How to Install Tile on a Bathroom Floor

We spent a few months renovating a house down the street for my mother. The bathroom was in poor condition. The tile floor was not completed and thus you could actually see the subfloor where the tile ended next to the wall. 🀨


    • Backer board
    • Circular saw (to cut backer board)
    • Joint tape
    • Thin-set
    • putty knife
    • Tile
    • Tile saw (be sure the tile saw is large enough to cut the size of your tile)
    • Electric drill
    • Mixing paddle that attaches to drill
    • spacers
    • Mortar
    • Trowel
    • Large sponge
    • 2 buckets (one for mixing thin-set and mortar and one for a water bucket)
    • Rubber grout float
    • Grout (we used Polyblend Sanded grout – color: Cape Gray).

Preparing the Service

We had to do some demo work. My sister Mary Beth helped us with this part. We used a sledgehammer, shovel, and bucket to break up the original tile. This part of the project is quite dusty and messy. We suggest wearing a mask due to all the dust.

Step 1 Β – Install the backer board to provide stability and strength. Also, notice that we moved the floor vent. It made more sense for this not to be in the middle of the room. Start in the back corner. Measure and then cut the backer board to fit each section of the floor. This takes some time because you will need to cut around the toilet drain, walls, shower/tub, floor vents, etc.

Then glue each piece of backer board to the floor.

Also, tape and mix thin-set in a bucket using an electric drill and mixing paddle; use a putty knife and apply a thin coat of thin-set on the seams.

Step 2Β – Measuring and Finding the Center

We measured and found the center so we would know how the tile would be spaced.

Step 3 – Mix thin-set

Mix thin-set in a bucket using an electric drill and mixing paddle.

Step 4 – Cutting and laying tile

Start in the back corner. Measure and cut each tile as needed. Be sure to square with the wall of the room. We used 12 x 24-inch tiles from Home Depot. We used Classico Villa 12 in. x 24 in. glazed porcelain floor and wall tile from Home Depot.

Using a notched trowel, apply an even layer of thin-set on the floor and then place a tile on the thin-set.

Used a level to check the levelness of the tile compared to the other tiles.

Carefully (without any pressure) wipe down each tile to remove any thin-set on the surface of the tile. It is important to remove all thin-set residue before it hardens.

Step 5 – Repeat the process of laying time using spacers as you go.Β 

As needed, cut tiles using a tile cutter to fit around the walls, shower base, toilet drain, and around the cabinet or around the sink fixtures (if cabinets not yet installed).

Once all the tile have been installed, allow drying for 48 hours (or follow the thin-set product directions for dry time).

Don’t walk on the tile until completely dry.

Step 6 – Mix grout (you can mix sealer in the grout or seal after the tile is laid and dried).

We used Polyblend Sanded grout (color: Cape Gray).

Once the thin-set is completely dry, remove the spacers.

Mix the grout using the electric drill and mixing paddle according to the product directions.

Step 7 – Grout tile

Starting in the back corner of the bathroom, use a rubber grout float to spread the grout over the tiles. Be sure to fill in all the cracks between the tiles and next to the wall.

Carefully wipe down each tile with a large wet sponge. Do not over wipe because you don’t want to remove the grout between the tiles.

Complete this grout process and then allow drying time.

Step 8 – Wipe down tiles

Once the grout begins to dry – maybe 30 minutes to an hour, wipe down the tiles again. Be sure not to walk on any of the grout lines.

Clean up and allow time to dry, typically 24 to 48 hours (follow the product recommendations).

Step 9– Seal grout (if did not put sealer in the grout)

Mop or spray grout with sealant. Follow the product directions.

Enjoy your new tile!

Let us know what you think or if you have any questions by posting below.

Stay tuned for future posts on this bathroom renovation project.

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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.

6 thoughts on “How to Install Tile on a Bathroom Floor”

    1. Hey Karen,

      Some say you do not; however, we recommend using some type of backer board to ensure the bonding of the tile and add stability. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks for reading our blog!


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