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I recently tiled my bathroom floor with 12" x 24" tile. I used 1/2" square trowel with thinset for large format tile, and also used leveling clips. As this is what most DIY tutorial instructed. I did not use mallet or level throughout the process.

After everything is dried and done, I put a chair on the bathroom floor and noticed that the chair would rock on it, as the tiles the chair legs rested on were at slight different heights. Now I am not planning to put desk and chair in my bathroom so I am okay with this, and since I cannot feel the unevenness or any lippage with my foot. However I assume this could be an issue if I am tiling a different space such as bedroom or basement, and furniture won't sit nicely on the tiled floor.

Would professionals be able to install a tiled floor perfectly flat? How would they even do that?

Any insights are welcomed, thank you.

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  • The floor under the tiles needs to be almost perfectly flat first. Tiles don't rock well on floors. Tiles need to be pressed down. Did you check the chair first for being level/even? Is the surface of the tile perfectly flat or does it have a texture?
    – crip659
    Oct 15, 2022 at 17:47
  • Be sure the test chair is actually flat before assigning blame to the tiling job.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 16, 2022 at 15:36

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it can be done. It helps if the the floor is level or close to it. The 1/2" trowel was the right choice for that size tile. I have always put a skim coat on the tile and used the trowel for spreading thinset on the floor. A 36" or 48" level is a must for leveling as is a mallet for the fine adjustments in leveling the tile. If the tile is glossy enough, reflections from light sources can help in the fine adjustments. Having a chair handy is another easy way to test the levelness.

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The answer from @JACK is spot on about the proper installation process.

Another issue, especially with large tile like your 12" x 24", is that often times the tiles themselves are not flat. This is most commonly found with the less expensive tile bought from the big box stores. They can be cupped or bowed or have curled edges. This makes it impossible for even the most skilled tile setter to lay perfectly flat.

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