How To Tile a Bathroom

How to tile a bathroom

Tiling your own bathroom can seem like a daunting task, especially if you lack experience.  This step by step guide provides you with valuable information on how to tile a bathroom.   Learn how to tile your bathroom in 10 easy steps!

First you will need the following:

  1. Grouts
  2. Adhesive
  3. Tile Leveler
  4. Grout Sealer
  5. Waterproofing
  6. Screed
  7. Adhesive Trowel
  8. Tile Cutter
  9. Gauging Trowel
  10. Rubber Grout Float
  11. Knee Pads
  12. Marking Pencils
  13. Sponge
  14. Box Level

How to Tile a Bathroom Guide

Step 1.  Work out how many tiles you need

  • Calculate how many tiles you need.  You can do this mathematically:

Tiles needed = (Total area of wall space to be tiled) / (Area of 1 tile)

Remember that area of a square of rectangle = Length X Width

Area of a triangle = (Length X Width) \ 2


Step 2.  Work out what type of tile you need

  • Choose a tile that matches the style of your bathroom.
  • Consider the size of the tile, sometimes larger tiles our better as less grout is required.  Also there is less grout to be affected by mold and dirt.
  • If you select a porous tile (usually natural tiles such as granite) ensure it is sealed, or seal it yourself.


 Step 3:  Preparing your walls for tiling

  • Prepare all surfaces first that you will be tiling.  This all depends on the condition of your existing walls, but could require plastering, and removal of existing materials.
  • Also ensure all walls are free from dirt and debris.  You want to ensure the tile adhesive can stick to the wall efficiently.

Step 4:  Gauge where your tiles will start and finish

  • You should carefully decide where your tiles will start and finish.  You will most likely need to cut tiles when near the end of a run.  You want to ensure the cut tiles are placed in a location your happy with.
  • The best way to gauge where tiles will start and finish is to use a length of timber.  Place a tile on the end of the timber and mark where it ends.  Then place another tile next to it separated by a spacer, you can then mark where the next tile ends on the timber.  Do this all the way along.  Once done you can use this timber (or gauging stick) to easily visulise how the tiles will fit on the wall.   

Step 5:  Marking the starting point

  • Measure the width of the first wall you’ll be tiling. Halve this to find the centre of the wall.  You then draw a vertical line at this centre using a pencil and spirit, from top to bottom.
  • Now draw  horizontal lines too.  These lines should represent the bottom and top of your first run of tiles.  The lines will provide you with a guide of where tiles will be placed.  It ensures you will tile in a straight line.  This should be done very every new row of tiles.

Step 6:  Putting the first tile on the wall

  • Start at the lowest level, propping your first tile up with spacers to allow for a grouting gap.  The bottom of your tile should be on the bottom horizontal line you had drawn.

Step 7 :  Applying adhesive

  • It is important to note that the type of adhesive you use will depend on where the tiles are being laid.  Remember that you will need a waterproof adhesive around showers and baths.  Or a flexible adhesive for surfaces that may move a little.
  • Start by spreading your adhesive using a small ridged trowel.  Keep the spreading of this adhesive to a manageable area, such as 1 meter square.
  • You may find it easier to spread adhesive on the tile first, rather than the wall first.

Step 8 :  Fixing tiles to the wall

  • Using your drawn (level) line, fix your first tile to the wall.  Ensure the side of this tile lines up with the vertical line you drew earlier.
  • Once adhesive is spread across the tile (or wall), press the tile against the wall.  Make sure the tile is flat and firmly fixed.
  • Fix your second tile alongside the first one, but allow a gap for grouting.  Gaps are maintained using plastic spaces.  They ensure your gaps are consistent, and should be used between all tiles.
  • Once you have finished your first row, fix a second row above it.  Make use of your level and pencil to ensure your tiles are straight and square.
  • If you need to adjust your tile, ensure you do this straight away.  Adhesive takes time to dry, therefore you will be able to push it around to achieve the right level.
  • Once you have a level and square start.  You can then continue to tile around the walls.  The most important thing is to constantly check your vertical and horizontal lines are level.

Step 9:  Grouting

  • Once you have tiled everything you need to, let the tile adhesive dry for a few hours.
  • You can now grout in between your tiles.  Only a small amount of grout is needed between tiles.  Too much grout can make it harder to clean up.  Remember to wipe of excess grout as you spread it.

Step 10:  Applying grout sealer

  • If you tiled within a shower, it may be a good idea to seal the grout.  This is because grout is porous and susceptible to mold ingress.  Sealing of the grout will keep your shower looking good for longer.  View our grout and tile sealer guide for more information.



By following this essential how to tile a bathroom guide you should achieve good quality tiling.

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