How to tile a bathroom floor

How to tile a bathroom floor

Every once in a while we are thinking about new tilling in our bathroom. Most of you don’t go through with that idea because you think that it cost to much. The truth is that tilling is something that you can do yourself and save a lot of money in the process. You can learn how to tile a bathroom floor and finish the project in one day if you follow these simple tips. In one of our previous articles we explained how to lay kitchen tiles and now we will teach you how to tile a bathroom floor. The process is very similar and you’ll be feeling like a professional contractor after you finish the project. When you start with the project you’ll find out that you’ll be spending most of your time dealing with the subsequent waste disposal. If you don’t want to worry too much about it – clearance services are in abundance and you will always find somebody to help with the waste collection. Now, let’s start learning how to tile a bathroom floor.

  1. First you need to remove the toilet and any pedestal sinks first. Next, disconnect the all water pipes or drains that go through the floor. This will allow you to remove the current flooring so you can check the sub-floor. If you already have tiles in your bathroom, you will have to remove them using a cold chisel and a hammer. The removing job is much easier if you use a chipping hammer and a tile removing chisel. Check near the toilet, tub and vanity especially, for signs of water damage.How to tile a bathroom floor - removing tiles
  2. After checking the sub-floor for damage, you will want to check that the sub-floor is level. You don’t want to see peaks or valleys. Place a level on the floor parallel to the tub, then perpendicular to the tub, checking for imperfections. If you have wooden sub-flooring then you can’t apply tiles directly on it and you have to put underlayment first. Attach an underlayment of cement board to sub-flooring and that will provide a level and sturdy surface to which bathroom tile can be easily attached. Using a circular saw, cut panels to fit measured bathroom and use a jigsaw to cut holes as needed to accommodate the toilet and other bathroom fixtures. If your wooden sub-floor is flat enough then you can use Aquabar underlayment which is in a roll and can be easily cut with scissors. Also Aquabar protects your sub-flooring from water damage.
  3. Measure the bathroom and calculate how much tiles you’ll need. Always buy at least 10 percent more tile because you’ll waste some tiles cutting them on corners and around the tub and drains. Layout your tiles so that you know how you want to place them before setting them permanently. This gives you a chance to play around with the colors in your tiles. When you ‘re arranging the tiles it’s best to start from the middle and work your way to the corners and when you start to apply the tiles you can start from the corners also.How to tile a bathroom floor - mixing the adhesive



  4. Mix the tile adhesive in a bucket using a drill and paint mixer attachment. You will want to reach a certain consistency, as per the specified instructions from the manufacturer. You also want to use the right amount, so be careful, or you’ll be doing more waste disposal than you bargained for. Always mix small amount of adhesive at the time and mix some more when you run out. If you mix to much in the beginning it will sit for a long time and it will loose it’s consistency.
  5. Spread the tile adhesive (you can use thin mortar also, but versatile tile adhesive is a much better solution) with the thin side of the trowel in areas of about 3 feet by 3 feet. Apply the adhesive with the notched side at a 45 degree angle. Make sure to keep your trowel moving in one straight direction as to keep the application uniform. Remove the excess adhesive and put it back in the bucket.How to tile a bathroom floor - applying the adhesive
  6. Once you have applied the adhesive, you are ready to lay a tile. Place the tile on the adhesive and gently press with your hands. Then use the level to check if you tile is leveled diagonally and if it isn’t use the rubber mallet and gently hit the side which is higher. If this method is too hard for you, it is best that you get yourself a tile leveling system, like this Perfect Level Master. If you decided not to use a tile leveling system then always place tile spacers in each corner of the first tile and every other tile as you go on. Continue to lay tiles as you go. You’ll need a tile cutter or an angle grinder with tile cutting disc to cut the tiles.How to tile a bathroom floor - applying the tiles
  7. When you are finished with the entire bathroom floor, leave the adhesive to dry. Be sure that you wipe the adhesive that you maybe accidentally put on the tiles with the wet sponge because it’s almost impossible to clean the adhesive when it dries. It’s best that you leave the adhesive to dry for at least 12 hours and then remove the spacers and apply the grout. Mix the grout and use the grout float to fill the gaps between the tiles completely. Once grout has been completely applied, use a wet sponge to wipe away the excess grout, leaving tiles clean and grout smooth and level. Make sure to be thorough because grout can’t be cleaned once it dries!How to tile a bathroom floor - grout

After you are done, do a thorough house clearance and cleaning and step back to view the results. Looks good, doesn’t it? You now learned how to tile a bathroom floor. Now enjoy your new tiles and don’t worry about the next time you have to do this – you are already an expert.

Thank you for sharing, Handyman tips team!
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2 comments

  1. Fantastic Handyman

    The guide is quite useful actually. I used to hire professionals each time we decide to renovate our home, cuz I wanted the job to be done the right way. Not that I can’t do this, its the tools and knowledge that I don’t have. But I see now that the only tools I need are a level, hammer and a chisel. I might try to renovate the bathroom all by myself the next spring. Thanks for the tips. One final question, can you guys recommend a good adhesive brand?

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