Arrange the tiles outward from the center of the room. To get started, place a tile at each of the 4 corners where the wall lines intersect. Beginning at the center of the room rather than at the walls will prevent you from ending up with gaps or unsightly narrow tiles around the outer perimeter of the room. Symmetrical central tiles will also serve as an attractive focal point for the room.
Use spacers to separate each tile. After you lay down a tile, place a tile spacer at either end before putting down the next tile in the row. The spacers will ensure that your layout remains neat and even and that no 2 tiles are set too close together. Spacers also serve to show the minimum distance you’ll need to leave between each tile for your grout lines.
Tile spacers come in many different sizes. The amount of space you leave between tiles will depend on the look you’re trying to achieve, but 1⁄8 in (0.32 cm) spacers are standard for most flooring projects. Work your way toward the wall. Starting from the 4 central tiles, lay out the remaining tiles in a straight line until you reach the wall. Then, return to the center and work your way toward the opposite wall to form a single row.
Lay your tile in 2–3 ft (0.61–0.91 m) sections. The optimum size of each section will vary based on the dimensions of your tile. If you’re working with 12 in (30 cm) square tiles, your section groupings might be comprised of 2-3 tiles in each direction (for a total of 4-6 tiles per section).
If you need a visual aid to help you keep track of your sections, snap a series of chalk lines to clearly mark where each next group of tiles should go. Dry-fitting your tile in sections usually results in straighter, more precise grout lines. Be sure to complete 1 row before moving on to the next.