Tale of the Tile: An Overview of Bathroom Tile Flooring

by Meghan Stiltner
bathroom tile

Installing bathroom floor tile can easily be a do-it-yourself task. All you need are some basic handyman skills. But if you aren’t feeling confident or lack the time and motivation, you can always hire a professional to come in and do the job for you.

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Take a look at what we recommend should you decide to DIY.

Can I Install It Myself?

Installing tile is a relatively simple task for someone to do as a DIY project. With some basic knowledge, and maybe a YouTube video or two, you can definitely try. Do a little bit of research and figure out all the items that you are going to need. You may have some items around your house and in your toolbox, but you will probably have to make a few purchases as well.

How Do I Get Started?

It is important to know what you are doing and how to apply the tile before you begin the job. Here’s a quick guide to how to get your bathroom floor looking great with a new tile:

Measure the Room

This way you have correct measurements to make cuts.

Get the Underlayment Ready

This is the process of laying down the foundation for the tile to be installed.

Lay the Underlayment Down

This is the step in which you are going to attach the board to the floor.

Get an Idea of How You Want the Tile to Lay

Take some time to play around with how you want it all the layout on the floor.

Cut Your Tile

Once you know the layout and the areas that are going to need cutting, you can make the necessary cuts to the tile.

Replace Tiles on the Floor

After you have made the cuts to the tiles that you measured, lay them back out onto the floor to ensure all cuts were made properly.


If everything lays out correctly, pick the tiles back. Apply mortar to the underlayment. Take your time and work a small section at a time applying mortar and laying tiles as you go.

Let Dry

Once you have worked your way around the whole bathroom, you can now leave it alone until it dries.


Once all the mortar is dry, you are ready to begin filling in with grout.

Remove Excess Grout

Using a large sponge, you can remove any excess grout from the tile.


After you have finished all the grout work and it has dried, you can go back over it with a sealer. This is an important step to keep it looking clean and nice.

Costs to Tile Floor

When you begin a DIY project it is important to know what the costs are going to be. You wouldn’t want to get started on a job and then realize it costs more than you expected. The costs are going to vary on some things depending on the style that you choose. Here is a breakdown of some of the costs that you are going to have:


This price can range from $1 all the way up to $20 a tile.


Depending on if you get it already mixed or if you mix it yourself, it can range from $10 all the way up to $150 or more.


If you are going to hire someone, you can expect to pay them at least $7 per square foot of the room. (The cost of labor is higher with stone.)


You can pay upwards of $7 a square foot down to as little as $1.50 a square foot.

What Tools Are Required?

When you are tiling a bathroom floor, you are going to need a few things to get the job done. It is a good idea to make sure you make a list of the items you need, that way you aren’t having to run to the hardware store in the middle of your project. It will make things go much faster and smoother if you are prepared. You will need items such as:

  • A circular saw
  • A tape measure
  • A drill
  • Screws
  • Tile spacers
  • Mortar
  • Grout
  • A sponge

Best Floor Tiles to Use

Are you wondering which kind of tile to use? It can be a hard decision to make. Check out the different varieties of tiles below.

Vinyl Tiles

These are durable, stain-resistant, and affordable.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

These offer beautiful varieties to choose from and are commonly used in bathroom flooring.

Glass Tiles

These are a little more labor-intensive to use and you may need a professional, and they tend to cost more.

Stone Tiles

Marble, granite and sandstone are the best options when using stone for flooring.

Laminate Tiles

These are durable and great for the price.

Linoleum Tiles

These tiles are very similar to vinyl and are affordable to use.

Cork Tiles

These are a neat option and is a comfortable one to use.

To decide on the best one for you to use, you have to consider the space and the traffic that floor gets. Another big factor is your budget. Each of the different types comes with their own price tag. The style you are going for can also be a big deciding factor.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Floor Tile

The most common type of tile flooring to be installed in a bathroom is porcelain tile. Although porcelain may be the most common one used, there are many options that you can choose from. It all depends on the look that you are going for, the amount you are wanting to spend, and the size tiles that you want.

Where to Buy Tile?

There are many places that you can go to buy tile. You can check your local stores to see if they have what you want, but if you aren’t having any luck, check online. Most common big home improvement retailers carry tile, for example:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Ace Hardware
  • Walmart

What Size Tile Should I Buy?

When you are looking at tile sizes, you can keep a few things in mind. The size of the tile should be relatively close to the size of the room that you are working in. If you are working in a large open area, you can choose a larger size tile. In areas like the bathroom, you should stick to small to medium-sized tile.

Bathroom Floor Tile Ideas

Do you need some inspiration for the design you want with your bathroom tile? Maybe you want something more festive, creative, or maybe a classic design. Use different areas of the internet to search for designs and options that you can do. There are so many fun and creative ways that you can lay your tile.

  • Geometric tile
  • Subway tile
  • Mosaic
  • Marble
  • Herringbone
  • Hexagon tile
  • Penny tile
  • Checkerboard
  • Patterns

After spending money and time installing bathroom floor tile, you want to keep your home well maintained. With a home repair plan from HomeServe in place, and a covered issue arises, simply call the 24/7 repair hotline and a local contractor will be sent to your home. See what plans from HomeServe are available in your neighborhood.