DIY Floor Tile Installation: How to Lay Tile

A tile floor installation results in a beautiful, long-lasting, and easy-to-clean floor. Tile installation is a huge project, but it’s one you can undertake with a little planning and time. Learn how to tile a bathroom floor and how to grout tile. According to Style Bathrooms,


  • Drill/Driver
  • Arms Mixing
  • Gun for caulking
  • Measurement tape
  • Reel of Chalk and Chalk
  • Nippers or Cutters for Tiles
  • Hammer
  • Set of Nails
  • sponge
  • Buckets
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves for work
  • Gloves for cleaning
  • Kneeling Pads
  • Mask of Protection
  • Tile Cutter (Optional)
  • Hole Saw for Tiles (Optional)
  • Nail gun (optional)
  • Chisel
  • Scraper for floors
  • Level
  • Mallet made of rubber
  • Knife for everyday use
  • Square of Carpenters
  • Float for Rubber Grout
  • Trowel with Notches


  • Silicone Sealant
  • Sealant for Grout
  • Cloths for cleaning
  • Removes Grout Haze
  • Cloth Drop
  • Compound for Leveling (Optional)
  • Membrane for tiles
  • Membrane Tape/Strips for Waterproofing
  • Tile Flooring
  • Tile Separators
  • Thinset Mortar, unaltered
  • Grout

Concerning Tile Installation

Tile flooring can be installed in a variety of ways. We’ll teach you how to tile a bathroom floor using one approach below, but always follow the tile manufacturer’s directions for how to tile a floor as well as any applicable building codes.

Even if you’ve done a shower wall tile or bathtub tile installation, review the processes for this type of tile installation before tiling a floor.

The installation of a tile floor will take a few days. You won’t be able to walk on the floor right away since it takes time for the thinset mortar to set and the grout to dry, in addition to removing any previous flooring and installing the tile. Make sure you account for the necessary time.

Getting Ready to Install Floor Tile

The most critical stage in a tile installation is to properly prepare the subfloor. We’re starting with a bare subfloor in a new bathroom for this project. If you’re removing an old tile floor, you’ll need to chisel off the old tile and scrape away the old mortar with a floor scraper. It might be messy to remove old tiling. Protect adjacent rooms, ensure adequate ventilation, and put on the appropriate safety equipment, such as eye protection and a safety mask.

In an existing bathroom, you’ll also need to remove the toilet and baseboards, as well as the bathroom vanity if it’s still there.

The most important thing is to have a level, even subfloor. If there are any low locations, a levelling compound can be used to fill them.


To prevent sewer gas from escaping into the room, cover the sewer line with a rag.

Understanding Is Beneficial

Do you know how to lay tile for a bathroom floor but are having trouble deciding which tile to use? To learn how to choose the appropriate floor tile for your bathroom, see our Tile Buying Guide. To see how different types and colours of porcelain, natural stone, and ceramic tile appear in your house, try out our tile samples.

Putting in Floor Tiles

Make sure you have enough tile for the project before you start. To calculate your square footage, take the width and length of your bathroom and multiply them together. Add an extra 10% to account for any broken tiles or mistakes. For a quick estimate, use our Tile Flooring Calculator.

The adhesive that will hold the tile to the floor is thinset mortar. It’s frequently referred to as “thinset.” Thinset will also be used to secure a tile membrane to the floor and our tile to the membrane. We’re employing an uncoupling membrane for this job, which allows for expansion and contraction under the tile without splitting the floor.

We’re using unmodified thinset mortar for this project, but if you’re not using an uncoupling membrane and laying your tile directly onto a cement backer board, you’ll want to use modified thinset, which is thinset with a polymer to boost bond strength.


There are several varieties of mortar and grout to choose from (the material that fills in the gaps between the tiles). Our Grout and Mortar Buying Guide will explain the various varieties and when they should be used.

Tile Floor Installation

1: Cut the Tile Membrane to Size

Mark the subfloor at the membrane’s edges so you know where to spread the thinset. Lay out the membrane with the fleece side down. Cut around any pipes using a utility knife.

