Preparing a Bathroom Floor for Tiling

Preparing A Bathroom Floor For Tiling

Proper preparation before tiling will make sure that your tiled floor will last longer. One of the most important and basic step when preparing the floor for tiling is to remove the old flooring and checking the subfloor for any damage. This is very important to avoid any unforeseen difficulty later on when installing the new tiles in the bathroom. The floor might not sustain well if there\’s even a tiny damage on the subfloor. The floor surface needs to be level and free from holes and cracks. At the same time, the tiles will be last longer and prevent possible damage to the underlay. Here are the steps on how to prepare a bathroom floor before tiling.

You will need:

  1. Pliers
  2. Backer board
  3. Cutter
  4. Thinset
  5. Pry bar
  6. Framing square
  7. Screws


  1. First, turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the tank. Unscrew and remove the two nuts on each side and then pull it straight up to remove the toilet. Set the toilet aside and not on the floor you are working on, so as not to mess up your work. Scrape the wax ring from the floor and dispose it all to make a clean way.
  2. Then, remove the old flooring material, all which is left of it. Pull the tiles up and use a scraper to remove any remaining glue if it is a carpet, vinyl or linoleum. Remove all of the debris by sweeping and vacuum. Take out any nails, screws and staple in the sub flooring with a small pry or pliers to avoid damaging the subfloor. Fill any holes or cracks in the floor using a crack filler or caulking. Replace the areas which are facing heavy problems caused by water.
  3. Next, cover the floor with a cement backer board material from your local builder supply or from your hardware store. It protects your sub-flooring from future water damage by adding a moisture barrier.
  4. Measure your bathroom floor and cut the backer board to fit the room. Core your cut with a framing square and use a carbide blade cutter to cut the backer board. Lay the backer board over the floor and screw it into the floor joists about every eight inches. Make a space between the boards and use a taping knife to fill the gap with a thinset mortar.
  5. Cover the seams with a fiberglass joint tape and apply another layer of thinset mortar. When the mortar is dried and set, you can begin the process of laying the tiles.

There you go; this is how you prepare your bathroom floor for tiling.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

Complete Bathroom Design: 30 Floor Plans, Fixtures, Surfaces, and Storage Ideas

Renovating a Bathroom (For Pros by Pros Series)