Always start from the centre of the room when laying ceramic or vinyl floor tiles. Prepare the surface first and then work from the point where two chalk guidelines bisect the room and intersect at right angles.

Lay one row of tiles – without adhesive – at right angles to one of the guidelines. If the gap between the last tile and the wall is less than half the width of a tile-by 25 mm 1 in or more – move the whole row away from the wall to leave a half-width tile gap: mark a new chalk line accordingly.

Repeat the procedure to establish the second row of tiles at right angles to the first, this time moving both rows back by half a tile width if the gap between the last tile and the wall is too small. Mark the second guideline, checking the right angle most carefully. With the two guidelines established on the floor, lay the tiles, covering one half of the room and then the other. Remember to leave a 3mm 1 in gap between ceramic tiles to allow for grouting. Apply the adhesive stage by stage.

To ensure that the rows are not distorted and will compact better. Lay the tiles in the shape of a triangle. Having laid one complete row against one of the guidelines fit the next row one tile shorter at each end. And so on until no more rows can be laid. Then start again in one quarter of the room, working outwards from one edge of the triangle, starting with the shortest possible row and progressing to the longest.

Repeat the procedure in the opposite corner and then on the other side of the guideline. Leave those border tiles that need cutting to the end.

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