How To Lay Ceramic Tiles In Bathroom?

Laying ceramic tile in your bathroom is a great way to update your home’s aesthetic and add value. It is a relatively simple DIY project that can be completed in one weekend or even less if you follow the right steps. 

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Start With the Floor

The most important step in laying ceramic tile is to properly prepare your subfloor. This includes removing old tiles and preparing the surface to receive new ones. If you have a subfloor that is not smooth and flat, it will take more time to apply a thin-set mortar layer and to set the tile. Whether you are installing tile on a concrete slab or a wood subfloor, preparation is the key to success. 

Measure the area you want to tile and determine how many square feet it will cover. This is the number of tiles you will need to cover your bathroom floor and walls. 

Next, determine the pattern you would like for your bathroom. Choose a style that complements the overall design of your bathroom and matches your existing tile. There are many different types of tiles to choose from and a variety of color combinations as well. 

Mark the Floor

Before laying the tile, create chalk lines on the floor to ensure that your tiles will line up with each other and with the walls. This will help you get a smooth finish and prevent the tile from slipping or shifting. You may need to use a level and a straightedge to ensure that your layout is perfect. 

Cut Tile to Size

After marking the floor with a chalk line, use a sharp tile cutter to cut each piece of tile to size. Depending on the tile’s size, you can use a snap cutter or nibblers to make straight cuts as needed. 

Install Cement Backer Board

Before you begin to lay your tile, it is best to install a cement backer board to provide a stable surface that will not move or crack under the weight of heavy traffic. It will also provide a strong base for the mastic sealer that will hold the tiles in place. 

Clean and Dry the Bathroom

Whether your bathroom is small or large, it is vital to thoroughly clean the surface before you begin laying ceramic tile. This includes removing old tiles and wax. It is a good idea to sand and scrub the bathroom with a vinyl floor stripper that contains an abrasive pad. This will remove any traces of wax and other debris that could cause the tile to bond poorly or not stay put. 

Once the surface is cleaned, lay a layer of thin-set mortar across the floor in a small area. Spread the thin set evenly with the notched side of a trowel. The notch should equal the thickness of your tile. With the notched edge of your trowel held at a 45-degree angle, comb the thin-set into furrows in a consistent direction. 

Then, carefully lay the first tile on top of the mortar and press it firmly into the floor. You will need to repeat this process for each row of tiles. Be sure to insert a spacer between each tile.