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Slippery when wet: How to tile a bathroom floor

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Learning how to tile a bathroom floor may seem like a daunting job. But with a little planning and preparation, it can become both cost-effective and the most satisfying DIY project you’ll ever undertake. Read on to find out how easy it is!

Installing tile in a bathroom? Here’s what you need

Here’s a handy list with all the tools you’ll need! For preparation and planning, have these items ready:

  • spirit level
  • pencil
  • chalk
  • straight edge
  • tape measure
  • square

The following tools are required for tiling of the floor:

  • tile adhesive
  • tile grout
  • tile sealant: we recommend Loctite Polyseamseal Tub & Tile Adhesive Caulk
  • gauging trowel
  • notched floor trowel
  • adhesive mixer (cement based only)
  • rubber mallet
  • floor tile spacers
  • bucket of clean water and a sponge
  • clean, dry cloth
  • tile cutter
  • tile nibblers
  • tile file
  • gloves and goggles
  • grout float
  • grout finishing tool

How to tile a bathroom floor: Planning and preparing

You will need to choose the correct adhesive for the tiles. Different adhesives are available for different tile types and floors, so it is important to choose the right product in order to ensure a good bond. Always check the instructions on the adhesive pack.

Floors must be flat, clean and dry. Repair any holes or cracks in the surface with an appropriate filler. Prepare the floor in accordance with the instructions on the adhesive. Measure the length and width of the space you wish to tile to work out the total area. Divide this number by the pack coverage of your tiles. This will tell you how many tiles you need. Add an extra 10% to allow for cuts and breakages.

Buy all of your tiles and grout from the same batch to avoid color variations. You should also mix all of your tiles up before you start so there aren’t any blocks of different shades.

How to lay tile in a bathroom

Before you crack open the adhesive, take time to prepare the tiles. Prearranging the tiles will help reduce the risk of misalignment, and ensure you have enough materials to complete the job. Here’s how to install tile in a bathroom, before applying adhesive.

  1. Inspect the tiles, remove any that are damaged or chipped.
  2. Lay a row of dry tiles near the center of the room. Adjust the position to avoid cutting very thin sections or awkward shapes.
  3. Lay a second row along the edge of the first row. Again, adjust the position of the rows to avoid difficult cuts. This process identifies a suitable starting point near the center of the room.
  4. Chalk mark two lines along the tile edges with a square and straight edge to ensure the rows are straight.

How to install bathroom tile with adhesive

After pre-arranging the tiles, grab your gloves and let’s get started! Here’s how to lay tile in a bathroom with adhesive.

  1. Starting at the intersection of the two lines, use a notched floor trowel to spread the adhesive onto the floor. Work in small areas at a time.
  2. Firmly bed the tiles into the adhesive with a slight twisting action to ensure good contact.
  3. Remove excess adhesive from the tile surface with a damp sponge.
  4. Work out from the starting tile, in a fan pattern towards the wall until a quarter of the room is complete. Insert tile spacers as you go to ensure consistency.
  5. Use a spirit level to check that each tile is laid flat and square. If they’re not level, tap them with a rubber mallet to correct.
  6. Tiles along the walls may need to be cut. Measure the distance between the wall and the last tile, allowing for the grout line. Mark the tile with a marker pen, and score the surface with a tile cutter. Smooth any rough edges with a tile file.
  7. Allow full cure time before walking on the tiles.
  8. Remove the tile spacers from the grout joints when the adhesive has dried.

How to tile the bathroom: Grouting the tiles

Once the tile adhesive has set, it’s time to start grouting. Read the pack instructions to make sure that the grout is suitable for your application.

  1. Remove portion of grout from the bucket using a gauging trowel, work the grout into the joints with a grout float ensuring joints are firmly packed with grout.

    Tip: Work across the joints at an angle to avoid dragging the grout out.
  2. Work in small areas at a time. When each area has been filled, use a curved finishing tool to smooth the grout and create a neat finish.
  3. Wipe excess grout off the tile surface with a damp cloth.
  4. Repeat this process until finished.
  5. Leave grout to dry.
  6. After grout has cured, wipe the tiles with a damp, then a dry cloth to remove traces of excess grout.

Products used

  • loctite polyseamseal tub tile white 10oz cartridge
    Loctite Polyseamseal Tub & Tile

    Provides a durable bond and seal for kitchen & bath projects.

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