How to Tile a Small Entryway

Try your hand at tiling with this small project perfect for beginners. After this, you'll want to tile your kitchen, too!

A small entryway is a good beginning tile project because it requires a straightforward application of basic skills. Plus, an entryway is the first impression guests have of your home, so you want it looking fresh and sharp. This project will take you about 30 to 45 minutes per square yard to prepare the floor and set tile. If you have no prior experience with tiling, you'll learn a lot of valuable skills in this project. Let us walk you through the steps in our instructions below. 

  • Start to Finish 6 Hours
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Easy
  • Involves Tiling, Cutting Tiles, Grouting

What you need


  • 4-foot level
  • Small sledgehammer and cold chisel
  • Right-angled grinder or belt sander for wood floor
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalkline
  • Margin trowel
  • Roller
  • Notched trowel
  • Straightedge
  • Carbide scriber
  • Utility knife
  • Snap cutter or wet saw
  • Nippers
  • Grout knife
  • Caulk gun
  • Grout float
  • Hammer
  • Cordless drill
  • Putty knife
  • Bucket
  • Thinset mortar


  • Masonry stone
  • Isolation membrane
  • Tile
  • Spacers
  • Caulk
  • Grout
  • Rags
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Threshold and fasteners
  • Backerboard and tape for wood floor
  • Foam backer rod

How to do it

Step 1 Even Out Surface

Examine the entryway slab for high spots, depressions, cracks, and other defects. Work in sections with a 4-foot level and mark the defects. Fill depressions, level high spots, and roughen slick surfaces.

Step 2 Apply Membrane

Bandage each crack in the slab with an isolation membrane. Apply the adhesive with a roller, let it cure (follow the manufacturer's directions), and cover the adhesive with the membrane.

Step 3 Set Layout

Dry-lay tiles to test your layout, keeping small cut tiles to a minimum. Then use a chalk line to snap a reference and as many layout lines as the pattern needs. Starting at the first row of field tile near the door, trowel on thinset in a smooth and even manner. 

Step 4 Begin Laying Tile

Set field tile first on the layout lines. You will do edge tile last. Insert spacers in-between each tile as you go and check the sections with a straightedge to make certain they're straight. If they're not, adjust as needed before thinset dries. Clean excess mortar from the joints with a utility knife as you go. 

Step 5 Lay Edge Tile

When the mortar under the field tiles is dry, it's time to lay the edge tile. Mark and cut the tile as needed. Round the cut edges with a masonry stone to give them a finished appearance that blends into the full tile. Spread mortar and lay tile, using spacers as you go. When you're finished laying the edges,clean the joints and caulk the joint at the wall. Use your finger to smooth the caulk as it dries. 

Step 6 Apply Grout

Let the edge tiles cure before you grout. Force grout into the joint with a grout float, let it set slightly, then scrape the excess off the surface. Be sure to use the tool suggested by the manufacturer so as to not scratch the new tile. Clean the grout from the surface, and wipe off the haze with rags. Let dry. 

Step 7 Install Threshold

If the threshold didn't require installation before the tile, install it now. Cut the threshold to fit the doorway, if necessary, and install it with fasteners recommended by the manufacturer.

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