Installing a Tile Bathroom Floor Yourself this Weekend
The floor in a bathroom is often the focal point of the design but it is important to remember that this floor needs to be both stylish and functional for the space. Renovating any space using a professional contractor can be expensive and even though installing a bathroom floor may seem overwhelming, it is possible to complete this project in a short amount of time for a fraction of the cost of using a professional. Here is a step by step guide to installing a tile floor in your bathroom this weekend.
Materials and Tools for Installing a Tile Bathroom Floor:
Directions for Installing a Tile Bathroom Floor:
1. Clean and Prepare the Floor: Working with a dirty floor can often cause problems when it comes to adhering new tiles to the subfloor. Make sure to sweep and clean any debris and dirt from the floor so you are working with a clean surface. Using a shop vacuum works best for removing larger pieces of debris that may be present from any other construction work.
2. Dry Lay the Tiles: Starting in the most visible corner of the bathroom, start by laying out one full sized tile onto the floor. Building from that corner, continue to lay out the full floor tiles leaving enough space between them for grouting by using the tile spacers. Once all the full sized tiles have been laid out, make sure the pattern works for the overall design. Do not worry about areas where cut tiles will need to be installed at this point – only work with full sized tiles.
3. Prepare the Mortar: The most commonly used mortar for this type of project is referred to as thinset and comes in two forms – pre-mixed tubs or powder that must be mixed by hand. Although the pre-mixed mortar is more expensive it is generally easier to work with for smaller projects such as a bathroom floor. If you choose to work with the powder mortar, make sure to mix it to the manufacturer’s instructions in an outdoor setting.
4. Place the Mortar: Starting in one area of the bathroom, use a notched trowel to spread a small amount or mortar to cover a 2 to 3 foot square area. Make sure the mortar is spread to an even thickness and only work in small areas with a few tiles at a time to help prevent the mortar from setting before the tiles are laid.
5. Begin Laying the Tiles: Once the mortar has been laid in the 3 foot square space, carefully lay the tiles into the mortar and apply a heavy amount of pressure while gently twisting the tile back and forth into place. If needed, use a rubber mallet and a 2×4 board covered with a cloth to tap the tile into place – never tap the tile directly as it may cause the tile to chip or break. Continue laying tiles in this manner until all of the full sized tiles have been set in place.
6. Cut Tiles to Fit in Remaining Spaces: Once all the full-sized tiles have been placed, measure the areas on the floor that still need tiling and cut pieces of tile to fit those spaces. Make sure to take into account the amount of space that will be between each tile by using the tile spacers. To cut the tiles, use a snap cutter or scoring tool. If the tiles need to be notched, it may be beneficial to rent a wet saw for the project.
7. Allow Mortar to Cure and Grout the Tile: Allow the tiles and mortar to cure completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once cured, spread grout between the tiles using a rubber grout float also making sure to remove any grout that may get onto the surface of the tiles using a damp sponge. Once the grout has set slightly, it will develop a haze on its surface – buff away this film layer using a cloth. Allow the grout to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions and enjoy your new bathroom floor.