Is your bathroom floor older than you are? Does the pattern remind you of your grandmother’s couch cushions? Do you have linoleum peeling away from the floor, or dirt ground into crannies between tiles?

If so, it might be time to install new bathroom tiles. Whether it’s part of a bathroom remodel, or just a simple floor update, changing out your bathroom tiles is a good way to give your bathroom a whole new look. It’s also a project you might be able to do yourself.

Read on for your complete guide to bathroom floor tile installation.

Choose Floor Tiles

Whether you’re looking for bathroom tile ideas that are innovative or timeless, you have lots of choices. Large beige tiles make the room look lighter and larger. You might want to choose tiles with a fun pattern, contrast a colored floor with neutral walls, or mix in a few colored tiles for a color pop.

Think about shapes, too. Square and rectangles are classic, hexagons look innovative, and diagonally laid tile makes the bathroom look larger.

When selecting floor tiles, choose something with a textured surface. Glassy tiles get slippery when wet. Also, consider how much cleaning you want to do; if you want low maintenance, avoid tiles that need to be sealed, and choose large tiles to minimize grout.

Install the Tiles

Installing tiles takes at least two days because after you lay the tile you must wait for about a day before setting the grout. You’ll need supplies including cutting tools, masks, and knee pads–ask your local hardware store for a list.

Prepare the Room

Remove the toilet, the vanity, and the baseboards. Clean the floor. Install a backer board to prepare the floor if it is not quite level or if it is covered with vinyl.

Arrange Your Design

Arrange the bathroom tiles on the floor with spacers to see how the design will work. Don’t rely on imagination and mental math to finalize your design.

Start in the middle of the floor and work outwards. The first row of tiles should be about the same width as the last row of tiles, so that you don’t have to cut tiny strips Use whole tiles for high visibility areas such as doorways. Cut custom tiles to set next to corners or rounded shapes.

Once you’ve approved your layout, you can mark edges by snapping down chalk lines or screwing guide boards into the floor.

Lay the Tiles

Apply thin-set to the floor. This is the “glue” that will hold the tiles down. Lay the tiles with spacers in between.


Spread grout over the floor, pressing it into the cracks between tiles. When it is starting to set, wash the excess off of the tiles with a damp sponge.


Install a transition strip where the tile meets the flooring outside the room. Reinstall toilet, sink, and baseboards.

When to Hire a Contractor

If a two-day tiling job sounds like too much work, call a contractor. Ask for referrals from family, friends, and associates, or read online reviews to choose the right one.

There are also situations in which you may need some expert help. For instance, you shouldn’t rip up vinyl yourself, because it might contain asbestos. You may also want a contractor if you choose a complicated pattern that has to be matched tile to tile.

Start Your Bathroom Floor Tile Installation

If you need help with your bathroom floor tile installation, contact us. Our designers and contractors can help you plan your perfect bathroom floor!

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