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Laying bathroom floor tile is an easy first-time tile project because bathrooms tend to be much smaller and less visible than a kitchen or foyer. If you are laying tile over a sub-floor, rather than a cement foundation, you should first lay cement board, which seals out moisture and helps the tile to adhere to the floor. Once you have purchased your tile and a complementary color of grout, you just need a few more supplies and inexpensive tools to tile a bathroom floor yourself.

THINGS YOU’LL NEED

  • Measuring tape
  • Cement board
  • Utility knife
  • Thin-set mortar
  • 2 large buckets
  • Notched trowel
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer
  • Square
  • Chalk line
  • Tile
  • Tile cutter or wet saw
  • Tile spacers
  • Level
  • Large sponge
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Grout sealant
  • Knee pads

THE STEPS

Laying Cement Board

  1. Mix a batch of thin-set mortar with water in a bucket, according to the manufacturer directions. It should be thick, but not so thick that is doesn’t fall off a trowel. Don’t mix more thin-set than you can use within an hour, or it will begin to dry out.
  2. Spread a layer of thin-set on the sub-floor with the notched trowel.
  3. Cut the cement board to fit the space, if necessary, by scoring it with a utility knife. Lay the cement board over the thin-set.
  4. Pound in roofing nails along the edge to secure the backer board to the floor.
  5. Continue this process until the floor is covered in backer board.
  6. Apply a thin layer of thin-set mortar over the joints.
  7. Wait until the next day to begin laying tile.

Laying Bathroom Floor Tile

  1. Establish a straight vertical and horizontal reference line from the center of the room. If you simply start laying tile along a crooked wall, it will look really crooked by the time you reach the opposite wall.
    • Identify the most visible wall when you walk into the room. This is the wall with the longest area of continuous tile.
    • Determine a 90-degree angle from that wall, using a square, and snap a chalk line across the room.
    • Use the square again to mark a perfect 90-degree angle from that chalk line and snap another chalk line that’s perpendicular to the first one. Now you have two intersecting chalk lines as a reference to lay the first tile.
  2. Lay out a single horizontal and vertical row of tiles across the floor along the chalk reference lines. Shift the tiles, if needed, so any cuts that must be made by the wall are against the least noticeable wall. You also don’t want cut tiles at the entrance to the bathroom, so adjust the tiles so cuts are against the far wall.
  3. Snap additional chalk reference lines, once the tile layout is finalized.
  4. Set the first tile in the far corner of the room and work towards the doorway. You won’t want to step on the newly laid tile before the mortar has a chance to dry.
  5. Work on laying the tile in small sections at a time.
    • Mix up a small batch of thin-set mortar and spread a thin layer on the cement board with the notched trowel.
    • Lay several pieces of tile with tile spacers to establish even grout lines.
    • Firmly press the tile into the mortar so there are no air bubbles underneath.
    • Set a level across the top of the tiles to make sure they are perfectly flat.
  6. Cut tiles with a tile cutter or wet saw, if necessary, to fit along the wall. You may also need to make cuts for tiles that sit around toilets and other rounded objects in the floor.
  7. Allow the thin-set to dry for at least a day, or as recommended by the manufacturer, before grouting.

Grouting Bathroom Floor Tile

  1. Pull the tile spacers out from between the tiles before adding grout.
  2. Mix the sanded grout with water in a bucket, according to the manufacturer directions.
  3. Scoop some grout onto the file floor with a trowel, and then firmly press it into the grout lines with the grout float, working in small sections at a time.
  4. Remove the excess grout from the surface of the tile before it has a chance to dry.
    • Fill a second bucket with water and use it to wet the large sponge with rounded corners.
    • Wring out the sponge and then wipe over the tile so that you are moving at a diagonal to the grout lines. If you wipe parallel to the grout lines, you might gouge out some of the grout and leave an uneven surface.
    • Rinse the sponge in the bucket of water and repeat until all the grout is removed from the surface of the tile.
  5. Repeat this process until the entire floor is grouted.
  6. Wait at least 2 days for the grout to cure before sealing it.

TIPS

  • Purchase your tile all at once, accounting for at least 15 percent overage for cut tiles and breakage, because the dye lot can vary from shipment to shipment.
  • Wearing knee pads during tiling and grouting, which requires kneeling on a hard surface for long periods of time, protects your knees.
  • A sponge with rounded corners is best for removing grout from the surface of the tile, because a sponge with squared edges may gouge out some of the grout when you wipe across the grout lines.

WARNINGS

  • Expect the grout to appear much darker when applying it. If you aren’t sure the color is correct, dry a small area with a hair dryer before grouting the entire floor with the wrong color. It’s extremely difficult to remove grout once it’s dried.
  • Don’t add too much water to grout or it won’t harden as well. It should be about the consistency of thick batter.

 

Source: www.WikiHow.com

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A client with a high-rise apartment in Manchester city centre contacted us in relation to the look of their bathroom tiles. The grout had become grubby and black with mould and it was clear from their message that they were considering have the grout replaced in order to freshen up the bathroom. We discussed the problem over the telephone, and they emailed a picture of the bathroom across so I could get a better idea of what needed doing. It turns out that the apartment had been rented out

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