If your bathroom is outdated or simply doesn’t meet your needs any longer, you might have found yourself thinking about a remodel. Not only can this make your home much more enjoyable, but you’re likely to recoup 60 to 67% of your investment thanks to the increase in your home’s value.
Learning how to do your own bathroom tile work can save you a lot of money on your project! When you’re done reading this guide, you’ll know exactly how to install bathroom floor tiles with ease.
Preparing for Your Project
Before discussing how to tile a bathroom floor, you need to make sure that you have everything you need to do your bathroom flooring project the right way. There are few things worse than getting part-way through a home project and finding that you’re missing something you need to complete it. So, do yourself a favor and gather up all of your supplies first.
Choose Your Tiles
Choosing your tiles is the most important part of a tiling project. You’ll have many options including ceramic, vinyl, plastic laminate, or custom tiles made from materials like cork, stone, wood, or glass.
It’s important that your tile is durable and that it’s aesthetically pleasing to you. You’ll also want to purchase more than you think you’ll need.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 15% extra. This will leave you wiggle room for mistakes, allow for any tiles you need to cut to fit into narrow spaces, and account for possible damage in shipping.
Purchase Mortar and Grout
To ensure that you have a solid bathroom floor, you’ll need thin-set mortar and grout. Decide whether you want to use a pre-mixed mortar or an un-mixed product that you’ll need to add water to when you’re ready to lay it down.
You’ll also need grout to connect the tiles to each other. Choose a color that compliments the tiles you’re going to install.
Gather Your Tools
You’ll also need some tools to ensure that you can do your DIY bath tile installation the right way. This includes:
- Utility knife
- Measuring tape
- Notched trowel
- Tile cutter or wet saw
- Cement board
- Roofing nails
- Tile spacers
- Level, square, and chalk line
- Grout float and sealant
You’ll also need 2 large buckets, a large sponge, and knee pads.
How to Install Bathroom Floor Tiles: Step by Step
Now that you know what you’ll need to complete your project, it’s time to learn how to install bathroom tile!
1. Prepare the Bathroom Floor
The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have a clean, solid surface to lay your tile. Sweep it and make sure it’s free of any debris. Then, mix your thin-set mortar and spread it across the floor.
You’ll want to work quickly but also make sure that you apply it evenly. Apply the mortar with a trowel and use firm, sweeping motions.
Next, it’s time to apply the cement board. Start by cutting it to fit the space and scoring it with your utility knife before you lay it over the layer of thin-set mortar. Secure it by pounding the roofing nails along the edge.
Once the entire floor is covered with cement board, apply a thin layer of the thin-set mortar to cover the joints. It’s important that you allow this to sit for 24-hours before moving on to the next step.
2. Set Your Reference Lines
It’s important that you set a straight reference line that goes horizontally and vertically across the center of the room. This will help ensure that the tile doesn’t look crooked when you’re done.
To prevent this, you’ll use what’s called a mason’s chalk line – it’s a piece of string that’s covered with chalk dust that you can snap into place to create easily removable reference lines.
Start by choosing the most visible wall that you see when you walk into the room. This is the wall where you’ll place the longest line of continuous tile. From that wall, use a square and a chalk line to create a 90-degree angle.
Then, repeat the process to create a second chalk like that is perpendicular to the first one. Use the intersection of these two lines as your reference to lay your first tile.
3. Lay the Tile
Start by laying one row of tiles horizontally and vertically along your reference lines. You’ll want to do it in a way that the tiles you need to cut are against the least-noticeable wall. When you begin laying tile, start in the furthest corner of the room and work your way towards the doorway.
Lay a few tiles at a time, using spacers to ensure the grout lines are even. Press each tile down so no air bubbles are under and use the level to make sure they’re flat.
Once all the tiles are down, let everything dry for at least 24-hours.
4. Apply the Grout and Sealant
Next, remove the spacers, mix the grout, and apply it with a trowel. Remove the excess, then wipe the tiles off with a damp sponge. After the grout is applied, leave it to dry for at least 48-hours.
Lastly, you’ll want to apply a sealant. That’s it! Your new tile flooring is done!
Your Bathroom is Just the Beginning
Now that you know how to install bathroom floor tiles, you’re ready to start updating your space! But updating your bathroom is just the beginning!
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