How to Install Bathroom Tile on Plywood

Lead Image
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 180-400
What You'll Need
Concrete board
Grout float
Tile spacers
Tape measure
Wet saw
Chalk line

To install bathroom tile over plywood, you'll have to follow a series of steps. This process is not complicated, but you will need to be willing to do some work. Here are the basics of how to install bathroom tile on plywood.

Step 1 - Measure

Start by measuring the room. Get the dimensions of the room and then multiply them to get the square footage. You will then need to add 10% to that number so that you allow enough for waste.

Step 2 - Prepare the Bathroom

Make sure that the bathroom is ready for installation. You need to remove the toilet from the room and take the baseboards off the wall.

Step 3 - Concrete Board

Install concrete board over the plywood. You cannot install tile directly onto plywood because it is not dimensionally stable. If you put tile directly on top of plywood, it will chip and break. To install the concrete board, apply tile adhesive to the back, then press it down against the plywood. Then you want to install screws into the concrete board in each of the holes. Use your drill to make this job simpler.

Step 4 - Center

Center your tile in the bathroom. To do so, measure to the center point of each wall with your tape measure. Then snap a chalk line in each direction. You can then start laying in the corner of the intersection of the chalk lines in the middle of the floor.

Step 5 - Start Installing

At this point, you are ready to start installing the tile. Apply adhesive to the floor with your trowel and smooth it. Then press 1 of the tiles into the adhesive firmly. Make sure that there are no gaps behind the tile. Then put tile spacers on the corners of the tile and put another tile directly up against those spacers. Put tile spacers around the second tile and continue in this manner.

Step 6 - Cutting Tiles

When you get to a cabinet or the wall, make a cut. Do so by measuring the appropriate size and making the cut with your wet saw.

Step 7 - Grout

Once you have installed all of the tile, you need to allow it to dry overnight. Then you should be ready to grout the next day. You can apply the grout with a grout float or a trowel. After you grout, you will need to use a sponge and a bucket of water to clean the grout from the top of the tiles.