How to Install Tile on a Bathroom Floor

Learn how to install ceramic flooring tiles in a bathroom to give it a fresh update.
DIY-2495604_DSEQ110_finished-tile-floor_s4x3

DIY-2495604_DSEQ110_finished-tile-floor_s4x3

Materials and Tools:

speed square
thin-set mortar
grout
grout sealant
tile spacers
wax pencil
wet tile saw
measuring tape
notched trowel
sandpaper
safety glasses
grout float
sponge
soft cloth

DIY-2379560_dseq110_1_mark01

DIY-2379560_dseq110_1_mark01

Steps:

1. Purchase enough tiles to cover the entire project, accounting for any half pieces, scrap pieces and replacement tiles.

Tip: Make sure to purchase the tiles all at once as those from a different stock may appear different.

Set the tiles on the floor to grid out the space beginning with the center of the bathroom floor. The dry fit process is especially important if you’re setting a pattern. Make sure you have enough to cover the area and that any patterns end somewhat consistently around the edges.

Once you are satisfied with the placement, trace around the center tile to mark its position and determine what cuts will be needed. Make marks right on the surface floor and on the tiles where cuts are required.

DIY-2379557_dseq110_1_thinset02

DIY-2379557_dseq110_1_thinset02

2. Mix thin-set mortar to the consistency of peanut butter, or use other adhesive as recommended by the tile manufacturer. Spread the thinset or adhesive with a notched trowel directly onto the surface floor starting in the middle of the floor, holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle.

Only mix as much thinset mortar as can be applied in an hour; otherwise it will dry out and not be as effective.

DIY-2379561_dseq110_1_spacer04

DIY-2379561_dseq110_1_spacer04

3. Beginning with the center tile, set the bathroom tiles one by one into the spread mortar or adhesive, giving a wiggle or twist to each tile to ensure a strong bond. Insert spacers to keep the tiles separated and allow room for grout.

Make any cuts you need to for the best tile fit with a wet-cut tile saw. Mark your cuts first with a wax pencil.

In our project, cuts included a circular cut around the toilet flange.

DIY-2379558_dseq110_1_circular05

DIY-2379558_dseq110_1_circular05

To make a circular cut, make a series of notches into the tile, one right next to the other, allowing them to break out and form a half circle cut-out.

Continue tiling to finish the floor, making the necessary tile cuts.

Use sandpaper or a tilestone to smooth out the edge of cut tiles as needed.

4. Allow the tile to cure overnight or as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. When the tile is thoroughly dry, remove the tile spacers and finish the floor with grout.

Before applying any recommended grout sealer, allow adequate dry time for the grout.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Install Tile in a Bathroom Shower

Use these step-by-step instructions to take your shower from drab to fab by installing Italian marble tile.

How to Install a Shower Tile Wall

Update your bathroom by installing tile in the shower.

How to Install Snap-Together Laminate Flooring

Installing snap-together flooring allows anyone with moderate DIY skills to create a beautiful new laminate floor.

How to Install a Marble Tile Backsplash

Boost your kitchen's wow factor in a three-day weekend by installing a timeless Carrara marble backsplash in an updated subway tile pattern.

How to Install Underlayment and Laminate Flooring

These step-by-step instructions will show you how to install underlayment and flooring to get beautiful laminate flooring in any room.

How to Install French Drains

Divert groundwater from the basement or foundation with the help of gravel and fabric.

How To: Installing a Fire Pit

A backyard gets more warm and hospitable with a stone firepit.

How to Cover Dated Bathroom Tile with Wainscoting

Tired of your tile? Conceal it with budget-friendly beadboard wainscoting for an easy demo-free update.

How to Install Beadboard Wainscoting

Beadboard wainscoting gives a family room a cozy lake-side feel.

How to Install Crown Molding

Install crown molding to add visual interest and value to your home.

On TV

Rehab Addict

6:30am | 5:30c

Rehab Addict

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Tiny House Hunters

8pm | 7c

Tiny House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Tiny House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.