How to Install Tile on a Bathroom Floor
Tiling is easy, right? Many people certainly think so and the results of their efforts can be seen on bathroom walls and floors up and down the country. The tiling is uneven, poorly cut, has huge grout lines and just looks amateurish. Nothing looks worse than shiny new bathroom accessories fixed to an uneven tiled wall! We give you a perfect guide to tiling a bathroom.
The last thing you want to do is do an awful tiling job when you have invested in quality bathroom products such as a new bath, sink or toilet. We all know that installing a new bathroom can be a long term investment and that purchasing a bathroom suite which looks the part is important. But letting down your bathroom by doing a bad tiling job will mean that this investment will never allow you to see the returns you want.
An updated bathroom can add instant beauty and value to your home. A new floor tile is a relatively inexpensive way to get started and this DIY project can be completed over a weekend.
Use a tape measure to determine how much tile, mortar, grout and backingboard will be needed. Purchasing the right amount of tile at the beginning of the job reduces the risk of mismatches in texture or color between production lots.
Attaching an underlayment of cement board to sub-flooring provides a level and sturdy surface to which bathroom tile can be easily attached. Using a circular saw, cut panels to fit measured bathroom and use a jigsaw to cut holes as needed to accommodate the toilet and other bathroom fixtures.
Use a drill with driver bit to attach backerboard screws to underlayment to sub-floor. Space screws approximately 6 inches apart and make sure they rest flat once secured.
Determine Tile Layout
If using a contrasting trim, lay edge tile first. Then lay tile in a configuration that will use the most whole tiles and best fits the space. Use tile spacers to make sure tiles are square and evenly spaced. Position tiles to minimize visibility of tiles that must be cut to size. Once the best layout has been determined, measure tiles that must be cut to complete coverage.
Use a tile saw to cut tiles necessary to complete floor.
Place Cut Tiles
Place cut tiles to complete tile layout and confirm tiles are spaced evenly, are spare and that the layout is pleasing to the eye. Once satisfied with the layout, remove tile to apply thinset mortar.
Apply Thinset Mortar
Apply a thin layer of thinset mortar to floor in small sections using a notched trowel. Replace tiles a few at a time, once again using spacers to help hold position.
Allow Mortar to Dry
Once tiles are all in place, allow mortar to dry for 24 hours before continuing.
Once mortar is dry, remove spacers, mix grout and use a grout float to completely fill spaces between tiles.
Wipe Away Excess Grout
Once grout has been completely applied, use a damp sponge to wipe away excess grout, leaving tiles clean and grout smooth and level. Make sure to be thorough. Grout left behind on tile results in “grout haze”, which can be difficult to remove once grout has set. Grout will be ready to walk on within 24 hours, although may take several weeks to fully cure.
Apply Grout Sealer
Once grout is dry, finish your weekend tile project by applying a grout sealer to reduce staining and protect grout.
A few more tips
Here’s a few more tips that could be useful:
- Consider the size of the room when choosing tile patterns and colours. Pale colours will make a small room look bigger, while dark colours will create a cozier, intimate atmosphere.
- Tiles of up to 8″ x 8″ are best suited to small spaces, while large areas of floor look best with 12″ x 12″ or 14″ x 14″ tiles.
- For flooring, use tiles with greater wear resistance. Make sure they are rated for use on floors.
- For bathroom or kitchen walls and backsplashes, non-porous, chip-resistant tiles are recommended. Gloss or medium-gloss finishes are ideal.
- Work surfaces such as countertops and islands can be covered with ceramic, stone, glass or porcelain tiles. This option allows you to personalize a room while providing a durable and maintenance-free finish.
- Glossy surfaces reflect the light and are easy to clean. However, these finishes are slippery when wet. Matte and textured tiles reduce the risk of slips and falls, but they are more porous and tend to absorb dirt more easily, which makes them more difficult to clean.
Porcelain Floor Tiles – Buying Guide
It’s a great time to be buying porcelain tiles. Thanks to the advent of ‘digital printing’ technology, designs are incredibly realistic and if you choose your retailer carefully – we’re looking at ourselves here – then you’re guaranteed to get greater value and better service than ever before.
But with so many different options out there, it can be a little stressful to find your perfect tile. We want you to be delighted with your choice, so we’ve put together this handy guide. It’ll tell you everything you need to know to make sure you get it right first time. After all, porcelain tiles aren’t something you can easily change!
What’s a porcelain tile?
Explaining what a porcelain tile is can sometimes get a little tricky. It’s best to think of porcelain and ceramic tiles as close cousins – part of the same family, but a little different.
When we talk about ceramic tiles, we’re referring to traditional clay tiles with a glazed surface – you may have some of these at home already. They’re pretty durable compared to, say, natural stone, but really, they’re quite soft and only suitable for bathroom and kitchen areas.
Porcelain tiles are a different beast altogether. They’re baked at a far higher temperature than ceramic tiles, which gives them a whole host of desirable properties; they’re incredibly hard-wearing, and resistant to water, scratches and stains.
The positives of porcelain
You may have heard people talk about how easy porcelain tiles are to live with, and they’re right. Other materials need a lot of TLC – marble needs sealing, timber floors are easily dented and laminates can warp if they get wet.
On the other hand, porcelain tiles are a dream. Because they’re so difficult to scratch and stain, you don’t have to worry about a spilt glass of wine here or a mucky dog there; most of the time a quick brush or light mop will do the trick. Think of porcelain tiles as having…
- The Natural Beauty Of Marble And Wood
- The Practicality Of Ceramic
- The Hardness Of Granite
- Better Value for money than anything else
Where can I use porcelain tiles?
Almost anywhere! One of the really great things about porcelain tiles is how versatile they are. As the image above shows, you can use the same tile throughout your home; from bathroom walls to busy floors. Of course, the obvious places are kitchens, ensuites and living spaces, but they also make a great choice for hallways, bedrooms, utility rooms and outside patios. In short, anywhere you want a great looking and functional floor.
Naturally, you’ll need to make sure the finish is right for your room. For example, polished tiles might look great on your kitchen floor, but a matt bathroom floor will be better if you have young children.
- Matt porcelain tiles are the most common and can be used almost everywhere for a natural finish
- Polished porcelain tiles have a very sleek finish. They are used mainly for luxurious floors
- Textured porcelain tiles offer extra slip protection, so they’re great for wetrooms and outside pations