I'm planning on tiling a relatively large area over adjoining rooms which
will include a kitchen, utility room, hallway and cloakroom.
At the moment the old tiles run from room to room without any door strips.
The old tiles have been down for many years and have some varying gaps
The new tiles will have perfect straight edges and thus it will be very
important to keep everything parallel and straight from room to room.
I would be interested to know the best way to plan out the laying of the
tiles i.e. the best place to start. Its quite an old property so I cant
guarantee any parallel walls or that adjoining walls are 90 degs to one
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
===================I would suggest that you lay (loose) a line of tiles along a sight line from
the first room to the last and draw a guide line when you're satisfied with
the look. Tile each room separately using the guide line as starting point.
At the thresholds adjust the position of the tiles so that you don't have
any unsightly small slivers along the adjacent skirtings. The visual aspect
from room to room is more important than strict symmetry within each room.
It doesn't, if you are prepared to use variable depth tile cement beds
and a spirit level or three...
The time taken to try and get the floor level is probably exceeded by
the time taken to adjust each tile and check it with a level.
Use rapid set adhesive to avoid slumping.
Thats what your careful stringing up is for.
hen I did mine, I set up some bits of wood in the middle of the room,
and kept adding to them until I could swing a spirit level around and
clear the highest point by 10mm or so.
Then I built those up and rechecked to see if I had missed any bits.
Once I was fairly sure I had a 'finished floor level correct I set the
string up to be dead level and brush the top of the bits of wood.
Then a long run of string was checked to be parallel to the bit I
decided on - an Aga cooker actually and a corridor - thankfully they
both matched, and then off I went.
Then a final check, and I laid my first line very very carefully. If at
any time a slate was low, I pulled it up added more muck, and tamped it
down to the line again.
I did allow the floor to rise a little where I knew there were units
going later. Otherwise my biggest depth of cement would have been a
couple of inches...as it was I was up to 30mm in places, and down to
less than 5 in others.
Other similar floors I tried leveling, but I still couldn't get better
than about 5-10mm
Self leveling compounds are like dishwashers. A contradiction in terms :_)
Get a string down, and use a long level to make sure its level, on the
largest single dimension you can fined, and lay a line of tiles to that
That becomes your datum. Lay rows alongside that using a level to get
What you align the datum too first of all is a personal choice.
If you have the new tiles or the sizes then create a tile rule with a
long piece of wood and mark the tile lengths including spaces down it.
This will be handy to quickly work out tile coverage and gaps.
Basically, you have to try and avoid small cuts, at least where they
are obvious and considering the large space you're going to cover it's
not going to be easy. Your old tiles should also give you some idea
about alignment of the walls, which are rarely square.
I'd start at the hall doing a dry run down the centre and see where you
get to. If you fall just short near a wall with a full tile but
otherwise everything is fine then you can increase the tile spacing
very slightly. You can also leave a gap between the kitchen unit legs
if it helps and then just pack out the plinth when installing.
If it becomes a nightmare then you might be better off just using
joining strips between each room.
I think I would consider tiling the rooms with (say) pale in the centre
- square to each room - and a dark border of slightly less than one tile
wide round the walls. The dark border to accommodate wavy walls.
Where the borders run into each othet at doorways use *big* dark tiles
to bridge from the pale tiles in 1st room to the pale tiles in the 2nd
and take up any waveyness i.e. there is no tile joint at the doorway,
it's a big tile (but not an absolutely square one). This means that one
room's grout lines never meet another room's grout lines - you have
about 1' of plain tile between rooms.
Because the pale rectangle of tiles in the middle of each room is
visually dominant the fact that the grout lines don't line up room to
room will be less apparent. This will be especially the case of the
skirtings are also dark.
Do not under any circumstances use dark tiles with pale grout for the
majority of the tiling as the lines will stand out and waveyness will be
Thanks for all the advice - some very helpful hints.
I have also thought of laying the tiles with a 45deg offset such that wont
be any "flat" sides or slivers against any walls. Of course I would still
need to lay it out dry, but doing it that way might reduce any visable
problems with uneven walls?
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