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Tiles make smiles

How to tile a bathroom floor

Before you reach for the phone to hire a professional, take a look at UniBond’s guide on how to install bathroom tiles and discover how you can save a fortune whilst still achieving tiling perfection.


The first thing to do is, of course, buy your tiles. To avoid any noticeable variation in colour, get your tiles from one batch. There may still be slight colour variations within that batch, so before laying, mix the tiles up so that you don’t end up with blocks of different shades on your new floor.  

To figure out how many tiles you’ll need, take the length and width measurements of the floor you’re tiling, multiply these two numbers, then divide the result by the coverage area of one pack of your chosen tiles. As you may need to cut some tiles for floor edges, and some breakages may occur, it is always safest to purchase an extra 10 per cent.

The next step is to get a tile adhesive and grout that is suitable for fixing the material your tiles are made from and the type of floor you are laying them on (see below). It is vital you buy the correct products, otherwise the bond formed between tile and floor may not be strong enough to hold secure or the adhesive may not dry properly.

It has an anti-mould formula, offers high bond strength and is also suitable for grouting the tile joints after fixing.


1. Always read the instructions on your tile adhesive and grout before beginning. Ensure the floor you’re about to lay on is clean, free of debris and dry. Inspect your tiles and throw away any that are damaged or chipped.

2. To find the ideal starting point, lay a row of dry tiles near the centre of your bathroom. Adjust their position so that you won’t need to cut thin sections or difficult shapes. Then lay out a second row at a right angle to the first row, once again adjusting the position of the rows to avoid awkward cuts. 

3. To ensure your tiles are laid straight, use a set square and a straight edge to mark two lines along the tile edges. Beginning at the intersection of these lines, start to spread your adhesive over the floor, doing small sections and laying the tiles in staggered stages.

4. Press a tile into the adhesive at that intersection, using a slight twisting action as you do so to create good grip. If any adhesive gets onto the surface of the tiles, wipe it off with a damp cloth.

5. Now repeat this process, inserting spacer between each tile and working out in a fan pattern towards one of the bathroom walls until a quarter of the floor is covered. Intermittently use a spirit level to check the tiles are laid flat. If you discover one that isn’t, tap it with a rubber mallet until it is levelled out.

6. It is likely that some tiles will need to be cut when you reach the row nearest the wall. Allowing for the grout line, use a tile to measure the distance between the wall and the penultimate row of tiles and mark it with a marker pen. Cut it to size with a tile cutter and smooth any rough edges with a tile file.

7. Once all your tiles are laid and the floor is covered, leave to dry for the length of time specified by the adhesive’s instructions. Only then can you walk onto the tiles and remove the spacers between each one.


1. Do not grout until the adhesive has completely dried. Using a gauging trowel to take the grout from the tub, work it into the joints between the tiles with a grout float, ensuring the grout is tightly packed in. Clean the surface of the tiles with the edge of the grout float as you proceed.

2. Work in stages. Allow a little time for the grout to begin to set and then smooth its surface with a grout finishing tool. Wipe off any excess grout on the tiles using a damp cloth as you go.

3. Once all the joints are grouted and smoothed, leave to dry for the amount required on the grout’s instructions. Once dry, remove any grout residue from the tiles with a damp cloth, and then polish with a clean dry cloth.  

4. Use a silicone sealant like UniBond Easy Sealing Kitchen & Bathroom Sealant to seal the joint between the floor and the wall and accommodate any expansion or movement between them. Lay masking tape on both sides of the joint, then apply a continuous bead of sealant from one end to the other. 

5. To compact the bead into the joint, run UniBond 2in1 Sealant Remover and Smoother Tool over it from one end of the bead to the other, wiping off any excess sealant as you go.

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