How Long Does It Take to Lay Tile in a Small Bathroom?

Tiling a small bathroom can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure how long it will take. Let’s break down the process and explore the time commitment involved in laying tile in a small bathroom.

Laying tile in a small bathroom typically takes around 1-3 days, depending on the size of the space, the complexity of the design, and your level of experience. Here’s a detailed outline of how long it takes to lay tile in a small bathroom:

1. Preparing the Bathroom

Laying tile in a small bathroom starts with preparing the space correctly. This means saying goodbye to the old flooring and fixtures. Knock out that worn-out linoleum or outdated tile to create a clean slate for your new tiles. Remove any vanities, toilets, or other fixtures that may interfere with the tiling process. Clearing the space will make your job smoother and quicker, giving you a fresh canvas to work with.

Keep in mind that preparing the bathroom can take about half a day, depending on the size of your bathroom and the complexity of the existing layout. Factor this time into your overall tiling timeline to ensure a seamless process from start to finish.

For more detailed instructions on proper preparation steps, check out this helpful resource on DIY tile installation.

2. Measuring and Planning

Before you dive into the tiling process, taking the time to measure and plan your layout is crucial for a polished end result. Measure the dimensions of your bathroom accurately to determine how many tiles you’ll need. Planning the layout will help you avoid awkward cuts and ensure a professional finish.

Consider creating a pattern that enhances the size and shape of your small bathroom. For instance, using large-format tiles can create the illusion of a larger space, while diagonal patterns can add visual interest. Experiment with different layouts to find the one that best suits your aesthetic preferences.

Taking the time to measure and plan can save you from potential headaches down the road. It’s worth spending a few extra hours upfront to ensure a smooth tiling process and stunning end result.

3. Gathering Materials and Tools

Before you dive into tiling your small bathroom, it’s crucial to ensure you have all the necessary materials and tools ready to go. You’ll need tiles (make sure to purchase a few extra for any mistakes), thinset mortar, a notched trowel, tile spacers, a tile cutter, grout, a grout float, a level, sponge, and buckets. Additionally, don’t forget safety gear like gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself during the process.

Once you have all your materials, make sure your subfloor is clean, dry, and free of any debris. Having everything organized and ready to use will streamline the tiling process and help you avoid any unnecessary delays. So, take the time to gather all your tools and materials before you start, and you’ll be all set for a successful tiling project in your small bathroom.

4. Applying Thinset

Now, let’s talk about the all-important step of applying thinset mortar before laying down your tiles. To start, mix your thinset according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, it should have a consistency similar to peanut butter – not too runny and not too thick. Use a notched trowel to spread the thinset evenly on the floor, working in small sections to ensure it doesn’t dry out before you lay the tiles.

Pro tip: Work in small batches to prevent the thinset from hardening before you can lay your tiles. It’s better to take your time and do it right than rush through and end up with a messy result. Once you’ve applied the thinset, use the notched side of the trowel to create grooves for better adhesion, then you’re ready to lay your tiles and start transforming your small bathroom.

5. Installing Tiles

Laying tiles in a small bathroom can be a rewarding project that adds a fresh look to the space. Start by prepping the surface with a clean and level base, ensuring proper adhesion. Use a thin-set mortar to affix the tiles in place, starting from the center and working your way outwards. Remember to leave a small gap between the tiles for grout.

When it comes to cutting tiles to fit around fixtures or edges, a tile cutter or wet saw can be handy tools. Measure carefully and mark the tiles before making any cuts to ensure a precise fit. Take your time to align the tiles evenly and maintain a consistent layout throughout the bathroom.

Be patient and attentive during the tile installation process, as accuracy is key to a professional-looking finish. Depending on the size of the bathroom and the complexity of the design, laying tiles in a small bathroom can typically take anywhere from a day to a few days to complete.

6. Grouting and Sealing

Once the tiles are in place, it’s time to grout the spaces between them to secure the installation. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it evenly using a grout float, pressing it into the gaps. Wipe off any excess grout with a damp sponge before it dries to avoid a hazy finish.

After the grout has cured, typically after 24-48 hours, seal the tiles to protect them from moisture and stains. Choose a suitable sealer based on the type of tile you have installed and follow the application guidelines carefully. Sealing the tiles not only enhances their longevity but also makes maintenance easier in the long run.

Remember, a well-executed grouting and sealing process is crucial to the durability and appearance of your tiled bathroom. By following these steps diligently, you can achieve a professional result that will stand the test of time.

  • Pro tip: Consider using a grout color that complements your tile for a cohesive look that ties the room together.

7. Cleaning Up

After all the tiling work is done in your small bathroom, it’s time to tackle the cleanup. Gather all your tools like a grout sponge, bucket, and cleaning solution. Start by removing any excess grout from the tiles with a damp sponge. Wipe down the entire area to get rid of any leftover grout residue. Polish the tiles with a clean, dry cloth to make them shine. Don’t forget to clean your tools thoroughly for future use.

8. Drying Time

Once you’ve finished laying the tiles in your small bathroom, it’s crucial to allow them adequate time to dry before using the space again. Generally, tiles should be left to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours before any foot traffic or moisture exposure. Humidity and temperature can affect drying time, so ensure the area is well-ventilated. Avoid rushing this step to prevent potential damage to the newly laid tiles. Once the tiles are fully dry, you can enjoy your beautifully tiled bathroom.

Extra Tip: To speed up the drying process, you can use fans or dehumidifiers in the bathroom to create a dry environment. This can help reduce the drying time and allow you to use your newly tiled bathroom sooner.

9. Maintenance Tips

Want to keep your small bathroom looking fresh with newly laid tile? Here are some maintenance tips to help you out:

  1. Regular Cleaning: To prevent grime buildup, make sure to clean your tiled bathroom regularly with a mild detergent and warm water.

  2. Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Stay away from abrasive cleaners that can damage your tile grout. Opt for gentler options to preserve the quality of your tiles.

  3. Seal Grout Lines: Protect your grout from moisture and stains by applying a sealant every six months. This extra step can prolong the life of your tile.

  4. Mind the Details: Pay attention to small issues like loose tiles or cracks in grout. Repair these promptly to prevent bigger problems down the line.

  5. Ventilation: Proper ventilation is key to prevent mold and mildew growth. Keep your bathroom well-ventilated to maintain the integrity of your tile.

  6. Stay Proactive: Regularly inspect your tile for any signs of damage or wear. Addressing issues early can save you time and money in the long run.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your small bathroom stays looking stylish and clean for years to come.

10. Fun Facts about Tiles

Did you know that tiles have a rich history and come in various fascinating forms? Here are some fun facts about tiles to pique your interest:

  • Ancient Origins: Tiles have been used since ancient times, with evidence dating back to 4,700 BCE in Egypt.

  • Versatile Materials: Tiles can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, and even metal.

  • Artistic Expression: Tiles are not just functional but are also used as artistic expressions in mosaics and intricate designs.

  • Durable and Long-lasting: Properly maintained tiles can last for decades, making them a reliable choice for bathroom renovations.

  • Colorful Choices: Tiles come in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing you to customize your bathroom to your unique style.

  • Global Influence: Different cultures around the world have their own distinct tile traditions, showcasing the versatility of this building material.

Next time you step into your tiled bathroom, remember the rich history and versatility behind those beautiful tiles.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!