31 May 2023, Read Time : 7 Min

Most Common Tile Installation Problems – Tips and Solutions

broken floor tile

Tiles have become a highly sought-after way of adding style and functionality to any space in your house and other buildings whether interior or exterior. Both wall tiles and floor tiles can not only enhance the style quotient of your space, but can also add a lot of durability, functionality, and aesthetic value to it. Walls tiles, for instance, can be used in the form of tiled accent walls, kitchen backsplash, and bathroom walls, and many more uses. Similarly, floor tiles can be used in patterns and designs to create a beautiful floor space.

Both wall tiles and floor tiles need to be installed correctly as there are many potential problems that can arise in the process and after that can prove to be quite frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive to fix. Even if you do hire a professional to install the tiles, it is necessary for people to know about the common issues that may come up in the process and how to solve these issues. 

Here will discuss some major and common tile installation problems and provide some tips and solutions that can be used to avoid them. 

1. Surface Issues

person installing wall tiles

Problem: A common problem that may be seen during tile installation, whether on the floor or on walls, is uneven and rough surfaces. If the floor or the wall is not level or flat, this may lead to uneven installation and sitting of tiles, which in turn may lead to bulging and gaps between the tiles that look ugly. Such laying of tiles is temporary as you may run into many different problems in a short time. An uneven base can cause problems such as lippage in which an edge of the tile is installed higher than the edge next to it.  This can be dangerous and may lead to tripping while walking on the floor. Other than functional problems, it also makes the laying look bad and unattractive. 

Solution: Prepare the wall and floor surfaces properly and make them as smooth and even as possible before you decide to install tiles. The surface should ideally be free of any cracks, debris, or bumps, and should be made as level as possible. You may use patching materials, and levelling compounds, and may even try grinding to make the surface smooth and levelled.

2. Incorrect Cutting

cutting tiles with machine

Problem: Not all surfaces are completely symmetrical and empty and you may have to cut the tiles to fit them around fixtures, outlets, and corners. This can be quite a difficult and tricky task that requires a lot of precision and skills to perform. Incorrectly cut tiles will lead to uneven edges and ugly-looking gaps.

Solution: Instead of using some random tools to cut the tiles, use a wet saw or a tile cutter to cut the tiles. Instead of cutting your expensive tiles directly, practice on spare and useless tiles so that you are confident enough to handle the ‘real deal’.

3. Grout Lines


Problem: A major problem that is often seen in the case of tiles and tile installation is uneven grout lines. Grout is the material that is used to fill the gaps between tiles so that they look good and have an attractive and long-lasting finish. Uneven lines can make the installation look bad. This problem happens when the tiles are not spaced in a proper way or when the grout is not applied in an even manner. If grout is not applied properly, it may lead to staining, chipping, and cracking, among other issues.

Solution: It is necessary to ensure proper and consistent grout lines. For this, you may use a grout float to apply the material. Once the grout has been applied, you can wipe the excess off using a damp sponge. The grout lines must be straight and consistent. Ensure that there are no gaps between the tiles and that there is no extra grout on the surface of the tile. Do not walk (in the case of the floor) on the tiles until the grout is completely dry. If your grout comes with instructions, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the ‘T’. 

4. Incorrect Gaps and Spacing

person filling tiles gap

Problem: Another major issue that is quite common during the installation of tiles is incorrect and haphazard spacing. Placing tiles too close or too far away can be detrimental to the overall look and health of your tiles. Extremely wide space will make the grout lines look ugly and may even lead to grout cracking, which in turn will lead to damage to the tiles. If the tiles are placed too close to each other then the tiles will look cramped and will lead to an unattractive and crowded look. 

Solution: Inspect for gaps and keep everything straight. Look for spaces between the tiles while laying down the tiles. A proper installation will have no gap between the tiles and the adjacent surfaces. Do ensure to keep the side and corner walls clean.

You may use tile spacers to create a proper balance. For this, do follow the instructions as laid down by the manufacturer. The size of the tile spacers should be according to the size of the tiles and the grout. 

5. Appearances are NOT Deceptive

Nowadays, tiles are available in a variety of designs such as Moroccan
, stone, checkerboard, brick, etc. All these look amazing, and you can use them in any way you want. If you use the tiles in a coordinated manner, you can create different and unique designs that will reflect your artistic style. Keep the edges of ceramic tiles sharp and avoid any broken corners as they may not only bring down the aesthetic value of the laying but may also prove to be risky, especially on floors. Do not mix patterns in a haphazard way otherwise, your floor or wall will end up looking chaotic and not so appealing. 

Remember, once tiles are laid, it is almost impossible to relay them without running into extra expenses, this is why using a service such as TriaLook can prove to be immensely beneficial. 

6. Poor and Improper Adhesive Application

person applying proper adhesive on tiles

Problem: Both excessive and too little usage of adhesive is bad while laying tiles. This can lead to unevenness and tile slippage. Another adhesive-related problem can occur when the tiles are not pressed firmly in the adhesive or when the adhesive mixture is not prepared properly. Proper adhesive coverage is important so that the tiles are installed well on the concrete slab or the subfloor. 

Solution: Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of the adhesive as closely as possible. Only use adhesives that are suitable for the tiles that you are planning to install. Use a trowel of appropriate notch size to apply the adhesive in an even manner. The size of the trowel depends on the size of your tile and its type. 

7. Loose and Cracked Tiles

loose and cracked floor tiles

Problem: Loose or cracked tiles are problems caused by improper spacing or lack of adhesive while laying the tiles. Not levelling the floor while laying the tiles can also be a cause for such problems.

Solution: Level floors are the best way to ensure clean laying of tiles. Using spacers and the right amount of adhesive helps in holding the tiles together for a longer time. To make up for any such mishaps, it helps to buy 10% more tiles when ordering the tiles.

8. Lack of Workmanship 

It often happens that the floor laying technicians in charge might not have adequate knowledge in laying tiles. This is more so the case when it comes to specific tiles such as the Orientbell Granalt tiles or any other large format tiles. Poor workmanship can cause air bubbles to form and lead to long term weakness in the flooring. It is best to check the experience of the technical team and seek advice from experts in this. 


Installing tiles – whether on walls or floors is a complex process in which a lot of skill and attention to detail is required. There are many different problems that may arise during the installation and after. If these problems are avoided, your space will look amazing and will also be highly functional. Keeping these problems and their solutions in mind, you will be able to achieve a great look and a highly functional space. You just need to focus on making a good first impression and using the right products and tools for the same. 

Watch the best way to lay tiles

How Can Orientbell Tiles Help You?

Orientbell Tiles has a large collection of tiles for the floor as well as walls that are available in a variety of designs, patterns, sizes, materials, and colours. These can be mixed and matched together to create a stunning look. Just apply them properly using the tips mentioned in this article and you will be good to go. To make tile selection an easy job, do check TriaLook – a tile visualisation tool on the website. 




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Mannika Mitra

Mannika Mitra is an Arts Graduate from the Delhi University & a Post-Graduate Diploma holder in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has worked as a digital producer with new agency; ANI, NDTV & Hindustan Times before joining Orientbell Tiles as a part of their digital and content marketing team. Her interest in interior design and knowledge of tiles comes from her family of architects and Tile Shop owners. In her quest to write useful blogs that help users pick the right tiles and renovation inspiration, she frequently does research with architects, tile dealers among others. Apart from writing content for the website she loves to travel, know about various cultures and binge watch on OTT platforms.

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