How to Level Tiles

Every time you lay tiles there is one main goal that should be on the top of your list, leveling. When it comes to learning how to level tiles there really isn’t a whole lot to it. Leveled tiles are easier to maintain and look a lot better. Tiles are leveled during the installation process.  To successfully level them you will need to do 2 things. The first is preparing the tiled surface, creating a level surface before laying the first tile. The second is in leveling the tile as you lay it. These steps are explained further below.

Begin by dragging a long level across the surface to be tiled, watching the bottom of the bar for rises or dips. Mark these areas.

Once you have found all of the dips and rises, fill the dips in the surface with wood putty for wooden surfaces or a self-leveling compound for concrete surfaces. Allow the putty or compound to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Level the high points with a sander or concrete grinder. Remove any debris left from the leveling process, sweeping it away with a broom or wiping walls or countertops with a cloth.


Once your subsurface is level, spread the adhesive over the tiling surface and then place your tiles as desired. Use spacers if creating joints, or push tiles closely together for a more seamless look.

Place a carpenter’s level across adjacent tiles. Level the tiles that are too high by placing a plank across them, and lightly tapping the tile into place with a rubber mallet. Level the tiles that are too low by prying up the tile while the adhesive is still wet, and placing additional adhesive under the tile.


Another quick and easy way to level stubborn tiles is to use a set of tile leveling wedges (pictured above).  These are great tools used even by the most skilled tile craftsman.  For detailed instructions on how to use the wedges, click on the picture above, or click on the link below!

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