Bathroom tiles need to be durable and resistant to moisture and so ceramic tiles or stone tiles are recommended. They also come in a wide range of variety so you will get a lot of options to choose from. However, if you want your bathroom tile to be long-lasting, you got to install them properly besides choosing a high-quality tile. It is best if you hire experts to get that perfect result but if you want to save money and go DIY, it is better you learn about the entire process in detail before deciding your next step.
The level of difficulty is considered to be intermediate and for covering a 40 square ft. area, you are going to need around 4 days. The overall cost will range from $ 200 to $ 500.
In this article, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how you can install bathroom tiles. So, hopefully, you will be able to handle the project on your own.
What Do You Need to Tile a Bathroom Floor?
For the bathroom, we think ceramic or porcelain is best so we will talk about installing that in our today’s article. You will need some common materials and tools for that. The supplies must be gathered before you start working.
- Rubber tile float
- Notched tile trowel
- Laser level or chalk snap line
- Rail tile cutter
- Wet tile saw
- Multi-tool having blade cutting wood
- Tile nipper
- Tile spacers
- Indelible marker
- Carboard spacer (thin)
- Measuring tape
- Porcelain or ceramic tile (about 12 inches)
- Tongue and groove plywood (around ¾ inch)
- Floor leveling compound
- Uncoupling tile membrane
- Tile grout
- Grout haze remover
- Grout sealer
How to Tile a Bathroom Floor – Important Instructions to Follow
Once you have gathered all of the above-mentioned supplies, it is time to start.
1. Do the prep work
Prep work is very important and that includes removal of as many items from your bathroom as possible and that definitely includes the toilet and the baseboards. In fact, if possible, try to get rid of the door jambs as well.
Once you are done removing items, you need to prepare the subfloor. Remember that a flat and level subfloor is required for the best finish. So, if you notice any water-related damage near the sink, toilet, and tub, it is best to replace the subfloor. A tongue and groove plywood around ¾ inch will be good enough if you are replacing the entire subfloor.
For minor dips or low spots, use floor leveling compound and let it cure before you go to the next step.
2. Time to install the tile membrane
Use a tape to measure the area of your bathroom floor and then use an indelible marker to make the measurements on the off-site uncoupling tile membrane. After that, cut the membrane. Then skim the thin-set grout to prepare the subfloor followed by pressing the membrane into the still wet thin-set.
Press firm to make the membrane seat properly and then wait for a day to let the thin-set and membrane bond.
3. Plan the layout
You can go for brickwork, grid, or diagonal depending on the style and size of your bathroom. Using laser level or chalk snap line, draw a line in the center of the room. Find out the center point with the help of measuring tape.
4. Time to dry-fit
For dry-fitting the tile, it is ideal to start working from the center and then carefully work outwards. The sections of the room most visible must contain full-size tiles. You can do the experiment with various positions to get the desired outcome.
5. The door jambs should be cut
If you have removed the door jambs at the very beginning, then you can omit this step. But if you haven’t done that, then you can have them cut now. For that, take a thin cardboard spacer and then lay a tile with it under a tile. Using a pencil do the markings on the door jambs. After that, remove the spacer and the tile, and then using the multi-tool cut the door jambs.
6. Fill the tile membrane with mortar
Take a bucket and mix the thin-set. After that, using the un-notched straight side of the trowel, fill the membrane with mortar.
7. Time for installation
Spread thin-set mortar over the floor using the trowel’s notched side. Make sure you work on small portions at a time like around 2 ft by 2 ft. Do not miss the backside of the tile when you are buttering it with a thin set. Firmly press the tile on the floor. Use tile spacers when you are moving to the other adjacent tiles.
8. Cut the tiles as needed
You need to cut the tiles as required. For edge tiles, you can use the wet tile saw or rail tile cutter. For field tiles for example, for the toilet, a tile nipper is perfect.
9. Wait for the tile to set and then apply the grout
Usually, it takes 1-2 days for the tiles to set completely. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know the recommended wait period. Once the tiles are set, mix the grout and then use a rubber grout float to apply it. The float must be pulled towards you and in a diagonal manner across the tiles.
10. Remove the grout haze and seal
You should wait for the grout to cure. For this, also you can check the recommended time. After that, add grout haze remover with cool water. Use a sponge to clean any remaining haze from the surface of the tiles.
Once the tiles dry, seal using a grout sealer. This is important as it prevents water from seeping underneath through the seams.
A word of advice
Many a time, a building permit is required for remodeling homes and in some areas installing bathroom tiles comes with several permit requirements and building codes. So, to avoid any confusion later, we suggest you take all the necessary information from your local permit office.