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Revamp Your Bathroom: DIY Tile Makeover

from the Gumtree Team

15 Apr 2024 6 mins read

Tired of dull, dated bathroom tiles that fail to spark joy? Craving a bathroom makeover that reflects your unique style without breaking the bank? Enter the world of DIY bathroom tiling, an affordable way to update and customise your bathroom space.

Deciding to upgrade your bathroom yourself can help to save you money while also allowing you to learn new skills you can use for future DIY projects. On top of this, you’ll be rewarded by a sense of pride and accomplishment when the job is done and you can enjoy your updated bathroom space. 

 In this essential DIY bathroom tile guide, we’ll take you through the key steps you need to follow to ensure a smooth and enjoyable DIY experience. 

3 Benefits of DIY Bathroom Tiling

Forget the hefty price tag of professional help and the limitations of pre-designed bathroom tiles. DIY bathroom tiling unlocks a host of benefits beyond a brand-new look. Let’s take a look at the perks that make this project a win-win:

  1. Budget-friendly Bliss: DIY slashes the price tag compared to hiring professionals. You choose the materials, control the installation, and save those precious pennies for a stylish new vanity or a spa-worthy showerhead.
  2. Unleash Your Creativity: DIY bathroom tiling can help save you money, but it’s also an opportunity for you to personally create your own unique bathroom space.  Play with different shapes, textures, and patterns to design a space that reflects your unique style.
  3. Learn a New Skill: DIY bathroom tiling is a rewarding challenge that builds confidence and teaches you valuable new skills.  From cutting tiles to grouting, every step you master boosts your confidence and helps you feel a sense of accomplishment. Plus, there’s a special kind of pride in looking at a beautifully tiled bathroom and knowing you did it all by yourself.


Planning Your DIY Tile Makeover

Before you grab your tile cutter and dive headfirst into your DIY bathroom makeover, a little planning goes a long way.  Follow these steps for a smooth start to your bathroom tile makeover. 

Know Your Budget

Ceramic tiles might be budget-friendly, while stone floor tiles add a touch of luxury but have a heftier price tag. Figure out your cost limit and research accordingly. Remember, your budget should cover not just the tiles and grout but also potential tools and unexpected hiccups.

Get Inspired

Scour Pinterest and home decor magazines for bathroom tile inspiration. Browsing Gumtree’s bathroom tiles section can also help you find your style and get the creative design ideas flowing. Find styles you love and adapt them to your space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and colours to create a unique look.

Choose Your Materials and Designs

 When it comes to tiles, your options are almost endless. From sleek porcelain to intricate mosaic tiles make sure you choose materials that complement your existing fixtures and desired style. Craving a modern vibe? Opt for cool greys and clean lines. Feeling rustic? Stone tiles with earthy tones might be your match. And don’t forget to grab a few extra tiles for repairs or mishaps.

Plan Your Layout

Dry-lay your tiles on the bathroom floor or shower walls to visualise the final design. Play with patterns and experiment with different shapes. This is your chance to avoid tile Tetris later.

Measure Your Space

Before heading to the tile shop, grab a tape measure and get familiar with your bathroom’s dimensions. Knowing the exact floor area and wall space will ensure you purchase enough tiles (with a little buffer for good measure).

Preparing the Bathroom for Tiling

Now you’re ready to start preparing the bathroom so it’s ready for you to begin work. Some demolition is required before your bathroom becomes a canvas for stunning tiles.

  1. Clear the Clutter: Remove fixtures like the toilet, vanity, and towel racks. Don’t forget the old tiles—pry them up gently, saving any salvageable ones for practice cuts.
  2. Prepare the Floor: Time to tackle the bathroom floor. If you’re replacing hardwood floors with tiles, secure a sturdy subfloor. For existing tile floors, check for unevenness and fill in any cracks.
  3. Clean the Walls: Make sure you give those walls a thorough scrub before you start laying down any wall tiles. Remove soap scum, mildew, and any lingering paint. Ensure the surface is even and free of loose plaster.
  4. Apply Masking Tape: Use masking tape to protect non-tiled areas like the bathtub and toilet flange. This will save you cleanup headaches later.
  5. Measure Out the Space: Mark your bathroom walls and floor where the tiles will be laid. This will serve as your installation guide and prevent wonky layouts.


Tiling Techniques and Tips

Now you’re finally ready to start laying down your new tiles. Now for the fun part – laying the tiles! Here are some key tips to ensure your DIY bathroom tiling masterpiece shines:

  1. Spread, Trowel, Lay: Mix your thinset mortar (think peanut butter), then use a notched trowel to spread it evenly on the floor or wall. Remember, consistency is key for good adhesion.
  2. Lay Down the Tiles: Press each tile onto the thinset to ensure full contact. Use spacers to maintain consistent grout lines. 
  3. Cutting corners: Don’t let awkward spaces faze you. Use a tile cutter or the ‘score and snap’ method for precise cuts around the tub, shower stall, or toilet. This is where your old or spare tiles can be used for practice. Practice makes perfect (and saves precious tiles!)
  4. Fill in the Grout: Once the tiles are set, it’s time to add the grout in. Choose a colour that complements your tiles and apply it diagonally across the joints, filling them. Wipe away excess grout for a clean finish.
  5. Seal the Tiles: Don’t skip this crucial step! Sealing your tiles protects them from stains and water damage. Choose a sealant appropriate for your tile material and apply it generously.

Adding the Finishing Touches

Now that you’re finally done, you can reinstall your fixtures and add pops of personality with greenery or artwork. Thanks to your DIY magic, you’ve transformed your bathroom into a haven of stylish, durable beauty. Celebrate your savings, skills, and the satisfaction of a space you created yourself. Your brand-new bathroom awaits, ready to be enjoyed for years to come.

For more home decor ideas or to find second hand gems to add to your newly renovated bathroom, make sure you take a look at Gumtree’s home decor categories. From furniture to lighting, wall art to plants, there is a huge variety of second hand and new items available from sellers across the country. Who knows? You may even find the perfect piece that adds that final touch to your brand-new bathroom that brings the entire space together.