Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Installing bathroom tile like a pro



Step-by-step instructions to help you

Installing bathroom tile like a pro


Updating the flooring can help infuse new life into tired, outdated bathrooms. For an upscale, polished look that doesn't have to break the bank, consider installing tile flooring.

Before you get started, you'll want to make some decisions about the look and feel of your flooring:

Ceramic or stone? Weigh factors such as porosity, how slippery the surface may be when wet and how well it retains heat or cold. Ultimately, your decision hinges on the needs and uses of your family. 

Complement or contrast? Define the overall style you want as well as the colors and tones that will help best achieve your vision.

Big or small? Generally, the larger the tile, the fewer grout lines, and too many grout lines in a smaller space can create the illusion of clutter. However, smaller tiles can eliminate the need to make multiple awkward cuts, and small tiles are perfect for creating accent patterns or introducing a splash of color.

READ MORE: What My Bathroom Remodel Taught Me

When you've got your overall look and materials selected, keep these steps in mind as you begin laying the flooring:

  1. Prepare your subfloor. Use a level to check for uneven spots; you need an even surface to prevent cracks in the tile or grout as well as rough spots that could pose tripping hazards. Use patching and leveling material to create a consistent surface. Apply a thin layer of mortar then attach your cement backer board with screws. Cover joints with cement board tape, apply another thin layer of mortar, smooth and allow to dry.

  2. To ensure square placement, draw reference lines on the subfloor using a level and carpenter square. Tile should start in the middle of the room and move out toward the walls, so make your initial reference lines as close to the center as possible. Mark additional reference lines as space allows, such as 2-foot-by-2-foot squares.

  3. Do a test run with your chosen tile by laying it out on the floor. There are color variations in most tile patterns, so you'll want to verify each tile blends well with the next. 

  4. Mix tile mortar and use the thin side of a trowel to apply mortar at a 45-degree angle. Use the combed side to spread evenly and return excess mortar to the bucket. Remember to apply mortar in small areas, working as you go, so it doesn't dry before you're ready to lay the tile.

  5. When laying tile, use your reference lines as guides. Press and wiggle tile slightly for the best adherence.

  6. Use spacers to create even lines between one tile and the next, removing excess mortar with a damp sponge or rag.

  7. As you complete a section of tile, use a level and mallet to verify the tiles are sitting evenly.

  8. Let mortar dry 24 hours before grouting.

  9. Remove spacers then apply grout to joints, removing excess as you go.

  10. Allow grout to dry per the manufacturer's instructions then go back over tile with a damp sponge to set grout lines and clean grout residue.

  11. Once grout has cured - usually at least a couple weeks - apply sealer to protect it. 

Find more ideas and tips for updating your bathroom at eLivingtoday.com.

(Family Features) 




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »