Do You Tile a Bathroom Floor or Wall First?

Matt Keane
October 14, 2023

If you are thinking about remodelling your bathroom in Ireland and wondering whether to start with the floor or walls, we get it. It's a common question.

We've looked into a lot of information, considered different tiles, patterns, and designs, and boiled it all down to some simple tips for you.

So, ready to figure out this tiling challenge? Dive into our easy-to-follow guide!

Key Takeaways

  • Consider the layout of your bathroom and how the tiles will align with the fixtures when deciding whether to tile the floor or walls first.
  • Tiling the floor first provides a stable surface and reduces the risk of damaging wall tiles during installation.
  • Tiling the walls first allows for easier fixing of mistakes and better alignment, but there is a risk of damaging floor tiles if not properly protected.

Factors to Consider Before Tiling a Bathroom

Before embarking on a bathroom tiling project, there are several important factors that Irish homeowners should consider.

Cost of tiling in Ireland

Tiling a bathroom in Ireland can cost different amounts. It depends on the type of tiles you choose and the size of your bathroom. For example, fewer tiles and less work are needed for smaller spaces, so it is cheaper to tile small bathrooms.

So, the cost can also change based on how many walls you want to tile and if you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional. If you need help, there are guides that give step-by-step tips for tiling walls and floors.

Types of Tiles

When choosing tiles for your bathroom, there are several factors to consider. The type of tiles you choose will have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your bathroom. There are different types of tiles available, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone.

Ceramic tiles are affordable and easy to clean, making them a popular choice for bathrooms. Porcelain tiles are durable and resistant to water, stains, and scratches. Natural stone tiles like marble or granite add a luxurious touch to any bathroom but require more maintenance.

Consider the style you want to achieve in your bathroom and choose the type of tile that best matches your vision.

Additionally, think about the colour and finish of the tiles. Light-colored tiles can make a small bathroom appear larger, while dark-colored ones create a cosy atmosphere. Glossy finishes reflect light and add shine to the space, while matte finishes offer a more subtle look.

Remember that it's important to choose high-quality adhesive and grout that are suitable for your chosen tile material. This will ensure proper adhesion and longevity of your newly tiled bathroom floor or walls.

Design and layout

When considering tiling a bathroom, it's important to think about the design and layout. The design of your tiles can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your bathroom. You can choose from various tile patterns, such as linear or herringbone, to create different visual effects.

Additionally, you need to consider how the tiles will be laid out on both the floor and walls to ensure they complement each other. Taking into account the size of your bathroom is also crucial for determining the number of tiles needed and where they should be placed.

By carefully planning the design and layout, you can achieve a beautiful and functional tiled bathroom space that suits your personal style.

Pros and Cons of Tiling the Floor First

Tiling the floor first in a bathroom has several advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Ensures stability and level floor

Tiling the bathroom floor first has its advantages. One important benefit is that it ensures a stable and level surface for your tiles. This is crucial to prevent any unevenness or movement in the flooring, which can lead to cracked tiles or a wobbly floor.

So, by starting with the floor, you can ensure that it provides a solid foundation for your tiling project. Plus, it helps create a smooth and professional finish for your bathroom floor.

So, if stability and an even surface are high on your priority list, tiling the bathroom floor first is definitely worth considering.

Reduces risk of damage to wall tiles

When tiling a bathroom, one advantage of starting with the floor is that it reduces the risk of damage to the wall tiles. This is because when we tile the walls first, there is a chance that we might accidentally hit or drop something on them while working on the floor.

By tiling the floor first, we can protect our newly installed wall tiles and ensure they stay in good condition. This approach helps maintain the overall quality and appearance of our bathroom tiles.

So, if you want to minimise any potential damage to your wall tiles during the tiling process, consider starting with the floor.

Time-consuming and tedious process

Tiling a bathroom can be time-consuming and tedious. It involves carefully measuring, cutting, and placing each tile in the right position. You need to apply adhesive, let it dry, and then grout between the tiles.

So, this process can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you are new to tiling or have a large bathroom to cover. However, taking your time and ensuring that each tile is properly installed will result in a beautiful finished product that will last for years to come.

