I'm doing my first attempt at tiling a bathroom floor. I'm using 2 inch mosaic tiles. I'm trying to minimize cutting. My question is, how close to the toilet flange do I need to lay the tile? Could I just use a square outline around the flange so I don't have to cut? That would mean tile would be no more than 2 inches away from the flange at any point. Will that work?
You want to cut as close to the flange as possible. Just remember that the cuts won't be seen, so they don't have to be perfectly aligned.
Most toilets have a good 1 to 2 inches from the flange to the outer edge of the toilet bowl. You want to be closer than that.
Don't forget to get a new toilet seal appropriate for the height of the new floor.
There are many Youtube videos showing the process. Just search on the site for "how to tile a bathroom floor"
Make the tiles close to the flange. The toilet base has to extend past the tiles. It's a good practice to use a 12" level when adding these tiles to make sure they are level with each other because the toilet will sit on these and you don't want to try and level the toilet afterwards if it wobbles.
People have (and always will) argue about this but, typically the tile will go down and the flange itself will go on top of it so that the flange sits on the finished floor, but a lot of times the tiles will stop before the flange and be just fine. Especially in older homes that have had their bathrooms remodeled a few times. This is extra handy to avoid drilling through tile and backer board to attach the flange ring to the floor.
The biggest things to avoid are having the "gap" stick out and be visible under the base of the toilet and having a bad seal around the toilet drain that allows water to get at the sub-floor and under the tile, etc. Both are very bad.
A gap between the tile and flange will be OK if you use a taller wax ring that makes up for the difference in height. To ensure a good seal and fill any gap between the flange and the tiles, You need roughly the thickness of a standard ring plus the thickness of the tile floor to make up the difference of the flange being even with the floor surface. They make "extra tall" wax rings especially for this. You don't want a crazy amount of wax in there, but enough to make a good seal. Too much wax could plug the toilet.
How are you cutting your tiles? There's no need to use a tile saw or hole saw for this cut. You can score and break the tiles or use tile nippers to quickly break the tiles on angles quickly and easily. Think hexagon-shaped instead of needing to be a perfect circle. Neatness counts, but there's not a lot of precision cutting going on here.
These older questions may be helpful:
- Shoud my toilet flange sit on top of the backer board or the tile of the floor? - There's a nice picture here with a cut-away toilet that shows how the wax ring fits to ensure the seal
- What can I do about a toilet flange that is 1/4" below the finished floor?
- Securing a toilet flange on top of ceramic tile