2: Spread the Tile Membrane Mortar and Comb It

Mix the unaltered thinset together.

When you can draw your trowel through and the ridges just keep standing up, you know it’s the perfect consistency. To avoid the thinset drying out before you can apply the membrane, work one portion at a time. The smooth side of the trowel should be used to spread the thinset uniformly throughout the floor. Then comb the mortar with the notched side of the trowel.

3: Install the Tile Membrane

Using a wooden float, roll out the membrane and press it into the thinset. Continue to apply mortar and then membrane in parts.

4: Waterproof the Membrane

Seal the seams with waterproofing tape. Apply thinset to the membrane and use your trowel to embed the tape, ensuring that each seam has at least a 2-inch overlap. Cover the seams around the walls and between the membrane pieces. If your bathroom has finished walls, you can use caulk or a membrane-specific sealant instead of tape to seal along the walls.

5: Determine a Tile Laying Start Point

Make reference lines for the tile next. Begin by measuring two opposite walls and drawing a line between their centre points using chalk. Then repeat with the remaining walls. This will serve as a starting point for you. To help the chalk stay on the membrane, spritz it with hairspray.

6: Check the tile installation layout.

To confirm your arrangement, dry fit the tiles and use tile spacers to ensure the expansion gaps are accurate. Allow for expansion by leaving a 1/4-inch space along the outside edges. Mix tiles from different boxes to keep the room’s colour scheme constant. You can slide the layout to one side to give your edge tile greater width if you find you have small pieces of tile on one end. If you change the layout, remember to add new reference lines.

7: Prepare the Mortar for the Floor Tiles

To achieve a peanut butter consistency, add additional unaltered thinset. Begin spreading the mortar evenly in the centre, making sure to plug any gaps in the membrane. Work a bit at a time, like before, to prevent the thinset from drying out before you can put the tile. With the notched edge of the trowel, comb the mortar at a 45-degree angle.

8: Begin laying your tiles

Place the first tile on the centre of the room’s reference line, twisting it slightly as you press it down to ensure complete adhesion. Place spacers between each tile as you install tiles along your reference line. Pull one up every couple of tiles to ensure complete contact with the thinset. Back-butter the tile (apply mortar to the back of the tile) if there is no grout to gain greater coverage.

9: Clean and level the tile as you go.

Wipe any thinset from the tile surface with a moist sponge. With a long level, periodically check for high spots and gently even them out with a rubber mallet. Remember to allow a quarter-inch space at the room’s edge. You should also leave a quarter-inch gap around any pipes.

10: Cut the tile as needed

A tile cutter is useful for making simple cuts in tile. A handheld tile nipper can cut curves, while a tile hole saw is better for holes. If you’re going to be making a lot of cuts, a wet tile saw will make quick work of it.

11: Allow the Mortar to Set

Allow 24 hours for the thinset to dry after you’ve finished placing the tile.

Instructions for Tile Grouting

1: Spread the Grout in the First Step

Remove the spacers between the tiles and use a rubber float to force grout into the joints, then drag the grout diagonally across the lines to remove the excess. Wait 20 minutes before wiping the grout lines clean with a moist sponge and clean water.

2: Allow the grout to dry

You should wait 72 hours after grouting to walk on the floor, but check your manufacturer’s guidelines for specifics. Any haze left on the tile surface can be removed with a grout haze remover.

3: Complete the tile installation

Fill the expansion gaps with silicone sealant. Grout sealer can be used after three weeks to help protect the grout. Install the quarter-round mouldings and baseboards. When transitioning from one room to another, especially from tile to another type of flooring, install transition strips as needed to hide flooring seams.

Upgrades to the Bathroom

Consider some bathroom upgrades to offer practicality and a fashionable aesthetic once your new tile floor is finished and dry. Discover the ideal bathroom vanity and learn how to put it together. Add a medicine cabinet and some lighting to the vanity. Install a rain shower head for a touch of luxury. Looking for more inspiration? For some trendy ideas, see Bath Trends to Follow Now.

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