How Long Does It Take To Tile A Bathroom?

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Tiling a bathroom, whether you are tiling the walls, floor, or shower, is a great way to add value to your home. Hiring a professional to do this job can be expensive and inconvenient. With a few pointers and a little courage, the task of tiling a bathroom can be done yourself in a shorter amount of time than you may think. But exactly how much time will it take to tile a bathroom? We have researched this topic and searched many sources to bring you the answer.

A bathroom tiling job is the perfect weekend project. Placing tile in a bathroom takes about 6 to 8 total hours for a professional and anywhere from 10 to 16 hours for the DIYer. Various factors can influence the time required to tile your bathroom, including: 

  • Professional vs DIY
  • Preparation
  • Proper materials
  • Size and layout of space
  • Size of tile

Many considerations must be made prior to deciding when to tile your bathroom and various questions will arise that may also help you plan for your project. Can you tile a bathroom in a day? How much should it cost to tile a bathroom? Can you tile and grout the same day? We will answer all of these questions and discuss some other closely related topics, just keep reading. 

A tile setter placing new patterned tiles on a bathroom with tiles adhesive underneath, How Long Does It Take To Tile A Bathroom?

Factors That Influence The Time For Tiling A Bathroom

Small gray 3/4 bathroom with a small bathtub, small square mirrors and gray tiles

Professional vs. DIY

The easiest, although not the cheapest, way to save time tiling your bathroom is to hire a professional to do the job. Professionals can have your bathroom tiled in as little as 4 to 8 hours. Hiring a professional will cost you. At $10-$20 per square foot, your tiling job just became a whole lot more expensive.

Hiring a professional may save you time, but you can save money by doing the job yourself. You don’t necessarily have to be a home improvement expert. If you are familiar with a few basic tools and have a free weekend, the job can be done at less than half the cost of hiring a professional. It will take about 10 to 16 hours to complete the project.

Preparation

Proper preparation can save you time in the long run by ensuring that the job is durable enough to withstand time, traffic, and moisture. Proper preparation for your tiling project begins with a clean area. The area that you will be tiling, as well as the space around it, should be free of dust and debris that can cause adhesives to fail and tiles to move and break.

Trisodium phosphate solution, or TSP, is recommended as a top cleaner for use prior to tiling or painting in order to remove old paint and residue.

Click here to find this TSP solution on Amazon.

Floors

If tiling floors, ensure the foundation is as even and level as possible. Smooth cement floors in low spots and cracks. When preparing thin-set mortar, allow the mortar to set for about 10 minutes after mixing and prior to spreading to allow the mortar to absorb all water and prevent chunks in mortar.

Click here to find this thin-set mortar on Amazon.

Walls

If tiling walls, the wall surface should be smooth, even, and waterproof. Tile backer board is recommended for over shower surfaces and under tiles to ensure that your foundation for your tile is waterproof and as smooth as possible. Waterproof tile adhesive is also recommended to properly protect your shower walls. 

Click here to find this waterproof shower kit on Amazon.

Proper Materials

Tile setting materials placed on the side of a bathroom

Having to travel back and forth between home improvement store and home can be time-consuming. With this being said, after measuring the room, always remeasure. Ensure your measurements are correct so that you buy enough materials to prevent returning for more. 

It’s recommended that you purchase 10% more tiles than you calculate needing. A diamond blade saw can cut the time needed for cutting tiles. Tile nippers can also be helpful for snipping small corners and bits of tile. The basic materials needed to tile a bathroom are:

  • Tile
  • Tile spacers
  • Thin-set mortar
  • Tile cutters
  • Wet tile saw
  • Grout
  • Sealant
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line
  • Notched trowel
  • Bucket
  • Grout float
  • Sponge

If tiling a wall, these items may also be needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Backer board
  • Backer board screws

For more information regarding bathroom tiles, check out How Much Do Bathroom Tiles Cost?

Size And Layout Of Space

Tiling a larger bathroom may take days to tile, while a smaller bathroom can be tiled in hours. Having to cut tiles to fit around pipes, corners, and angles can also consume additional time. A gauge stick can save time by ensuring proper and even spacing between tiles. A gauge stick is made by marking the placement of each tile on a wooden stick during a dry run for reference when actually laying tile. 

Tile Size

A tile setter properly placing patterned tiles on the side of a bathroom

As larger tiles in a small room can make the room seem smaller, medium tiles are the most time-efficient tile option for smaller sized bathrooms. Decorative accent additions, while adding detail to your floor or walls, can also add time to your project. Odd-shaped tile can also be more time consuming, especially when making cuts around windows and pipes or hardware such as towel bars or faucets.

Baseboards around your room should be pulled up if at all possible, without the baseboards in place, cuts do not have to be exact and the finished product will look more professional.

Can You Tile A Bathroom In A Day?

A bathroom with newly lain tiles and an unfinished bathtub

While the time to actually lay the tile with thin-set mortar in a bathroom may be only a matter of hours, the thin-set should dry overnight and the grout applied the next day. Having a few of the initial steps done the day before you plan to start your project will save time on the actual tiling day.

Start by gathering your materials as discussed above. Use a measuring tape to find the center of the room and snap chalk lines. After finding the center of the room, do a dry run of laying out your tile, including spacers, and then snap another chalk line for reference when really laying tiles.

On the day that you actually plan to lay the tile, you are ready to mix up the thin-set mortar and apply it to either the floor surface itself or the back of your tile, whichever method you prefer. After cutting tile with a wet tile cutter and adhering tile to the surface with thin-set mortar, the tile and thin-set should dry overnight.

Grout can be applied the next day. Leave it to cure for at least three days before walking on it. This ensures proper curing of the tile adhesive and prevents expensive and time-consuming repeat work from broken or displaced tiles. Apply a sealer 48-72 hours after the grout is applied to ensure that grout is fully dry.

Can You Tile And Grout The Same Day?

It is recommended to lay the tile with the thin-set mortar the day before spreading the grout to ensure that the thin-set dries properly. Thin-set, not left to dry properly, can fail, causing your tile to move. This will cost you time and money to repair. Take the proper time between laying the tile and spreading the grout to help ensure the durability and success of your project.

How Much Should It Cost To Tile A Bathroom?

Leading sources state that the average cost of tiling a normal-sized bathroom can run between $1,000 and $3,000 or anywhere from $8-$18 per square foot. Cost is, of course, dependent on several factors. 

As we discussed earlier, the most amount of money can be saved by doing the job yourself as opposed to hiring a professional. Materials will also have a large impact on cost. The tile itself that you choose can have a wide variety of pricing, depending on what type of tile you want for your bathroom.

Final Words

While a weekend may seem like a long time to complete a project, tiling your own bathroom can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Tiling a bathroom may seem like an overwhelming task, but with a little planning and research, you can transform the look of your own bathroom with tile.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other home decor guides that may be of interest to you:

Should Bathroom Floor And Wall Tiles Match?

Does Bathroom Floor Tile Have To Match Shower Tile?

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