Home Improvement

How to Lay Floor Tiles in a Bathroom

If you’ve never done a tiling project before, but wish to do one soon, this is the guide for you. Tiling a bathroom floor seems like an easy task at first, but once you start planning, you’ll see it can get very challenging depending on your goals. In this guide, the Fantastic Services team will explain how to lay floor tiles in your bathroom.

Table of Contents:

Here are the most important steps in how to tile a bathroom floor. This article is for all of you:

  • Homeowners who want to tile their bathroom floor by themselves;
  • Good friends who wish to help others with some home renovation.

And, let’s not forget all those bragging rights after a job well done.


Before you start anything, you have to calculate the square perimeter of your bathroom floor. If you need to also tile the walls, do the same for each wall separately. Use a measuring tape and write down your calculations. This way it will be easier to know how much supplies to buy. Calculate the total and add an extra 15% to be sure you have enough.

Types of tiles

You’ll be surprised by how many different types of tiles there are. And we’re not talking about the colourful patterns drawn on them. Here are the main types of tiles you could choose from.

  • Ceramic tiles. The most common type due to their durability. They are also easy to install and clean. Ceramic tiles are very affordable and they come in different varieties such as glazed and unglazed. The unglazed tiles are more aesthetically pleasing, but the glazed ones last longer.
  • Porcelain tiles. The best about these is that they can emulate natural stone, brick, or wood without needing any of the maintenance. They come in a variety of designs, colours, and styles. However, laying porcelain tiles can be tricky and experts don’t recommend DIY enthusiasts to use them unless they know what they’re doing.
  • Cement tiles. Cement tiles are extremely versatile. They can also be sanded and resealed, like wood floors, if they get discoloured over time. The biggest drawback to cement tiles is that they’re very difficult to lay. Additionally, a cement tile must be resealed once a month to maintain its beauty.
  • Marble tiles. These are costly, however, indisputably elegant. On the other hand, they need a lot of maintenance in order to keep looking pristine. It’s easy for marble tiles to get scratched and stained. Which is why if you opt for marble tiles, it’s advisable to apply a sealant. 
  • Mosaic tiles. These come in many different shapes, sizes, colours, and styles. However, bear in mind that they could easily look outdated. But if the vintage look is your end goal, don’t hesitate to choose them.
  • Quarry tiles. Naturally dense, nonporous, and water-resistant, quarry tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Unlike others, they do not have to be sealed. However, keep in mind that they are very prone to stains.
  • Resin tiles. These tiles are perfect for the DIYer since you can make your own tile patterns. They could easily emulate the look of water and stones. Unfortunately, they have a propensity to chip and turn yellow over time.

Tools and materials you need

  • Tiles, mortar, and grout;
  • Measuring tape;
  • Cement board;
  • Utility knife;
  • 2 large buckets;
  • A large sponge;
  • Notched trowel;
  • Tile cutter or wet saw;
  • Tile spacers;
  • Level, square;
  • A mason’s chalk line;
  • Grout float and sealant;
  • Knee pads.

How to lay floor tiles in a bathroom

Now that you’ve chosen your tiles’ design, measured your surface area, and gathered all the needed tools and materials, it’s time to start with the task at hand. Follow these steps and you’ll learn how to lay floor tiles properly.

  1. Clean the floor.

    Sweep and wash the bathroom floor and make sure there isn’t any debris. You need a clean surface to work on. Make sure the existing floor is flat, solid, and well bonded to the sub-floor. Keep in mind that if you are retiling the floor, you’ll need to remove the old tile adhesive beforehand.

  2. Mix the batch of mortar.

    Mix the appropriate amount of water with the mortar in a bucket, by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. The mortar should have the density of mud and should easily fall off the trowel. Avoid mixing more material than you could use within the hour, otherwise, it will start to dry.

  3. Establish reference lines.

    Use a mason’s chalk line to establish reference lines that would help you later with the tile-laying. The goal is to have perfectly aligned tiles as you enter the bathroom. To achieve that, you need a parallel line to the entryway and a second perpendicular line at the same viewpoint.

  4. Lay the tiles.

    Work from the crossing of the reference lines (which should be at the entryway) towards the edges of the wall. Spread the mortar on the floor and the underside of the tile and place it on its designated spot. Place two spacers on each side of the tiles to prepare them for grouting later. Firmly press each tile into the mortar so there are no air bubbles underneath.

  5. Cut the tiles.

    Use a tile cutter or a wet saw to cut the tiles at the edges of the bathroom floor and around the toilet. Dry cutting tiles involves a lot of dust and small particles, so make sure you protect your eyes and mouth as you do so.

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You could use a basic image editor on your computer to create a relative sketch of your bathroom floor and the exact alignment you wish your tiles to have. It helps so you can choose the most appropriate layout that would require less tile cutting.

Need a professional tiler?

Fantastic Services is here for you!

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How to grout a bathroom floor tile

After a day has passed, you can come back to your handy work and proceed with grouting.

  1. Pull the spacers out. First, you need to remove the tile spacers. Their lower parts would stay underneath the tiles where they belong and you could reuse the upper parts.
  2. Clean up. Next, make sure to hoover the space between the tiles for any dust, dirt, or any excess mortar. A clean surface is always the best one for work.
  3. Mix the grout. Mix the sanded grout with water in a bucket, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Apply the grout. Scoop some grout onto the floor with a trowel and firmly press it into the grout lines. You don’t need a lot of grout for this and you’ll see how easily a small amount would be enough for the whole floor.
  5. Rinse with a wet sponge. Once the whole floor is covered by grout, fill a bucket with water and use a large sponge to wipe the tiles. Wipe diagonally, otherwise going parallel would gouge out some of the grout and leave an uneven surface. Repeat until the surface of the tiles is completely clean.
Sealing is optional, but if you wish to do it, make sure to give the floor two days for the grout to cure. Purchase a sealing product from your home improvement store and spread it over the floor. This would protect your newly laid tiles and give them a beautiful matte sheen. Wait at least 30 minutes for the sealant to dry and apply it again, making sure there are no visible streaks.

How to lay floor tiles with a professional?

Now you know how to lay floor tiles. If all of this seems too challenging for you, you could always opt for professional tilers to do the job. At Fantastic Services, we would first request a viewing of your property and the room you wish to be tiled. We will calculate the perimeter and come up with a price estimate. At the booked date, the technician will install the new flooring, remove the old grout and place the new one, and even apply a special sealant that would protect the tiles from general wear and moisture.

Visit the main website for price rates on our professional tilers!


  • There are many types of tiles you could choose from. Each has its pros and cons, but if you are a DIYer, it’s advisable to use standard porcelain tiles;
  • When buying materials, always buy 15% more than your initial calculations to make sure you don’t run out of materials.
  • Always wait at least 2 days after grouting before sealing the floor.
  • When you will be fully done with the project, you will have to thoroughly clean your bathroom tiles.

Hopefully, this handy guide on how to lay floor tiles in a bathroom has helped you with your upcoming home improvement project. If you need the assistance of professionals for your place, you can always get in touch with the Fantastic Services team.

Image source: P A/shutterstock.com

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