Laying Wooden Mosaic Floor Tiles

Wooden mosaic tiles are manufactured panels made up of blocks of wood in a basket weave pattern. Solid or veneered, they are designed to be easy for the amateur to lay.

After you have bought the tiles, unwrap them and leave them for at least two days in the room where you plan to lay them. This allows the wood to ‘condition’, or adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room.

laying wooden mosaic floor tilesMosaic tiles can be laid in any room — they are designed to be multi-purpose — but it is essential that the surface is properly prepared: it must be clean, dry and level. For best results on floorboards, cover them with hardboard (masonite).

Most mosaic tiles are already sanded and sealed. If you buy unfinished tiles, sand them after laying. After I or 2 weeks, apply three or more coats of the appropriate sealant to protect.


Establishing a Starting Point

Tiles are laid from the midpoint outward, so the first task is to find the central point of the room. Stretch a chalked string from the midpoints of two opposite walls and snap it to transfer a chalked line to the floor.

Repeat this with the other two opposite walls, and you have established the central point of the room — the point where the two lines cross. Dry lay the first tile here, and then dry lay further tiles along each chalk line until you reach the edges.

If there is a small gap (less than half the width of a tile) left at the margin, adjust the starting point. Remember to leave a margin of 1cm / 1/2in around the perimeter of the room as an expansion gap.

* It is advisable to have a bowl of warm water and a rag to hand, so you can clean off adhesive that gets on the tiles or on your hands.

Keep any extra tiles. In time, some of the floor tiles may become damaged and it might be necessary to replace them. This can be done relatively easily by cutting around the damaged tiles and lifting them using a chisel. Scrape off any adhesive from the hole and glue new tiles in position.


Materials and Equipment

• mosaic tiles

• adhesive

• notched spreader

• string and chalk

• wooden batten

• trimming knife

tenon saw

• cardboard hammer and panel pins (brads)

• wood moulding or cork strips

• sander, if necessary

• sealant, if necessary



laying wooden mosaic floor tiles 1-61. Establish a starting point by using chalked lines as guides (see main text). Dry lay tiles.

2. Using a trowel or notched spreader, apply adhesive to the floor and lay tiles from centre outwards.

3. To fill gaps, place a whole tile squarely over the last one in the row. Then place another tile over the top, butting it up against a 1cm/1/2in wooden batten (to allow for the expansion gap) held against the skirting board (baseboard). Using the opposite edge of this top tile as your guide, mark a cutting line on the central tile of the ‘sandwich’.

4. Try to arrange the tiles so that at least some trimming is along the edges of the ‘fingers’ of the wood. This means you have only to cut through the backing with a trimming knife.

5. When you have to cut through the wood, use a tenon saw and cut face upwards.

6. To fit around a doorway, cut away part of the architrave and slide a complete tile underneath. Otherwise make a template or pattern out of cardboard and transfer the shape onto the tile. Cut with a padsaw (keyhole saw).

7 To fit tiles around a pipe, cut through the backing to separate the fingers of wood that will be affected. Mark the shape on cardboard and cut out.

8. The expansion gap is a margin of about 1cm / 1/2in around the perimeter of the room which gives the wood space to expand. It can be covered by nailing wooden mouldings to the skirting board with panel pins. Mitre the joins at the corners.

9. Alternatively, fill the gap with cork strip. Secure with adhesive.

03. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Flooring | Tags: | Comments Off on Laying Wooden Mosaic Floor Tiles


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