How to Tile A Bathroom Floor Around a Toilet (7 Step Guide!)

Nothing is as appealing as a properly tiled floor in the bathroom, especially around the toilet. However, unless you know how to tile a bathroom floor around a toilet, you could mess up the floor. Generally, here’s how to do it:

First, disconnect the water supply and pull out the toilet. Then remove the old wax ring and clean up. Lay the tiles and apply adhesive and grout before replacing the wax ring. Lastly, reinstall the toilet and reconnect the water supply.

If you do it properly, you’ll avoid all the challenges (which I’ll share later) that come with poor tile installation. But as you can tell, it’s all DIY.

So, how about I elaborate the process by providing you with a detailed guide outlining the exact steps and the supplies you need? But before I do, let me talk about the risks of not tiling the bathroom floor around the toilet correctly.

How to Tile a Bathroom Floor Around a Toilet

Risks of Not Tiling a Bathroom Floor Around a Toilet

Here are the possible outcomes if you try tiling around your toilet without understanding what it takes to do it:

  • You may add too much thickness on the floor, raising the floor and making it uncomfortable
  • The toilet may feel uncomfortably low
  • You may feel like you are falling off the toilet when trying to sit

So, if you want to avoid all that, you should skillfully tile the bathroom floor around the toilet.

How to Tile a Bathroom Floor Around a Toilet in 7 Steps:

Before anything, it’s essential to have the right supplies, which include:

  • Two adjustable pliers
  • Caulk
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Scissors
  • Allen wrench
  • Four pieces of tracing papers
  • Regular pencil
  • Wax pencil
  • Wet saw
  • Small bucket
  • Old rag
  • Masking tape
  • Variable speed drill
  • Thinset
  • Wax sealing ring

Now, here are the general DIY steps for tiling the bathroom floor around a toilet:

Step 1 – Toilet Pull-up

Before you can tile around the toilet, you should pull it up to know how much space you’ll be working with. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Shut off the water supply and then flush the toilet to get rid of water from the tank
  • Locate the coupling nut between the inlet valve and the supply line and hold it with pliers
  • Use another set of adjustable pliers on the tank’s underside to loosen the coupling nuts holding the water supply line.
  • Put the coupling nut and washer in a safe place for reusing later
  • Drain water from your supply line into a small bucket
  • Locate the bolts on the toilet side, loosen them using an Allen wrench, and put them aside.
  • Find someone to help you pull the toilet out, store it somewhere safe, perhaps in your bathtub, and cover it against dust.
How to Tile Around a Toilet Without Removing the Toilet

Step 2 – Wax Ring Removal and Cleanup

Here, you should go ahead and remove the old wax ring. Then, use a piece of old rag to clean off debris, old wax, and dirt from the frame.

Step 3 – Tiles Laying

Now that the toilet is out of its way, you can go ahead and tile the floor. It’s essential, however, that you don’t fill the spaces around your toilet flange. You should however fill up the spaces between the tiles with a good tile grout.

Consider tiling the floor to cover the toilet, 4-inches deep. Remember to also use quality tile adhesive, depending on your bathroom tiles.

Step 4 – Toilet Tracing and Tile Cutting

Now, you can go ahead and trace the toilet and then shape up the tiles to fit perfectly around it using these steps:

  • Cut flanges along the edges of each paper and place the papers around the toilet drain to allow the flanges to extend over
  • Push the flanges back before creasing them
  • Do the above for all four papers
  • Mark on each paper the exact location of the grout lines on each tile
  • Depending on the tire arrangement, label the four paper pieces as right-front, right-back, left-front, and left-back.
  • Lay the four pieces of paper around the toilet and puncture them with the toilet bolts
  • Trace the grout lines outline on the pieces of paper
  • Place the papers on top of the floor tiles
  • Using a wax pencil, transfer the paper outline onto the tiles to indicate where you’ll position the toilet
  • Mark the position of the bolt using masking tape before placing the paper template on top and marking the holes’ location using a pencil
  • Using a wet saw like the Skill 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw (View on Amazon), cut the tiles gently along the paper outline.

