When it comes to renovating your home, a room that is often overlooked is the bathroom. With modern finishings, updating your bathroom adds beauty to your home – plus it will also increase its value. Renovating your bathroom does not come cheap, but there are ways to save some money, starting with installing your floor tiles.
This DIY project can be completed over a weekend and can be done with little practical experience. By following our step-by-step guide to installing bathroom floor tiles, you’ll soon be on your way to brand new bathroom.
Things You’ll Need
- Tape measure
- Backing board
- Cement board underlayment
- Putty knife
- Utility knife
1. Measuring Your Bathroom Floor
Using your tape measure, measure the size of your bathroom floor. This will help you determine how much tile, mortar, grout and backing board you’ll need. Ensure that you get the right amount as it will reduce the risk of being disappointed when the store no longer has your specific tile.
2. Install Cement Board Underlayment
Over the past few years, cement board has become a standard for floor tile installation. Unlike other underlayments, cement board does not break or expand when it gets wet. Here’s how to prep and install your cement board underlayment:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and mix a batch thin set mortar in a bucket using a putty knife.
- Spread the mortar onto the subfloor with a 1/4-inch notched trowel. You should start at the corner of the longest wall in the room and apply enough mortar to cover a single cement board sheet.
- Ensuring the rough side of the board is facing up, lay the first sheet of cement board onto the mortar. Leave a 1/4-inch gap between the board and any adjacent walls.
- Screw the cement board sheet to the sub flooring with 1 1/4 inch cement board screws. It is important that you use cement board screws as they are specially coated and corrosion resistant screws. Fasten screws every 8 inches along the edges of the panel.
- Repeat process and individually install the remaining panels along with the first row. Remember to leave a 1/4-inch gap between each panel and to stagger the joints on the subfloor by 8 inches.
- Cut the last panel in the row using a drywall T-square and a utility knife.
- Install the panels in the remaining rows.
3. Determine Your Tile Layout
Depending on the design of your floor tile, lay it out appropriately. If you have a contrasting trim, lay the edge tile first before laying the tiles in a configuration that uses the most whole tile.
4. Cut And Place Tiles Accordingly
Once you’ve decided on the perfect layout for your bathroom tiles, you can cut them. Use a tile saw to cut tiles according to your layout. You can now place the cut tile layout and ensure that the tiles are spaced evenly and pleasing to the eye. Once you’re happy, you can remove the tiles to apply thinset mortar.
5. Apply Thinset Mortar
Apply a thin layer of thinset mortar to the floor using a notched trowel before replacing the tiles a few at a time. You should use spacers to help the tiles hold their position. Once all the tiles are placed, all the mortar to dry for 24 hours (overnight would be ideal) before continuing
6. Apply Grout
Once the mortar has dried, you can remove the spacers. You can now mix the grout and use a grout float to fill any spaces between each tile. Once the grout has been applied in all spaces, use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess grout. You should leave the tile clean and the grout level and smooth. Let the grout dry for 24 hours before walking on it. Once the grout is dry you can apply a grout sealer which will help reduce staining and protect the grout.
Once your bathroom floor tiles are installed, you can move onto the rest of your bathroom renovations.