What Direction Should You Lay Tiles for an Even, Symmetrical Floor?

When taking on a DIY bathroom renovation, swapping out old tiles for new styles can make a big difference in the overall efficiency and appearance. With the right equipment, even a beginner can cut and lay tile. Knowing where to start can be challenging if you do not have experience in a flooring installation project. To get your tile floor to lay even and symmetrically, starting in the right place and moving in the most effective direction is key. Depending on the type of tile you choose, how big the room is, and whether you are working with straight walls or tricky angles, there are different factors to consider when deciding which direction to lay your tiles. In this blog, we will discuss the best direction and methods for laying bathroom tile floors during a DIY renovation.

installing a tile floor during a diy bathroom renovation to save money and use rental tools

Tools You Will Need to Cut & Lay Tile Floor On Your Own

To lay a tile floor, you will need specific equipment and tools to get started. These include:

Tile Saw

A tile saw is a hand tool used to cut tiles of different shapes, sizes, and densities. Its sharp cutting wheel scores the surface of the tile, which can then be broken along the scored line. At Tri-Rent-All, we have 7-10″ tile saws available for rent in New Hampshire. With the right size tile saw you can achieve clean and precise cuts to lay an even floor.


A trowel is a flat, rectangular tool used to spread adhesive onto the surface before laying down tiles. The notches on the trowel’s edge create ridges in the adhesive, which help create proper coverage and seal the bond between the tile and base. Choosing a trowel with the right size notches for your tiles and adhesive is important.

Tile Floor Stripper

If you need to remove old, outdated tiles before installing new ones, a tile floor stripper can make the job much easier. This tool is designed to remove tiles quickly and efficiently without causing damage to the subfloor. If you live near Hampton, New Hampshire, we offer rentals from 4 hours to 4 weeks on EDCO Tile Sharks. To learn more and get a pricing estimate, visit us online or call 603-926-2211.

When it comes to actually laying and filling in the tile, you will also need:

  • Tile Spacers
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Level
  • Grout Sealer

Should You Lay Tile from the Perimeter & Work Inwards?

Laying tile from the perimeter and working inwards is a commonly recommended method for achieving a professional-looking tile floor. This approach allows you to make any necessary adjustments as you go and ensures that the tiles are evenly spaced and aligned. It is important to note that if you choose this method, you will need to be mindful of your specific tile pattern and design to ensure everything lines up correctly.

Does Laying Tile from the Center & Working Outwards Create a More Even Floor?

While some professionals will recommend laying tile from the perimeter and working inwards, others will argue that starting from the center and working outwards is a better approach for achieving an even floor. This method involves finding the center of the room and laying down tiles in a grid pattern, gradually working your way toward the edges. While this may be more time-consuming, it can result in a smoother and more symmetrical finish.

Lay Tiles Before Adding Sealant to Check for Any Issues

Before officially installing the tiles, it is a good idea to lay them all out before adding the adhesive. This will allow you to check for any potential issues, such as uneven tiles or gaps, that may need to be addressed before moving forward. Make sure to account for any spaces from the grout or molding when laying out the tiles, as this will affect the overall look of the finished floor.

How to Lay Intricate Tile Patterns Symmetrically

For more intricate tile flooring patterns, placing the center tile first and then working outwards can make your finished result symmetrical across the room. By doing so, you can see the entire pattern take shape as you work, ensuring that the design stays evenly distributed and aligned.

Rent Tile Floor Removal & Installation Equipment in Hampton & Portsmouth, New Hampshire with Tri-Rent-All

If you are planning a bathroom renovation, a new kitchen backsplash, or simply want to update your flooring, Tri-Rent-All offers an extensive selection of tile floor removal and installation equipment for rent in Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We offer everything from floor edgers to sanders that can help make your DIY tile installation process easier and more efficient. To learn more and schedule your rental, visit our website and submit an online request form!

View Portsmouth, NH Inventory

View Hampton, NH Inventory