Generally, Here’s how to cut tile around toilet with a wet saw:

  • Place the saw gently on the tiles and start cutting them slowly
  • Slowly turn each tile you cut to attain a curved line
Do you tile around the toilet or under it

Step 5 – Tile Drilling

Now that the tiles are laid correctly, and you’ve cut them out ready for placing your toilet, you should go ahead and drill them

In that case:

  • Gently drill bolt holes into the tire before removing the masking tape
  • Spread a thin layer of thinset between the bolt holes before installing cut tiles, and then give the thinset 24 hours
  • Use a rag to clean the area

Step 6 – Wax Ring Placement

You should do the following here:

  • Locate the toilet horn (where the toilet drains) and place the wax sealing ring around it.
  • Apply masking tape (about 2 inches apart) screw the washers and bolts back into their position, but they shouldn’t be too tight.

Step 7 – Toilet Resetting and Water Supply Reconnection

Sit the toilet perfectly in place and bolt it as it was. Thereafter, reconnect the water supply. Remember to reposition the washers between the tank and bolts before applying caulk and the toilet base.

Complete the steps by turning the water supply.  

How to Tile Around a Toilet Without Removing the Toilet

Sometimes, it may be hard to remove the toilet before tiling around it. If so, you can still tile the bathroom floor around the toilet, but it’ll be more work. That’s because you’ll need to make extra curved cuts for the tiles to fit around the toilet.

Moreover, you may not have enough room to work if you don’t get the toilet out of the way. But overall, this approach works best on vinyl tiles as they aren’t thick.

Overall, here are the steps for tiling around the toilet without removing it:

Step 1 – Gather the Supplies

Check out the list of supplies on the guide above. Note, however, that instead of a wet saw, consider using an angle grinder like DEWALT DW840K (View on Amazon). It promises precise angled cuts, which you’ll need when placing the tiles around the toilet.

Angle grinders are generally simple to use, and they promise precise cuts. However, they generate much dust, which means it’s a good idea to wear a protective mask.

How do you tile around a toilet water line

Step 2 – Tiles Cutting

Now that you’ve your angle grinder ready, use it to cut tiles around your toilet flange to allow you to lay a toilet base seamlessly and have a clear finish.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Use a pencil to lay out a grid on how you want to position the tiles around the toilet.
  • Wet-lay the tiles on the bathroom floor and get to the flange as close as possible.
  • Wait for the tiles to dry well before making cuts around the flange.

Step 3 – Tracing Around the Toilet Base

Rather than tracing around the flange, as it’s the case of removing the toilet, you trace around the toilet base. So, you’ll need to use pieces of paper and use them to trace the toilet base before you cut around it.

Step 4 – Make Your Cuts

Now that everything is set and you have the right track, you can go ahead and cut around the toilet base. As I mentioned, an angle grinder will do a great job.

You can, however, use a diamond drill in its absence.

Step 5 – Dry-Fitting the Pieces

Lastly, join the tile pieces around the toilet base to attain a good finish. Start by dry-laying the pieces to ensure they fit around the toilet base and the floor.

People Also Ask

1. Do You Tile Around the Toilet or Under It?

Generally, if you want a better-looking tile finish, you should first tile your bathroom floor. That means you should first remove the toilet and tile the floor before reinstalling it (the toilet).

It’s also faster doing it this way than tiling around the toilet.

2. Does Tile Go Under Toilet Flange?

For the best finish, the base of the toilet flange should be on the same level as the tile. In that case, the flange should go above the tiled floor and not under it.

3. How Do You Tile Around a Toilet Water Line?

You can tile around the toilet water line by following these steps:

  • Drill a hole into the tile that the water line will pass through
  • Alternatively, cut semicircular shapes out of the two tiles using a wet saw
  • Place the tiles around the waterline (in the second case) or first disconnect the water source (as in the first case) and install the tiles between the pipes.
  • Seal the tiles and allow the seal some time to cure

4. How Close Should the Tile Be to The Toilet Flange?

The tiles should be close to the toilet flange as much as possible, preferably about 1/8-1/4 above the floor tile. That’ll promise a better finish.

5. Can You Wall-Tile Around a Toilet?

While it’s possible to wall tile around the toilet, it’s often much work getting the right cuts and fitting them. Furthermore, you may end up not having access to the cistern. So, it’s not a good idea to wall-tile around the toilet.

Closing Remarks On How to Tile a Bathroom Floor Around a Toilet!

Now you know how to tile a bathroom floor around your toilet. You can do it while the toilet is intact or by first removing it. I, however, advocate for the latter as it’s easy and promises a more appealing finish.


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