Tiling a Small Entryway

Take on a good beginning tile project by tiling a small entryway.


A small entryway is a good beginning tile project because it requires a straightforward application of basic skills. An entryway opens to many rooms; lay it out so it looks best from its most viewed perspective.


About 30 to 45 minutes per square yard to prepare floor and set tile

4-foot level, small sledge and cold chisel, right-angled grinder or belt sander (for wood floor), tape measure, chalk line, margin trowel, roller, notched trowel, straightedge, carbide scriber, utility knife, snap cutter or wet saw, nippers, masonry stone, grout knife, caulk gun, grout float, hammer, cordless drill, putty knife

Troweling, snapping with chalk line, setting tile, grouting with float

Repair structural defects

Bucket, thinset mortar, isolation membrane, tile, spacers, caulk, grout, rags, sponge, water, threshold and fasteners, backerboard and tape (for wood floor), foam backer rod

Step 1

Examine the entryway slab for high spots, depressions, cracks, and other defects. Work in sections with a 4-foot level and mark the defects. Fill depressions, level high spots, and roughen slick surfaces.

Step 2

"Bandage" each crack in the slab with an isolation membrane. Apply the adhesive with a roller, let it cure (follow the manufacturer's directions), and cover the adhesive with the membrane.

Step 3

Dry-lay tiles to test your layout, keeping small cut tiles to a minimum. Then snap a reference and as many layout lines as the pattern needs. Starting at the first row of field tile near the door, trowel on thinset.

Step 4

Set field tile first on the layout lines. Insert spacers as you go and check the sections with a straightedge to make certain they're straight. Clean excess mortar from the joints with a utility knife.

Step 5

When the mortar under the field tiles is dry, cut and set the edge tile. Round the cut edges with a masonry stone to give them a finished appearance. Clean the joints and caulk the joint at the wall.

Step 6

Let the edge tiles cure before you grout. Force grout into the joint with a grout float, let it set slightly, then scrape the excess off the surface. Clean the grout from the surface, and wipe off the haze with rags.

Step 7

If the threshold didn't require installation before the tile, install it now. Cut the threshold to fit the doorway, if necessary, and install it with fasteners recommended by the manufacturer.

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One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!