Remember to use dust sheets and protect your fixtures during the tiling process to avoid any unnecessary damage or mess.

Pros and Cons of Tiling the Walls First

Tiling the walls first allows for easier fixes and better alignment and symmetry, but there is always a risk of damaging the floor tiles. Interested in knowing more? Keep reading!

Easier to fix mistakes

If you tile the walls first in your bathroom, it can be easier to fix mistakes. Sometimes, when you're tiling, things may not go perfectly the first time. If you make a mistake on the wall tiles, it's generally easier to remove and replace them compared to floor tiles.

So, this way, you can ensure that your tiling looks neat and professional without too much hassle or extra cost. So, if you're concerned about making errors during the tiling process, starting with the walls might be a good option for you.

Allows for better alignment and symmetry

When tiling a bathroom, one option is to tile the walls first. This can allow for better alignment and symmetry in your overall design. By starting with the walls, you have more flexibility to adjust and align your tiles precisely.

This is especially important if you are using linear or patterned tiles, as it ensures that they line up seamlessly. Tiling the walls first also allows you to visually assess how the tiles will look in relation to other fittings in your bathroom, such as sinks or cabinets.

It gives you a clearer idea of the final result before moving on to tiling the floor.

Tiling the walls first does come with its own challenges, though. There is a risk of accidentally damaging newly laid floor tiles while working on the walls above them. To avoid this, it's best to use dust sheets and protective measures during the tiling process.

Additionally, keep in mind that if any adjustments need to be made later on during installation or renovation, removing wall tiles might require extra effort compared to removing floor tiles.

Risk of damaging floor tiles

Damaging the floor tiles is a potential risk when tiling the walls first in your bathroom. If you accidentally drop or knock something against the newly tiled walls, it could cause damage to the floor tiles that have already been installed.

So, this can be especially problematic if you've already grouted and finished the wall tiles, as removing and replacing damaged floor tiles can be time-consuming and costly. It's important to consider this risk when deciding whether to tile the walls or floor first in your bathroom.

Making the Right Decision

When making the decision on whether to tile the bathroom floor or walls first, it is important to consider factors such as the layout of your bathroom, personal preference, and hiring a professional tiler.

Considering the layout of your bathroom

To make a decision about whether to tile the bathroom floor or walls first, you should consider the layout of your bathroom. Take note of any fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, or showers, that may affect the tiling process.

Think about how the tiles will align with these fixtures and create a cohesive look. It's also important to think about how the tiles will meet at corners or edges and ensure they line up properly.

So, by considering your bathroom's layout before starting the tiling process, you can help ensure that everything fits together nicely and looks great in the end.

Personal preference

When it comes to tiling a bathroom, the order in which you tile can vary depending on personal preference. Some people prefer to tile the floor first because it ensures a stable and level surface to work with.

By doing this, you also reduce the risk of accidentally damaging the wall tiles when working on the floor. However, tiling the floor first can be a time-consuming and tedious process.

On the other hand, some homeowners choose to tile the walls first. This allows for easier fixing of any mistakes that may occur during installation. It also allows for better alignment and symmetry when working with linear tile designs or patterns.

However, there is a risk of damaging the newly installed floor tiles if they are not properly protected during wall tiling.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to tile the floor or walls first should take into consideration your bathroom layout and personal preferences. If you are unsure or want to ensure a professional finish, hiring a skilled tiler is always an option worth considering.

Hiring a professional tiler

If you're not confident in your tiling skills or simply don't have the time to do it yourself, hiring a professional tiler is a good option. They have the expertise and experience to ensure a high-quality and efficient tiling job.

So, they can help you with important decisions like tile selection, layout, and adhesive choice. Hiring a professional also reduces the risk of costly mistakes or damage to your bathroom tiles.

While there will be an additional cost involved, it's worth considering if you want a flawless finish without the hassle and stress of DIY tiling.


In conclusion, the decision of whether to tile the bathroom floor or walls first depends on various factors. Tiling the floor first ensures stability and reduces the risk of damaging wall tiles.

On the other hand, tiling the walls first allows for better alignment and makes it easier to fix any mistakes. Ultimately, consider your bathroom layout and personal preference, and seek professional advice when making this decision.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.

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