| October 5, 2022

Tile Project 101: Tiling Your Bathroom Floor

Thinking about doing a full bathroom remodel? Or, maybe this space needs a little refresh. Tiling a bathroom floor is a smart way to improve the value of your home and complement its aesthetics. But tiling DIY is an even easier way to achieve this updated look for much less!

Because of its low square footage, tiling your bathroom floor is a great cost-effective, first-time project for homeowners. You can achieve the right look over a few days while you test and improve your skills. Of course, if you need any expertise on the process, we can help you lay the foundation for a gorgeous bathroom space with the best tile flooring on the market!

This guide will walk you through how to tackle your first tile project independently. Remember, you can always contact our team for questions or visit our showroom for inspiration, designs, and endless options for tiling any space in your home.

Step 1: Determine Your Bathroom Style

Not a designer? No worries! You can still create a beautiful bathroom space. Start by thinking about these two key factors: 

  1. Colors – Do you want your bathroom to feel like a neutral, relaxing spa getaway? Or do you want vibrant, fun splashes of color to show off your personality?
  2. Patterns – Do you prefer solid colors or patterns on bathroom floor tile? If you like the idea of patterns, consider geometric, octagonal, horizontal, or vertical shapes to add to your design.

For inspiration, check out our gallery of residential work. At Tile X Design, we offer free tile samples to help you coordinate your design. 

When you receive our samples, you can lay them out against your wall colors, vanity colors, and even accessories like towels or shower curtains to find the right look. 

Step 2: Choose a Tile

You’ve thought about color and style; now, consider the material. For example, bathrooms have a lot of moisture, which means your tile needs to withstand that type of humidity. So, the best tile for a bathroom floor may differ from the best tile for bathroom walls, too; you’ll need one that is easy and pleasant to walk on—even when wet. 

The best tile for a bathroom is typically ceramic, stone, or porcelain. These are all beautiful finishes that are also very durable. 

Need help narrowing down your search? Use our filter tool to select which type of color, material, finish, and brand you like best! We also offer tile selection assistance to help you stay in style and under budget.

Step 3: Measure & Plan 

Once you’ve chosen the tile, begin planning the layout. For example, where do you want the tile to be whole, and where does the tile need to be cut? How much spacing do you want between each? 

Measure the room to determine how many tiles you’ll need. Remember to also think beyond the square footage—this means having a little extra to cover the perimeter (where you’ll have cut tiles), potential breakage, cutting mistakes, etc.

PRO TIP: Rooms are not always square! Measure in multiple areas to see how angled the walls are, and use a level or framing square to ensure you lay the tile straight. 

Step 4: Purchase Tile and Materials

The tools you’ll need depend on your budget and flooring. For DIY tiling, you will need:

  • Tiles and spacers
  • Thinset and trowel
  • Grout, a grout float, and grout sealant
  • A transition piece for the floor between your bathroom and adjoining room
  • Measuring tape, framing square, and a level or straight edge
  • A tile cutter or a wet saw for big cuts
  • An angle grinder with a diamond blade or a nipper for smaller adjustments
  • Safety equipment, such as goggles and masks 

Step 5: Prepare the Room

Remove everything you can from the floor, including the toilet and vanity. This means less cutting now and easy vanity changes in the future. You’ll also want to cut your baseboards and door jamb for the tile to lay underneath.

Step 6: Do a Dry Layout

Test your pattern and make sure it will look the way you envisioned in Step 3. Set the tile out, including the spaces. 

Remember these tips:

  • The most visible area should have the whole tiles, and keep them centered as much as possible. Use a tape measure to find the center of the room and work from there.
  • Try to avoid long, narrow strips of cut tile. Ideally, the tiles at the ends will be half-size or larger.
  • Wherever possible, have full tiles at doorways or along bathroom structures.

Layout, assess, and layout again. Now is the time to ensure you’ve chosen the best tile for your bathroom!

Step 7: Tiling the Bathroom Floor

The time has arrived! Your method for tiling the bathroom floor depends on personal preference: You can work from one end to the other, lay the whole tiles first, let them set, and then finish with the cut perimeter tiles. Either way, work at the back of the room first, so you don’t trap yourself in.

Use the trowel to spread the thinset, and use the teeth to get strong ridges, which will help the tile adhere. Set the tile down and wiggle it into place. That’s one down! 

Continue with the rest of the tile, working your way toward the door.

Step 8: Grout and Finishing Touches

Once you lay the tile, add grout between the tiles, wiping off any excess. You’ll also want to caulk around bathtubs or showers, so choose a grout color and caulk that work well together. Finish off with sealant to keep the grout looking clean and polished.

Next, reinstall your toilet, vanity, and voila! Your bathroom floor is complete!

Need Help Planning Your Tile Project?

We’d love to help you choose the best tile for your bathroom space! Our Tile X Design team can help you plan your entire tile project or be a resource during the process, so you feel confident every step of the way.

Whether you need technical support or recommendations, our services are flexible and designed with you in mind. Please schedule an appointment or visit our showroom to share your project dreams with us!

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