# Herringbone Tiling

I want to lay brick-shaped (4x8) tile in a herringbone pattern. None of my tiling or brick books show how to lay this out. I'm thinking drawing diagonal layout lines spaced at what I calculate to be 6.2 inches along the wall, if my trig is correct.
Any suggestions on how to make this easier?
Thanks.
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Start w/ the layout lines at the selected angle in the middle of the field perpendicular to each other just as if it were even-running. Make the first lines perpendicular to the selected angle spaced at the proper location for the next running course. Lay the first courses against the initial line and use the reference lines to keep the pattern running even. When you get to the walls, trim to fit.
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dpb wrote:
<<Start w/ the layout lines at the selected angle in the middle of the field perpendicular to each other just as if it were even-running. Make the first lines perpendicular to the selected angle spaced at the proper location for the next running course. Lay the first courses against the initial line and use the reference lines to keep the pattern running even. When you get to the walls, trim to fit.>>
Hmmm....not completely clear what you're suggesting. Perpendicular lines rotated 45 degrees in the center of the room, and draw other lines parallel to the existing lines, at brick sized intervals?
Thanks

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If the selected orientation is 45 deg from walls (certainly most common and probably best in an approximately square-shaped room), start with that, trying as Rico says to get it as even as possible given whatever out-of-squareness there is in the room so the angles are as near equal on each wall as possible. Then, from the middle of that line, lay out a perpendicular line and then simply start the running bond from that. As Rico says, once you get the first course laid the spacing between rows is controlled by whatever you choose for grout spacing -- either the tiles themselves if narrow or the appropriate spacer for the selected line size. You really don't need more than the one or two perpendicular lines and they're only there to establish the initial offset from one course to the next but one -- again, assuming you're splitting the tile offset by half the tile dimension (plus grout of course). That line is the target point for the middle of the grout line for the next course that is aligned with the first to keep you running straight ahead instead of letting the pattern shift as you proceed.
HTH...
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dpb wrote:

You do _not_ need lines that close. It's a waste of time. Start laying the tile out dry and you'll see. If the first tile is spot on, the second one can't be that far off, so there's no need for a line for that one. Every other line is still too close in my opinion.

Indeed. There usually is one major line of sight, so you really only have to concentrate on that line. Usually it's the longest line in the room, or the line from the other room through the center of the bathroom doorway.
The books will make it a lot clearer. I haven't read john Bridge's book. When you've finished them both, post a report about their relative strengths and weaknesses. I'd appreciate it.
R
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....
I only intended to indicate a mark for the first tile offset to get the measurement, not to run full-length lines (although, granted I didn't say that explicitly.. :) ).
As you noted, it would behoove Greg to lay out a sizable section (enough certainly to visualize the final result) dry before committing any tile to mastic...
...

So you're saying I shouldn't be writing a book, eh, Rico? :)
(I never read no stinkin' book, learned a great deal on tile at an uncle's side who had an Armstrong dealership doing interior stuff...worked for him quite a bit while in college as could get down there in short time over the weekends. Did a major renovation of Bill Lear's (the Learjet Lear) house that included two months' of tile work just on the baths...) The master bath had a humongous spa w/o a single flat surface or square corner in the whole thing and a mosaic pattern to lay. What a pita _that_ was!!! :)

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<<The books will make it a lot clearer. I haven't read john Bridge's book. >>
Ok, I'll wait for them before discussing any further. Thank you.
<<When you've finished them both, post a report about their relative strengths and weaknesses. I'd appreciate it. >>
Wilco.
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<<That line is the target point for the middle of the grout line for the next course that is aligned with the first to keep you running straight ahead instead of letting the pattern shift as you proceed. >>
Ok, glimmer of understanding; hopefully, the book that RicodJour recommended will have a picture. I have horrible images of my course hitting the far wall canted at some extreme angle. ;-)
I'll wait until I read to the books before asking any more questions.
Thank you!
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Just try laying out some dry w/ just a chalkline that you can erase if you don't like it -- could even lay some kraft paper down if don't want to confuse the issue for a trial to snap the line(s) on...if you do that and experiment a little, I think it will become clear on its own...you don't even need to worry about the end pieces nor all the way across, just proceed a few feet forward and a couple of feet wide. It will be enough to allow you to then visualize the appearance and you can tell by looking from a distance if you're keeping the courses straight and even. And, the good thing is, if you don't like it that time, pick 'em up and try again... :)
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Tile work should be mathematically perfect. Tile work isn't. You need some room to adjust the tile to compensate for irregularities - whether in the tile, the room or your skills. There's no need to have a layout line for every row of tile. That's just a waste of time. Using plastic spacers or a couple of strips of wood the thickness of the desired grout line will take care of the gross layout once you have snapped your chalk lines (laser?). Space the layout grid lines to reflect the amount of tile you'll be placing in one shot. If you're comfortable laying a couple or three feet square at a time, space the snapped lines to reflect that.
Assuming the herringbone is at 45 degrees to the room, layout the first line by measuring out from a corner along both walls an equal distance (verify that the corner is square first!), then snap that line. The intersecting line is 90 degrees to the first, place that on your next major axis and there's your grid. The herringbone pattern repeats, and it's not necessary to have every edge hit the line.
You should definitely check out (as in library) Michael Bryne's book, Setting Tile. Excellent book, good section on layout. The John Bridge tile forums online are another excellent resource. http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php ?
R
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RicodJour wrote:
<<Assuming the herringbone is at 45 degrees to the room, layout the first line by measuring out from a corner along both walls an equal distance (verify that the corner is square first!), then snap that line. The intersecting line is 90 degrees to the first, place that on your next major axis and there's your grid. The herringbone pattern repeats, and it's not necessary to have every edge hit the line. >>
Are you suggesting one diagonal line and multiple lines perpendicular to it?
<<You should definitely check out (as in library) Michael Bryne's book, Setting Tile. Excellent book, good section on layout. The John Bridge tile forums online are another excellent resource. http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php?
I just ordered it and John Bridge's book as well.
Thanks!