Tiling your bathroom floor can seem daunting, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be a manageable DIY project. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tile a bathroom floor to help you get professional-looking results.

Plan the Layout

Before starting any work, you need to map out the pattern and layout for the tiles. Consider the dimensions of the bathroom and where you want the tile seams to fall. Avoid ending up with narrow cut tiles around the perimeter. Plan to lay the tiles either on a diagonal or in a simple grid pattern. Measure the floor space carefully and sketch your tile layout. This will help you calculate the quantity of tiles needed.

Gather Supplies

Tiling requires some specialized tools and materials. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile cutter
  • Bucket for mixing adhesive
  • Grout float
  • Grout sealer
  • Rags
  • Safety gear – gloves, goggles, knee pads

Make sure to get all the supplies before starting the tiling work.

Prepare the Floor

The subfloor needs to be leveled and cleaned before laying any tiles. Follow these steps:

  • Remove existing flooring if there is any.
  • Fill any low spots or cracks with floor leveling compound.
  • Use a belt sander to smooth and flatten the subfloor.
  • Sweep and mop the floor to remove dust and debris.
  • Apply primer if suggested by the tile adhesive manufacturer.

The subfloor must be structurally sound, level, and clear of contaminants for the tiles to adhere properly.

Lay Out the Tiles

Once the subfloor prep is complete, you can begin to lay the tiles:

  • Mark the center point of the layout on the floor.
  • Dry lay a row of tiles from the center outwards.
  • Use tile spacers to set consistent grout line widths.
  • Use a notch trowel to spread tile adhesive on the subfloor where the first tiles will be set.
  • Place the first tile at the center point and press down firmly.
  • Lay adjacent tiles, using spacers to maintain even spacing.
  • Use a level often to ensure the tiles are flat.
  • Continue setting tiles row by row until the floor is covered.

Be sure to follow the tile adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for open times and proper usage.

Cut Border Tiles

In most cases, you will need to cut some tiles to fit around the edges and obstacles. Always measure and mark the tiles before cutting. Use a wet saw or a snap tile cutter for clean cuts. Set the border tiles in place gently with tile spacers.

Apply Grout and Seal

Once the tile setting is complete, you need to grout and seal the tiles:

  • Allow the tile adhesive to cure fully as per manufacturer’s guidelines before grouting.
  • Mix the grout as per product instructions and apply evenly using a grout float.
  • Clean excess grout with a damp sponge.
  • Allow the grout to dry completely before applying sealer.
  • Apply grout sealer with a paintbrush and wipe off any excess.

Sealing the grout prevents staining and damage from moisture.

Tips for How to Tile a Bathroom Floor

  • Use larger tiles for flooring rather than small mosaics which have more grout lines to maintain.
  • Arrange floor tiles on a diagonal to make the space appear larger.
  • Include tile backing on walls at least 4-6 inches high to allow space for flooring.
  • Use tile edging strips at doorways for a clean transition.
  • Always mix tile adhesives and grouts as per the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Leave consistent grout line gaps of 1/8- 1/4 inches between tiles.
  • Use masking tape when applying grout to protect the tile edges.
  • Ensure the floor is completely level before starting the tiling.

With good planning and preparation, you can tile your bathroom floor like a pro. Take your time and refer to these tips for best results. The finished tiled floor will add style, water-resistance and great value to your bath space.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Tile a Bathroom Floor

What kind of tiles should be used for a bathroom floor?

Ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles are best for bathroom floors as they are water-resistant and durable. Mosaics can be used for accents but are harder to maintain. Choose tiles with non-slip finishes.

How do I prepare the subfloor for tiling?

The subfloor must be structurally sound, level, and clear of contaminants. Remove any existing flooring, fill low spots, sand until smooth, then sweep and mop before priming or applying adhesive.

Should tiles be laid in a brick pattern or diagonal?

A diagonal tile pattern makes a space appear larger. Brick patterns have a classic appeal. Choose whichever layout fits the dimensions of your bathroom.

How soon can I grout tiles after they are laid?

Grouting should only be done once the tile adhesive has cured completely, usually 24-48 hours. Check manufacturer’s guidelines on adhesive cure times.

What is the best way to apply grout on floor tiles?

Using a rubber grout float, spread grout diagonally across the tiles, pressing into joints. Hold the float at a 45° angle and wipe off excess grout.

Should I use sanded or unsanded grout for bathroom floors?

Unsanded grout is preferred for grout lines 1/8” or smaller. Use sanded grout for wider grout lines. It is more durable and easier to work with.

How often should I seal the grout on my bathroom floor?

Grout sealers typically last 1-5 years depending on usage and traffic. Check yearly for signs of wear and reapply sealer as needed to prevent staining.


Installing tile on your bathroom floor may take time and effort, but the results are well worth it. Planning the layout, preparing the subfloor, proper tile setting, grouting and sealing are all essential steps for a successful tiling project. Pay close attention to details and tile manufacturer’s instructions. Use the right materials and tools for the job. Take your time to lay the tiles evenly and keep grout lines consistent. With some patience and these tips, you can tile your own bathroom floor just like a professional.