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 Post subject: Setting out for tiling
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:09 am 
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Hello guys,
I am posting this thread out of idle curiosity. I've done a fair bit of tiling but since I haven't been in the game for very long, I'd rather ask than wonder. A friend of mine has a holiday home in one of the Eastern European countries. I like to center my tiles because I like symmetrical floors and walls. I know that a lot of UK tilers feel the same way. I know there are exceptions to that rule but bear with me for a second. I noticed that the guys over there always start with a full tile in the farthest corner and work out of it. Symmetry seems to be the last thing on their mind. I've seen a few German guys on YouTube do the exact same thing. Most of the people on the continent seem to do it that way as it's easier and a bit faster (less cutting). What do you like to do? Do you ever start with a full tile in one of the corners? By the way I am not talking about offset, herringbone, etc patterns. I know that personal preference also plays a huge role in that, but I think that starting with a full tile and finishing with 1/4 or less of a tile is a little unsightly. Plus, laying full tiles along any one of the walls might result in getting long a V-shaped gap. I've seen that before, by the way. Obviously, people like to do things differently, so I'd like to know what you think.

Thank you and cheers.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:23 am 
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I'm not a professional tiler , a joiner by trade , but I've done a fair share of tiling. I've always said the tiling is the easy bit , it's just sticking tiles on a surface , but the tricky bit is the setting out . Actually that probably applies to most trades .
I tend to work from the centre which should give me pretty evenly sized cuts at each end. There can be exceptions. For example when I tiled our bathroom ( it's in black and green tiles) the main or largest wall was done from the centre . The adjoining walls were started then from that wall as the black formed a border so that the border was thus the same width. At the opposite end was above a door and only a few courses so it wasn't a big deal for that border to be slightly different.
Another job I did recently was a fireplace. The customer wanted it done in alternating colours with those bevel edged brick sized tiles laid in a brick bond. The fireplace was an odd number of tiles wide although with slightly wider joints I could get a course without any cuts. The problem arose with the pattern as while it worked across the width on the narrower faces off the cheeks it "looked" as if it were wrong . I did look at moving it over so that the cheeks would look more symmetrical but that would have left me with loads of little cuts which would probably have looked worse. Still customer was happy .On a similar vein another customer has asked me to do a few jobs for her and one is a spashback . She likes the look of the shaped tiles known as Persians and we were wondering how to finish the edges. The guy in the tile shop says they are generally left as they are rather than being cut to a straight line which seems somehow "unfinished " to me . Anyone fitted those before and any advice?
These are the sort of thing although some have more intricate shapes ,
https://www.porcelainsuperstore.co.uk/d ... o_oid=4744



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:57 am 
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I think that there are two ways to look at this. Getting the tiles down quick for a price seems to be the continental way, I have seem some awful tiling in Spain. I suppose that much will depend on the customer requirements as a nice symmetrical job will take longer. I have always subscribed to the theory if it looks right it is right. Sometimes you have to swerve away from the right way to get it to look right. An example of this was some friends who had a cottage with a sloping floor. Her dad had used a spirit level to get a line to fix up a dado rail (It was the 80's). It looked awful, it was a classic case of it would have been better working with the floor levels to make it look right.

I think tiling should always be centred but not at the expense of it looking wrong.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:32 pm 
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I tiled a floor in a living room recently and I centered the tiles. The pieces I had to cut were pretty big (I had to cut about 3-5cm off each tile). If I had done that over there, they would have probably sacked me, haha. Starting in the corner can be a viable option, but asymmetry screams out at me. If the corner's not straight then...Sometimes they start at the bottom with a 4mm gap between the tiles in the corner and by the time they get to the last row the gap is 2cm wide. That was the case in my mate's house before he redid it. A lot of EU tilers think we are doing it wrong but that's normal, I guess. Everyone thinks they are the best.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Starting in a corner can work, only if the room is totally square. Even then loose laying a few tiles can help give you an idea of how the finished job will work.

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