New Tile Floor


Old 06-02-08, 10:02 AM
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New Tile Floor

Hey everyone,

I'm getting ready to start installing our new tile floor in our sunroom. This is my first tile floor, so I have a few questions.

First, normally you would want to start in the middle of the room. However, our pattern is somewhat difficult to start in the middle. I was thinking that in this case I might need to start on the inner tiles of the outer section and work my way in. Click the link below to see how the tiles are to be arranged.

Second, as this is my first tile experience I am a bit nervous that we have selected such a complex pattern. Would it be your recommendation to try it myself or simply hire someone. I would like to give it a whirl on my own, but I don't want to just end up tearing it up and hiring someone in the end. I'm pretty good at home improvement, but this one might be beyond me.


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Old 06-02-08, 11:31 AM
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Yow that layout isn't difficult but if you don't plan it correctly you will get yourself into trouble.

As you can see from your drawing the outer edges of the small border MUST EQUAL the space consumed by the layout of the larger outer tiles. Forget the diagonals for now.

Layout the room for the larger tiles as if there were no features what-so-ever.

Then install the small border tiles to fit the larger layout grout lines. If you have to cut some smaller border pieces in the center of each frame line that's OK. This way you can use the size border tiles/cuts you desire and FORCE the layout of the border to fit the layout of the outer larger tiles.

Once the border is in place the outer tiles will be easy to mate up the grout lines and fill the room. That is the critical part of the overall layout.

The measurements of the inner field of diagonal tiles isn't totally critical because the diagonals will easily fit any dimensions you have. You may not get "full" 1/2 tiles at the edges of the diagonal but that's usually not a big deal. You can't always have everything with multiple designs in a single layout.

It is very very important to see to it that the frame is square. Be absolutey each corner aspect is square. Check it and double check it. When you set the border tiles (first thing you do) you should use a straightedge to perfect the lines of the tiles while at the same time being sure the tiles remain square to the layout when installing them.

Piece-O-Cake. You can do this.
Old 06-02-08, 11:42 AM
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Which area to do first depends upon a few things. But first let me ask, are all the tiles the same thickness? Is the center tile area the same as the outer tile? Are they from the same series of tile in which case they would be more likely sized to compliment each other?

Other than that, only the small border tiles are the ones that need be cut. Chalk lines determining that area enable you to work on any section you want to first. All the other areas can be cut as needed.

Chalk a line down the center of the length and width of the room. Fashion a story stick by taking a few of the small tiles and spacing them how you want and using a straight edge, mark the tiles on the straight edge. (I use a piece of masking tape on a 4' straight edge.) Walk the story stick down from the center point of the chalk line until you get as far as you want it to extend. Strike a perpendicular line to your center line. Measure the distance and transfer that down the other end of the length of the chalk line and strike another perpendicular line. Use the 3-4-5 method to ensure the lines are square. Measure down the two perpendicular chalk lines with the story stick again and determine those sides. Now you'll chalk 2 lines parallel to the long wall and your border is boxed out.

Why the story stick? because all your tiles will vary slightly in size. The story stick uses a representative sample of your tile and you can make very minute adjustments to your grout joints along the border to make everything work out just right. Mark over those lines with a sharpie marker so when you are working they don't disapear.
Old 06-02-08, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for all the info!

The tiles are all the same height. They're from the same manufacturer and are 13" and 6.5" respectively.

I think that gives me enough to go on.

I'll post some pictures "in progress" pictures so everyone can benefit.


Old 06-03-08, 02:00 PM
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I would make sure 2 of the 6.5'' tiles fit excactly to your 13'' includeing the grout line.

When you cut the 13'' tiles because of going on a 45% diagonal angle, you should dull the cut edges and round them a bit with a sharpening stone.

When you go to butt up to a tapered tile edge there will be a slight hight difference to a cut edge. Thats why you should stone and round the cut edges a bit.

Good luck.

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