How to Tile a Bathroom Floor-One Room Challenge

June 17, 2020

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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I laid tile for the first time!!! The One Room Challenge will force you out of your comfort zone!! Here we are in week 7!! One more to go!! I’m not sure why laying tile was such an intimidating project to take on, but I was so nervous. Primarily by the tile saw, which actually proved to be very easy to use and not scary at all!! Not that I’m an expert, by any means, but I thought I would share the steps to tiling–because it really is super easy!!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I chose 12×24 White Water porcelain tile from the Waterfalls Collection through Mediterranea Tile based in Miami, Florida. That’s a mouthful! Indeed! So, let’s go the easy route and just click here to see all of the beautiful tile they have to offer. Here’s a glimpse of the samples they sent me…

12x24" tile samples


STEP ONE: Remove all trim and original flooring

I was planning on replacing all of our original builder-grade trim with new craftsman style trim anyway, so this was not a big deal. (I’ve gradually been changing out all of my trim throughout my home and have a full tutorial on how to do it here). I also removed all of the carpet….

bathroom with green walls, garden tub and double sinks, and carpeted floors

And all of the tile in the water closet….

tile broken up by a hammer

I found the easiest way to remove the old tile was to break it up with a hammer. With it being such a small area, this went pretty quickly. But wow! What a mess!

STEP TWO: Lay the Ditra

After thoroughly cleaning all of the floors and making sure all staples and nails were removed, I was ready to lay the backerboard. A few people DM’d me on Instagram and said they had worked with it and loved how easy it was. This being my first time, I was all about the EASIEST method. The Ditra comes in a roll rather than sheets, making it super easy to cut. With just a pair of scissors or exacto knife, I cut my sections to fit, mortared the back of each section and let it sit for 24 hours….

ditra laid down in master bathroom for tiling job

STEP THREE: Lay the tile

Next, I was ready to lay the tile. First step was to snap a chalk line in the middle of the room. I then used that as my guide to work from. I laid tile along that line first and worked my way out from there. I cut the tile to fit as I went. I decided to mortar the back of each tile individually and then set it in place. You can choose this route or mortar a section, place the tiles and then move onto a new section. Either way gets the job done. It’s important to use a trowel for this and make sure your lines are deep and going in the same direction. In between each tile, I used 1/8″ spacers to evenly separate my tiles for grout….

laying tile over ditra with spacers

Once again, I was all about easy on this project and went with pre-mixed mortar. Here’s what I used….

container of mortar for tiling

STEP FOUR: Ready for grout

After allowing that to sit for 24 hours, I was ready to grout. Once again, I took the easy route. Pre-mixed grout is a mighty fine thing!

container of grout for tiling

While this is a very easy step (as are the other steps 🙂 ), you want to make sure you get your grout down deep into the crevices. This is important to ensure that your grout doesn’t crack and become loose, in which case you’ll end up with missing grout in sections. So make sure you pack the grout down in there. Also to ensure it’s packed in there tight, you’ll want to move your float (the tool you use to spread the grout) in diagonal motions back and forth across the grout line. The goal is to really work it in there. Once you get a section done, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge and warm water. Be sure to work in sections backing yourself out of the room, so as not to have to walk on any of the tiles when finished. Let sit for another 24 to 48 hours…

girl laying tile and grouting

STEP FIVE: Clean tile

Using a sponge (you’ll actually go through a few), wash off the haze left on your tiles from the grout with hot, soapy water. And that’s it!

master bathroom mediterranea porcelain tile floor with white walls

How easy is that!?! Ready to give it a try??

master bathroom mediterranea porcelain tile floor with white walls

Next week, if time allows, I’ll be painting my dresser going in that space up there on the left. It fits perfectly. I’ll also be tying up all of the loose ends and hopefully ready to call this project DONE!! Moving onto that master bedroom, in the background, come Fall. 🙂


Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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Master Bathroom Makeover One Room Challenge Posts:

Master Bathroom Makeover Flooring-One Room Challenge

How to Paint Marble Countertops-One Room Challenge

Master Bathroom Makeover Countertops-One Room Challenge Week 4

Master Bathroom Makeover Progress-One Room Challenge Week 3

Master Bathroom Makeover Project-One Room Challenge Week 2

Master Bathroom Makeover Plan-One Room Challenge Week 1


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