Installing tile in a home is often more detailed than many homeowners realize, even if you use a peel-and-stick tile type that doesn't involve added grout or adhesive. One simple mistake can mean uneven tiling that looks crooked, bubbles or sags, or comes loose not long after the tiles are installed. To ensure your floor tile looks its best, note some common mistakes you'll want to avoid, and remember that it's always worth calling a professional tiler if you know the job is too complicated for you to handle properly.

Unprepared surfaces

The surface on which you're setting tile should be level and even, free of any old grout, and thoroughly cleaned. You may need to use a sander to remove old adhesive, or apply a sheet of plywood on the home's subfloor to create a level surface. If you're putting new tile over the old tile, clean it with rubbing alcohol, to remove any surface dirt. This will ensure a solid and clean surface that will hold the new tile properly.

Too much adhesive

Adding too much adhesive or grout it not a good thing, as many homeowners mistakenly think; even extra dots of adhesive to the corners should be avoided. This is because adhesive shrinks as it dries, and then puts added pull on the tile, causing it to crack prematurely. Dotting the corners with added adhesive can also cause the tiles to pull away from each other, creating gaps between them, which is very unsightly.

Not using guides

Unless you're putting new tile on top of old tile, you want to use guides as you work. Don't assume that the shape of the tile itself will be enough to ensure it's set properly, as even the smallest bit of difference in grout, or one tiny shift from a row of tiles, can result in tiles that don't sit evenly against the wall, or that drift from each other. This can be very noticeable when all the tile is installed, so always use battens or guides when setting the tile into place.

Wrong adhesive

When adding tile to a bathroom, laundry room, or any room where there will be excess moisture and humidity, use waterproof adhesive. Standard grout may be too porous to withstand the added water of a bathroom or other such space, and may start to lose adhesion. Check the adhesive you use rather than assuming they're all the same, and use what's needed in the room where you'll be installing the tile, for a quality adhesion that lasts.