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novice tile installer
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Joined: July 2008
Posts: 4
Posted: August 21, 2008 7:46 PM

What method do you recommend for a novice tile installer who is tiling a kitchen floor, spacers or chalk line grid pattern? I am a handyman but only installed tile once.
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Joined: July 2008
Posts: 386
Orlando, FL
Posted: August 22, 2008 11:35 AM

RE: novice tile installer
Hello. I have been installing floors for over 21 years and have always used a chalk-line grid pattern, as do most installers. This allows me to see where every tile is going before I begin. I can then make all of the perimeter cuts first. The important thing is the grid is very acturate and perfectly square. If I have a 12 or 13 inch tile I go with 4 tiles per grid square. If it is 16 inch or larger I go with 1 tile per grid square.

If you feel more comfortable using spacers then by all means, do so, but you will need at least two chalk lines that cross each other (perpendicular) to begin your layout. By the way, make sure you remove the spacers prior to grouting. I have seen jobs where the installers left the spacers and grouted over. The grout then pops out in every corner!
Michael Prachniak - Expert Tile and Stone Consultant and Writer, Owner - TileProductions.com
View our handcrafted tile mosaic medallions:
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Joined: July 2008
Posts: 169
Posted: August 28, 2008 4:38 PM

RE: novice tile installer
If you decide to use spacers, do not depend on them keeping your tiles perfectly straight. It is a good practice to keep re-checking the straightness of your rows with a tape or visual inspection by going to the end of the row and looking down it and making adjustments as necessary.
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Joined: August 2008
Posts: 192
Posted: October 20, 2008 2:43 PM

RE: novice tile installer
Michael and Jim answered your question.  I agree that the chalk line grid works best.

Here is a link to some free tile installation guides on this site that are very well written.


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