• DIY: How to Install Tile Floor in Bathroom

    Posted on March 24, 2013 by in Uncategorized

    how to tile - begin at subfloorMany people would like to install their own tile floor when doing a bathroom remodeling project.  Here is a step by step possess for the do it yourself DIY

    Remove all of the existing flooring down to the sub floor this may include one layer of plywood or floor boards.  There are many methods used to remove the flooring, some floors have many layers on them the best way to start is with a crow bar or flat bar to tear out the layers.  This would be the time you need to do any plumbing repairs needed or changes you may wish to make. Make sure the nails are removed from the existing flooring as well as all debris .

    how to install tile - plywood subfloorWe had some plumbing work done before we installed the plywood. There were issues with the existing plumbing that had to be dealt with before we could continue on.

    Install new layer of 3/4″ plywood over existing sub floor.  make sure  glue down the plywood with sub-floor adhesive and screw it down every 8″ along the floor joisting.  When cutting plywood it may be necessary to install the plywood in smaller pieces  to get them to fit around plumbing.


    2013-03-14_11-03-00_914Tape all the seams, along the walls, and around the pipes and any penetrations through the plywood with duct tape.  Using small pieces of tape around pipes to make the opening water tight.  we will be pouring a self leveling concrete over the plywood.  Most bathroom remodeling projects have issues with unlevel floors.




    2013-03-14_09-35-42_70Wrap the pipes that penetrate through the floor with paper towels and duct tape so there will be a space for pipes once the concrete hardens.  This is a very important step to make sure is done well and not missed.  fold the paper towel into thirds and start wrapping it around the pipe.  It is important to make sure the pipe is taped well and is water proof.



    2013-03-14_09-35-22_151Install metal lath or stucco mesh.  It is important to cover the entire floor with the lath it will stabilize the concrete floor and keep it from cracking.  Use a tin snips to cut the mesh. Make sure to measure about 1″ short in length from wall to wall this will leave about 1/2″ space on each end.  Cut around pipes and penetrations leaving 1/2″ – 1″ space around them.



    2013-03-14_11-03-14_602Nail the lath down with 1″ roofing nails installed approximately 8″ on center.  The nails will need to be down tight to hold the lath in place.

    Use a primer that is recommended for your product.  Roll the primer on the lath and plywood covering the entire surface.  Paint roller and brush are the best tools to use. The primer is fast drying and you will be ready to pour the concrete in 2 hours or less.


    2013-03-14_11-48-39_433Mix and pour the concrete in 5 gallon pail.  I suggest using a power drill with a mixer on the end, you can purchase the mixer at most stores.  Pour out the pails starting at the far wall and work your way towards the doorway as you go.


    This bathroom which was 5.5′ x 7.5′  took 5 bags of floor leveler.  You can purchase the floor leveler we used at The Home depot store. The floor leveler can be poured up to 1″ thick.  Our floor was out of level by about 3/4″ from door way to outer wall.  We were able to walk on the floor with in 4 hours but waited till the next day to tile. The floor is poured wet enough it finds its own level.

    2013-03-18_14-05-11_964Cut away the paper towels and duct tape from around the pipes before the tile is installed.  Install the floor tile and wall base tile.  Use a thinset mortar to glue the tile to the new concrete base. Make sure you use a small enough toothed trowel so the mortar does not come up into the grout lines between the tile.  Once the tile is set and dry which is usually the next day.  Take a utility blade and clean out any grout lines that have excess mortar in them.  They need to be clean and able to be filled with grout.


    2013-03-18_14-05-06_476vacuum the grout lines before you grout the new tile clean them out very well.

    Mix the grout as to directions you will need to leave it stand for a short time and remix again.  Apply the grout with a “grout float”  crossing the grout joints at a 45 degree angle forcing it into the joints.

    Wash the tile with a sponge making sure to change the water often.  As the floor dries it will develop a haze over the tile.  Do not worry that will be rubbed off with a nice terry cloth rag after it dries.  Make sure you fill all the grout lines leaving no holes in them.

    2013-03-18_14-05-26_873This is what a newly grouted floor looks like with wet grout.  It is important to get the  gout lines full and even everywhere on the floor.

    After the grout has cured and dried, seal the grout lines with grout and tile sealer, using a sponge applicator. This will protect your grout from stains.   You may need to buff any residue off of the tile from the sealer.

    Install the fixtures and move back into your bathroom.

    This should finish off Your bathroom remodeling project and give you a flat solid tile floor.

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