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How to Install Tile Around a Toilet

by Jess Buskirk

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Toilet in a classy bathroom

Things You Need:

  • Tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Grout
  • Wrench
  • Tile cutters
  • Wax sealing ring

You can't tile a bathroom without having to contend with the toilet. To install tile properly around the toilet, you need to affix it to the floor under the fixture. Because toilets sit on top of tile, any rough cuts are hidden, making it easy to achieve the appearance of tile that has been custom-cut for your bathroom. Take a look below to learn how to install tile around a toilet.

Installing Tile Around a Toilet:

  1. Shut off the water supply. Turn off the toilet's water supply and flush the water in the bowl.

  2. Remove the toilet. Remove the toilet by taking off the retaining bolts, disconnecting the supply line and lifting the toilet straight up. The toilet should have a wax sealing ring that will break when the toilet is lifted. It's common for some water to continue leaking from the toilet after it has been lifted.

  3. Remove the wax sealing ring. Remove the wax ring from the bottom of the toilet and place the toilet in a safe location. The bathtub is a good place to store the toilet while you work.

  4. Clean the floor. Clean and dry the floor before you begin laying tile. Depending on how much debris is on the floor, you may want to consider covering the toilet's drainage pipe to make sure nothing falls into it.

  5. Lay the tile. Lay the tile up to the drainage pipe's retaining ring. Use tile cutters to cut the pieces so that they closely surround the retaining ring; the gap should be 1/4 inch or less. Lay the tiles without adhesive to make sure the cuts are accurate.

  6. Apply the tiles. Apply the tiles and allow the adhesive to dry completely. Next, apply the grout. Don't grout the gap between the tiles and the retaining ring.

  7. Replace the wax ring. Replace the wax sealing ring with a new ring.

  8. Reinstall the toilet. Depending on the thickness of the tile, you may need longer retaining bolts.

  9. Reconnect the water supply. Reconnect the supply line and flush the toilet to fill the bowl with water.

Tile Installation Tips:

  1. Tile the rest of the bathroom floor before you tile around the toilet's drainage pipe.

  2. Mix only enough adhesive to last 30 minutes. If you mix too much, you risk it drying out before you can use it.

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