How to Lay Ceramic Tile Around a Toilet Flange

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Ceramic tiles are a perfect choice for bathroom floors because of their moisture resistance, durability and ease of installation. They are the easiest tile to cut, requiring just a score-and-snap tile cutter to make straight cuts across the surface. One exception is around the toilet flange, where there's generally no way to avoid making curved cuts on the tiles. Getting that cut right is important because if it's even a little too wide outside the flange, the toilet base might not cover the cuts completely, allowing errant moisture to get to the floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Piece of cardboard (bigger than the toilet flange)
  • Tape measure
  • Compass with pencil
  • Razor knife
  • Ceramic tile
  • Wet saw
  • Thinset mortar
  • Putty knife
  • Tile the area around the toilet flange with full tiles, stopping where full ones won't fit. This should leave you with a square un-tiled area around the flange.

  • Measure the diameter of the flange, adding 1/4 inch to the outside. Set your compass at that measurement. Use the compass to mark out the measurement on a piece of cardboard. Use your razor knife to cut out a circular template, which should be just slightly larger than the flange.

  • Lay full tiles over the flange, spaced consistently with the surrounding tiles, so it looks as if the floor is tiled right over the flange.

  • Lay your cardboard circle over the tiles, positioning it where the flange is. (You can see the edges of the flange through the spaces between the tiles.) Use your pencil to mark the edge of the cardboard circle on your tiles.

  • Make the curved cuts for the tiles on a wet saw. ``Butter'' the backs of the tiles with thinset mortar, using your putty knife. Set them in place around the flange.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the flange is the only angled cut you have to make, it won't be worth buying or renting a wet saw. Instead, take your marked tiles to your local home-improvement store, and ask them to make the cuts for you.
  • Make sure to wear eye protection when cutting your tiles.

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