Replacing worn out bathroom tile can be expensive if hiring a professional contractor. Thankfully, the job can be done with a little bit of do it yourself know how, the proper tools and time. The five easy steps for replacing tile in your bathroom are listed below to give an overview of the process and make replacing tile a breeze.
Step 1: Preparation
The first step in replacing tile in the bathroom is to gather the necessary equipment and supplies. Tile, thin set mortar, trowel, tile spacers, grout, grout sealer, tile nippers, a tile saw, safety goggles, a chalk line and a pencil and paper will get things started. Always keep a supply of rags and paper towels handy when working on the project, as well.
After gathering the supplies, begin by removing the toilet and any furniture from the bathroom. Pull up the old tile, being careful not to cut yourself or cause damage to the underlying floor. Once all the old flooring has been removed, clean any remaining debris and vacuum with a shop vac.
Step 2: Planning the Layout
Decide on the pattern of the new tile. Layout the chalk line and snap the lines perfectly square. By making sure that the tile is lined up correctly at the start of the process, it will make placing the tile easier and will not result in crooked lines.
Lay the tile down in the center of the space and place the first tile. Align it to the chalk lines. After the first tile is set, set the next ones to the left and right, top and bottom of the center square. Consider a dry run before adhering the tile to the floor.
Step 3: Laying the Tile
Spread a thin, even coat of thin set mortar over the area. Gently drop the first tile into place and wiggle it slightly to make sure it is properly adhered. Place tile spacers around the tile to ensure that the next tiles are spaced evenly around it.
Continue spreading mortar, placing tiles and setting tile spacers. The thin set mortar dries very quickly, usually in under two hours, so work steadily and plan on not taking a break until this portion of the project is complete. If the thought of so little time makes you uneasy, consider using a slower drying mortar that will give 24 to 48 hours of wiggle room. However, quick drying mortar is ideal for homes that only have one bathroom.
Step 4: Grout
Once the tile has all been laid and the mortar has dried, it is time to grout. Use a foam float and spread the grout over the surface. Push the grout down into the spaces, filling each one completely to the bottom. Hold the float at a 45 degree angle and carefully scrape off the excess grout. Be careful not to pull up the grout from the joints.
Let the grout cover dry to a light film and wash it away with a damp sponge. Try to be as careful as possible so that the grout in the joints is not disturbed. Wipe away any excess or filmy grout cover on all the tile surfaces.
Step 5: Grout Sealer
After waiting a few days for the grout to dry, seal it with a high-quality grout sealer. This will protect the grout from damage and keep it looking new. Once the sealer has dried, reattach the bathroom toilet and bring the furniture back into the room.
Replacing tile in a bathroom is time consuming, but can be accomplished for a much cheaper price than if a professional installer is hired. Ask home improvement stores for advice and check to see if they offer free tile installation clinics. Enjoy the results of your hard work once the tile has been replaced.