How to Ceramic Tile a Bathroom Floor

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Tile is a common choice for bathroom floor material, as it is naturally resistant to damage from moisture and other bathroom conditions. While tiles like vinyl or linoleum are commonly used, ceramic tiles can offer a more sophisticated finish. Installing tile on a bathroom floor is no more difficult or complicated than installing them on any other architectural surface. The project is generally straightforward and can be successfully completed by just about anyone. Before starting, remove the toilet from the floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Duct tape
  • Electric drill with mixing attachment
  • Thin-set mortar mix
  • Mastic trowel
  • Ceramic tile
  • Safety glasses
  • Tile saw
  • Angle grinder with masonry wheel
  • Grout mortar mix
  • Grout bag
  • Large sponge
  • Thoroughly clean any dust and loose debris from the floor, using the vacuum cleaner.

  • Apply duct tape to the toilet flange; this will prevent any debris from entering the toilet plumbing and causing later damage.

  • Slowly add one bag of thin-set mortar mix to 1 gallon of water in a large bucket while mixing with the electric drill and mixing attachment. Continue stirring the mixture for five to 10 minutes. Let sit for another 10 minutes, or as otherwise specified on the bag.

  • Apply a coating of thin-set mortar to the bottom of the ceramic tiles one at a time, using the mastic trowel. Set the tiles in a row along the floor or wall edge, spacing each tile about 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch from each other and the wall or fixture like the bathtub. Use the tile saw to cut any tiles to fit when needed. Be sure to read the tile saw operation manual for operating and safety directions before you use it.

  • Install ceramic tiles in rows over the remaining floor surface, using this process. Allow at least 24 hours before continuing with the next step; the thin-set mortar needs this time to fully cure.

  • Slowly add one bag of grout mix to one gallon of water in a large bucket, unless other mixing ratios are specified on the grout package, while mixing with the electric drill and mixing attachment. Continue stirring the mixture for five to 10 minutes.

  • Partially fill the grout bag with grout mix. Apply the grout evenly to the tile joints. Using the sponge, clean any excess grout mix from the tiles, rinsing in clean water when necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • When installing tiles around the toilet flange, use the angle grinder and masonry wheel to cut circular shapes so they fit around the flange. Read and follow any operation and safety instructions specified in the angle grinder owners manual.

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References

  • "Tile Your World: John Bridge's New Tile Setting Book"; John P. Bridge; 2003
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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