Bathroom Remodeling: Tile Floors

Remodeling a bathroom is one of the most common remodeling projects for any home. And tile happens to be the most commonly installed material in a new bathroom space. Tile can be a great way to waterproof any bathroom floor and an even greater way to save money on your bathroom renovation or remodeling project. Get the most out of your bathroom makeover by using these simple tips and techniques to installing tile on your bathroom floor.

Prepping the Floor

You’ll need to remove all of the baseboard, the toilet and any old flooring materials. Not all flooring materials need to be removed. Some vinyl and linoleum products can be left as is but only if they aren’t peeling, cracking or breaking apart. Sweep up any mess and wipe away any excess water from the toilet removal.

Installing the Thinset

Layout your tile pattern using this guide, then start mixing a bit of the thinset into a plastic 5 gallon bucket. You’ll need to use a mixing paddle bit and a ½” drill to get a consistent mix that’s similar to pancake batter. Let it sit for a few minutes, then get ready to spread the thinset onto the floor. Typical 3/8″-1/2″ square notched trowels are the common style necessary to complete the thinset, but using a notched trowel that is notched according to the manufacturers specifications is super important!

Spread the thinset using the flat side of the trowel first, then use the notched side to “comb” or raise the notches. Only set a row or two at a time or else the thinset could stiffen on you before you know it. Don’t cover up your layout!

Setting the Tiles

Some people like to back butter the tiles, some people don’t. I prefer to do exactly what the manufacturer recommends or you could end up with tiles coming loose later on down the road. Back butter the tiles the same way you spread the thinset onto the floor.

Set the tiles to your layout and press them firmly into place. Add the rest of the tiles in the row and make the cuts as required using a wet tile saw. Use tile spacers to ensure your layout stays consistent. Work your way down the floor towards the door, spreading thinset and cutting/setting tiles until complete. You may need to wipe away any excess thinset as you work your way along the floor.

Finishing the Grout

This is the easy part. Just mix the grout according to the directions, let it sit for a few minutes and apply it to the tiles face using a float sponge. Wait another 5-10 minutes and wipe away the excess using a damp sponge. Use this guide to grout for more help.

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