Bathroom Floor Replacement Guide


A competent homeowner can replace a bathroom floor made of ceramic tiles. You’ll need a few specialized tools, but don’t worry—they’re not very pricey and won’t require replacing soon. Plan on the restroom being out of action for at least a week. You will need extra time if you are only doing this substitute work on the side, say, at night or on the weekends. Clean up the restroom and put away any stray objects. Next, take out the lavatory.

Additionally, escutcheons (floor coverings) should be removed from around pipe penetrations. A heavy hammer can be used to dislodge much of the ceramic tile that is covering the wood flooring. A sharp cold chisel or mason’s chisel and hammer may take care of the remainder. When you’re done, the underside should seem smooth and clean. Always use protective eyewear.

After the old tiles have been taken out, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll arrange the new ones. Dry-laying the tiles on the floor establishes the pattern and verifies the necessary tile cuts. Avoid having a partial tile against one wall and a nearly complete tile against the other. You should aim to divide the room into halves as evenly as possible. Once you have the room laid out how you want it, you should align the rows to be perpendicular to a wall. Since the tiled floor is immediately visible to the right of the doorway, that is the wall most frequently walked along. The rest of the space will conform to the straightness of the rows at the front.

Find the distance in feet from the wall to the middle of the doorway. If the tiles have no pattern, a row in the middle of the doorway will look the finest. The room may be the ideal focal point for a pattern you’re creating. It would be best to decide how you want the tiles to go before laying them. Create a beginning point by drawing a line across the room using chalk.

A tile notching plier set, nipping pliers, and a ceramic tile cutting tool are all necessities. The blade can be bought, and it doesn’t cost too much. Renting a tile wet saw for a few days is a good idea if you expect to do a lot of cutting. It’s a huge time saver and a huge help. The tile should be straight, with the first row placed to one side of the chalk line. Your grout joint will be the drawn line. Proceed clockwise around the room, cutting tiles as you go. You can’t return to these spots for at least a day or two while the adhesive cures. Once more, the tile should be sliced on the fly. Clean the tiles’ surfaces and the spaces between them of any glue that has squeezed up. It’s essential to thoroughly clean the grout lines between the tiles before proceeding.

This is the meat and potatoes of your argument. After installing the tile, you must not crawl or walk back over it. No matter how cautious you are, you will inevitably twist the tiles out of alignment, rendering complete removal the only option. Lock the door if it is a lockable room. If you don’t have any, use anything you can to block the doorway so no one accidentally steps on your new tiles. The minimum drying time is twenty-four hours. Until the grout has been laid, the floor should not be walked on, as this will prevent any dirt or debris from being tracked in.

Grouting the tiles can begin once the adhesive has dried. Twenty-four hours should also pass without any shoes being worn on the grout. If there is more building in the room, the tile should be protected by placing high-quality brown craft paper over it. If not, then the bathroom and the furnishings should be changed.

Ackerson, Pete
The Most Personable Home Inspector Around
Software for Building Inspection and Code Enforcement (BICES)

Pete has worked as a building inspector in the public and private sectors for over 30 years. He has experience in both the office of building design and the field of construction in the Eastern United States, having worked on a wide range of projects from schools to treatment plants, individual residences, and condo projects to major residential landscaping projects. He established Wagsys LLC in 2006 with two other inspectors to develop applications for local governments’ building departments, planning boards, and zoning appeals commissions.

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