Should I Put Tile First Before Installing a Toilet?

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Tiling under a removed toilet is much easier than tiling around one.

Bathroom renovations can do a lot for the attractiveness of your house. The absolute best results can be achieved by hiring a professional, but not everyone can afford to do this, and some people want to experience the excitement of home renovation for themselves. Read up on tiling techniques and get your hands on all the necessary tools before you begin the job.


Sequence of Events

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If you try to tile the bathroom floor without removing the toilet, you will find yourself attempting to cut curved lines out of the tiles to fit them around the base of the toilet. This is difficult and usually doesn't work very well. Take the time to remove the toilet, so that the tiles extend past the outline of where the toilet was, and then reinstall the toilet over the tops of the tiles. This method will give you a cleaner result, and the toilet itself will hide any ragged edges that you may have cut from the tiles.

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Removing the Toilet

Most toilets are held to the floor by two bolts, one on each side of the flange at the bottom of the toilet. Remove these bolts. Cut through the putty that holds the toilet to the floor using a sharp utility knife. You should then be able to lift the toilet off the floor, leaving only the drain opening. Tape a piece of plastic over the opening so that you don't accidentally drop anything down it, or have any unpleasant smells wafting up out of it.



When you tile the floor, maintain the same pattern throughout the entire floor. Don't change the pattern to fit tiles around the toilet drain opening. Rather, score the parts of the tiles that extend over the drain opening and carefully break them off using a pair of blunt-end pliers. If the resulting edges are somewhat rough, it doesn't matter because they will be covered when you replace the toilet. When you buy the tiles, be sure to buy several extras, because you may accidentally break one or two in the process of scoring and cutting them.


Replacing the Toilet

Finish attaching and grouting the tiles and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before reinstalling the toilet. When you replace the toilet, be sure that the drain flange still extends up into the toilet. The toilet will now be sitting on top of the tiles, so if the flange had no extra height before, you now may need to attach a drain flange extender to avoid leakage. Apply plumber's putty around the bottom edge of the toilet before setting it on top of the drain opening. Replace the bolts and secure the toilet firmly to the floor.



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