Installing Ceramic Tile in Your Bathroom in 7 Steps

Installing ceramic tile in your bathroom does not have to be a tough job. The materials you will need are a carpenter's level, hammer, tile cutter, tile nipper, grooved trowel, rubber gloves, plastic tile spacers, chalk line, rubber squeegee, popsicle sticks, tile sponge, tile mastic, grout, tile sealant, and caulk .

1.) The first step is to choose the size, color and pattern of the ceramic tiles to achieve the look you want in your bathroom. There is a wide variety of selection for any taste or budget.

2.) Next the surface the tiles will be installed on should be prepped and cleaned. Walls should be smooth and free of wallpaper, plaster, and peeling paint. It may be necessary to add primer to unfinished drywall. Floors should be stripped down to bare underlay or concrete.

3.) Start by using a level to draw a line on the wall from the edge of the tub to as high as you want the tile to go. Lay a starter row of tiles starting along the back wall, adjusting them so that the last tile will not have to be cut more than halfway. Then remove the tile and cut the end pieces to fit. For the fixtures, use tile nippers to cut holes from the adjacent tiles. Do not worry about being exact, as the escutcheons will cover the edges.

4.) Use a grooved trowel to lay enough mastic on the wall that you can cover in half an hour or less so you have time to adjust the tiles before it dries. Place the starter row along the edge of the tub, adjusting them to level. Leave a 1/8 "gap between the first row and the tub, and use tile spacers to keep them even. Save the cap tiles until last.

5.) Finish the other walls using a similar pattern. Once finished, allow the mastic to dry for at least 24 hours.

6.) Once the mastic has discharged, it's time to lay the grout. Mix the grout to a smooth putty consistency, then wet the tiles so they do not suck water from the grout. Remove the tile spacers and spread the grout using rubber gloves. Then use a rubber squeegee to spread the grout between the tiles. You can use the popsicle sticks to force the grout between the tiles, then wipe them with a damp sponge to remove the excess. Allow it to dry overnight, then use a tile sponge to remove the thin film of grout that has dried on the surface of the tiles.

7.) Apply caulk to the gap left around the edge of the tub, as well as around any windows. Apply ceramic tile sealant according to the label.