and doorways, or as you near the room's edges, use your cutter to create smaller pieces. Secure these pieces in remaining spaces. Be sure to use an edging strip along carpet, wood flooring and entry ways. Remember to keep a ¼-inch gap around the perimeter to allow for expansion.
  8. Allow the thinset mortar to dry for at least 24 hours. Do not walk on your new flooring.

Add Your Grout

Once your tiles have been laid and dried, the final step in your Calgary tile installation project is to apply grout to keep everything in place.

  1. Carefully remove spacers.
  2. Mix grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Use a rubber grout float to apply grout to the joints. Remove as much excess as possible.
  4. Let everything dry for 20-minutes, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Wipe away any excess grout by using a wet sponge and wiping in a circular motion. If needed, follow-up with a grout haze remover to clean any remaining residue.
  6. Allow everything to dry completely for at least 72 hours.
  7. After around three weeks, which is how long it will take for the grout to cure, apply a grout sealer to prevent stains and water damage. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Why Choose Our Calgary Tile installation Services?

If you're interested in completing a Calgary tile installation project by yourself, we hope this guide will help you get started. However, if DIY does not interest you, or you don't have time to get it all done on your own, then the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Calgary South are more than happy to help.

Tile installation can be a difficult task for anyone in Calgary, especially if you don't have a lot of home improvement experience. Preparing the subfloor is an especially important part of the process DIYers often overlook. If your subfloor is damaged, it can cause problems down the road. Our expert team always ensures we have the necessary materials to correctly prepare the subfloor.

Additionally, our team of highly skilled, experienced Calgary handyman pros will bring all the tools we need to complete your Calgary tile installation project. We will make sure the job gets done right the first time. Since we're the experts, we also know what installation steps are required for different materials. For instance, if you’re working with a heavy material like slate, we can ensure your floor has the necessary reinforcements.

Once we have professionally laid your tile, our team will also fill the grout lines and seal it. Since grout requires a few weeks to fully cure, we will come back and apply the sealant at that time. Customer satisfaction is always one of our top priorities, whether assisting with a bathroom renovation, installing a custom shower or redoing a kitchen floor.

Hire Mr. Handyman of Calgary South For Your Installation Project Today!

Are you ready to get started on your tile installation project with the help of the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Calgary South? Our team of experts are known for their dedication to high-quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We've helped homeowners in and near the Calgary area with all kinds of home improvements.

To get started today, we invite you to give us a call. Whether you need help with backsplash installation for a kitchen renovation or a bathroom flooring installation project, we look forward to making your dreams a reality with our Calgary handyman services.