How To Tile A Bathroom Floor In 9 Steps For A Beautiful Bathroom

How to tile a bathroom floor is one of the more complex DIY home projects people do. You can learn the 9 steps it takes, what happens during each step, and the best tile for bathrooms. This project is best for professionals or experienced DIYers.

Robert is finally going to do it.

He’s been doing DIY projects all summer and now he is getting to the hardest one on his list: retiling the bathroom floor. Janet, his wife, is getting onto him more and more often about getting it done. 

To be fair, the bathroom needs retiling, badly.

How to tile a bathroom floor that really needs it like this one

The tiles have lost their sheen, some places have cracks, and they are worn down in general. Instead of being a brilliant white they are now a sort of dirty white with a yellowish tint. But they won’t be like this for long.

Robert knows how to make the bathroom look amazing again. It’s by following these 9 steps.

How to tile a bathroom floor in 9 steps:

  1. Measure your floor
  2. Prepare underlayment
  3. Attach underlayment
  4. Find best tile layout
  5. Cut tile
  6. Complete layout
  7. Apply thinset mortar and stick tiles
  8. Allow mortar to dry
  9. Apply grout

His real first step is to get his tools and materials. Thankfully he still remembers the measurements for the bathroom. The only problem is he doesn’t know what the best tile for bathrooms is anymore. It might be a different material than the current one.

Robert heads out to his local hardware store to find out.

Best Tile For Bathrooms

Robert walks into the hardware store and starts looking for a team member. They should be able to answer his question.

He finds a team member and asks them about the best tile for bathrooms.

Vinyl flooring great tiles for using when tiling a bathroom

The best tile for bathrooms is vinyl. It costs less while providing more value by being durable and looking good. Vinyl bathroom tiles are the best because they are easy to clean, water-resistant, softer than other materials, warmer, and needs little maintenance. Vinyl tiles also have endless choices for pattern and color.

Robert nods thoughtfully and asks for directions to their tile area. He thanks the team member for their help and heads that way. As he walks he slips out his phone to FaceTime Janet so they can pick out a design together.

1 hour later…

After finally agreeing on a vinyl tile design Robert can go find the other tools and materials he needs.

Tools & Materials For Tiling A Bathroom Floor

  • Measuring Tape
  • Concrete Underlayment
  • Circular Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Driver Bit
  • Backer Board
  • Backer Board Screws
  • Tiles
  • Tile Spacers
  • Tile Saw
  • Grout Float
  • Thinset Mortar
  • Mixing Bucket
  • Notched Trowel
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Grout Sealant
How to tile a bathroom floor using tools like these
Photo by Marco Verch – creative commons license 2.0

Robert gets back in his car and drives back home. It just hit 11 am so he has the entire afternoon to focus on his project. Hopefully, Janet will make his favorite dinner as a reward.

Here are the details he knows for the 9 steps on how to tile a bathroom floor.

Tiling A Bathroom Floor

1. Measure Your Bathroom Floor

It’s time to whip out the measuring tape. This step helps you find out how much mortar, grout, and back boarding you’ll need. You will also find out how many tiles you’ll need.

It’s best to measure twice, cut once

2. Prepare The Underlayment

This makes a sturdy, level surface for your bathroom tile. Use your measurements and circular say to cut panels from the cement board and then use a jigsaw to cut holes for fixtures.

3. Attach The Underlayment

You can attach the underlayment using a drill with a driver bit and some screws. Space them about 6 inches apart. Make sure they are flat so there aren’t any lumps in your tile.

4. Find The Best Tile Layout

If you like puzzles you’ll love this step in how to tile a bathroom floor. You’re trying to find out the best way to lay the tiles so you use the most that fit the best. Tile spacers can make sure you space them evenly.

You will have to cut some of the tiles to size, so place them in areas they aren’t easily seen.

5. Cut The Tile

Use your tile saw to cut the tiles to size. 

Tile saw for cutting tile so it can be retiled
Photo by Hustvedt – creative commons license 3.0

6. Complete The Layout

Place down the tiles you just cut. Make sure they complete the layout and that you like the way it looks. Once you start, going back isn’t really an option.

Now you’ll remove the tiles so you can start the next step in how to tile a bathroom floor.

7. Apply Thinset Mortar & Stick The Tiles Down

Thinset mortar makes bathroom tile installation faster and less expensive. Apply a thin layer in small sections and stick the tiles on. Use the spacers again.

8. Allow Mortar To Dry

Let the mortar dry for 24 hours after you set the last tile.

9. Apply The Grout & Seal It

Remove the spacers, mix the grout, and apply it to the spaces between the tiles. Do the entire bathroom. Then wipe away any excess grout.

You can walk on it within 24 hours but it may not fully cure for a few weeks. You may also want to apply grout sealer to your bathroom floor tiles. It helps protect your grout and keeps it from staining easily.

A Bathroom Floor Tiling Well Done

Robert wipes the sweat from his forehead. He smiles and nods proudly to himself at a job well done. The bathroom looks amazing again. The new tiles are a beautiful shade of white and they have no damage.

Janet pops up beside him exclaiming “Well done dear! The bathroom looks way better than it used to. Now, let’s go eat. Since it’s my turn to cook I made salmon, mashed potatoes, and green beans.” It’s his favorite meal! Time to celebrate a job well done.

You can still celebrate if you use us to remodel your bathroom >>