How to Lay Bathroom Floor Tile

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Laying bathroom floor tile is not extremely challenging, it just takes some planning, patience and perseverance. You may be thinking of redoing the tile or flooring that is already in your bathroom, or perhaps you're starting fresh in a new home. Whatever the case, the energy it takes to lay bathroom floor tile is worth the effort - doing it yourself will save you money. Here's how to lay bathroom floor tile:

Things You'll Need

  • ceramic tiles
  • straight edge
  • pencil
  • tile adhesive
  • notched trowel
  • tile cutter
  • grout
  • rubber float
  • sponge
  • caulk
  • Carefully remove the old tiles from the bathroom floor with a chisel. This is the hardest part of the job!

  • After removing the old tiles from the bathroom floor, make sure the surface is smooth and clean. Use a grease cleaner to ensure there is no grease on the floor. Otherwise tile will not stick to it.

  • Measure and cut the bathroom floor tile. You can rent a wet saw (for large tiles) and/or tile cutter (smaller tiles) from a local home improvement store. Make sure you double and triple check your floor measurements before cutting or applying the adhesive. It is crucial that your measurements are correct.

  • Lay the tiles on the bathroom floor as a 'dry run' (no adhesive), then pull them up when you're finished.

  • Using the notched trowel, apply the tile adhesive to the bathroom floor. Make sure you apply the adhesive evenly. Work in a 2-3 foot area and let the adhesive sit for a few minutes before setting the floor tile in it.

  • Place the bathroom floor tile firmly into the adhesive (starting in the middle of the floor) and include spacers for each.

  • Let the floor tile set in the adhesive overnight.

  • Remove the floor tile spacers and mix the grout according to the manufacturer's directions.

  • Using the rubber float, apply the grout in-between the floor tiles at a 45 degree angle. Wipe off excess grout with a wet sponge.

  • After about an hour, check the floor tiles for grout haze and wipe them clean as necessary.

  • Seal the edges near the bathtub, toilet, sink and cabinets with mildew resistant caulk.

  • Let the bathroom floor tile cure for a week and then mop it clean.

  • See the Resources listed below for more tiling ideas.

Tips & Warnings

  • When buying bathroom floor tile, be sure to tell the sales staff that the tile will be for your bathroom (you will need water resistant tile, grout and adhesive).
  • Sometimes homeowners decide to install tile right on top of the old tile. This sometimes works, but is not generally recommended if you want your tile to stay in place for the long-term. Starting fresh is best.
  • It's always a good idea to buy extra tile in case you cut the bathroom floor tile incorrectly.
  • You can use pieces of wood to hold the bathroom floor tiles in place while they dry.
  • When measuring the floor for the tile 'dry run', be sure to start in the middle of the floor.
  • Put on your safety goggles before removing the old tiles - tile shards can be sharp and fly everywhere.
  • Wear your safety goggles when cutting bathroom floor tiles with the wet saw or tile cutter.

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  • Photo Credit stock.xchng: lusi, google images
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