In order to get a professional looking job with bathroom floor tiling, it is best to remove the toilet instead of tiling around it. Tiling around the toilet is perfectly acceptable if all the cuts are done correctly and you do not end up with too many small pieces. It is best to just remove the toilet with a few hand tools. First shut off the water supply and flush the toilet a few times to drain as much water as possible. When the water is drained, put a towel into the tank to absorb the remaining water and disconnect the hose going into the bottom of the tank. Then using a flat head screwdriver, pry up the caps at the base covering the mounting bolts. With a wrench or pair of pliers, undo the bolts, one on each side, and carefully remove the toilet and place in a different room.
Floor preparation is next. In order to get a lasting floor, the base needs to be stable and if possible adding a layer of concrete board will ensure tiles do not flex and possibly crack. If this is not possible the existing floor needs to be removed and the sub-floor should be screwed off every 6 to 8 inches. When the floor is solid, then next step would be to pre-layout the tile by finding the center of the room and laying tile to all four walls. By doing this ahead of time, it may be necessary to adjust the tile to end up with the smallest pieces at the wall or doorway.
When laying out the tile after a dry fit, there should be no surprises with a hand tile cutter for straight cuts, and tile nippers for around any pipes from baseboard heat or other plumbing. Following the tile manufacturing specifications for mortar mix and tile notch, follow the dry fit placement starting in one quarter and working your way out the door. Remember to work so you end up out the doorway. After the mortar set, the tile needs to be grouted. (Hint: Darker grout for a bathroom floor will look newer for a long period of time as to a white/lighter color.) When grouting the floor, hold the rubber float at a 45 degree angle and force the grout deep in between the tiles going diagonal to the tile as well, back and forth to make sure the entire gap is full. With most of the grout scrapped off, use a damp sponge and wipe off the extra going slowly and carefully as to not pull the grout back out of the gaps. After an hour or so, a haze will form and need to be buffed off with a soft cloth before it dries too much.
After the grout has fully dried, it would be best to now seal the grout with a sealer found at any hardware store. It is best to do it while the room is still new and clear of debris. Also, if the toilet was removed, an adapter maybe needed to remount the toilet as the flooring now is higher then the flange mounted on the floor. With a new wax mounting ring and a small bead of caulking around the base of the toilet, reinstall the toilet and tighten the two flange mounting bolts and cover the bolts with the decorative caps. Re-attach the water supply being careful not to crack the plastic nut and turn water on looking for leaks. Then, stand back and enjoy your new bathroom floor.
The author is the owner of an established plumbing business. He writes articles on consumer information / protection , business in general and home improvement.
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