diagonal or straight line layout of floor tiles?

janesylviaMarch 28, 2013

For the floor of a 50 sq ft bathroom, which would look better, diagonal or straight line layout of tiles of 13"x13"? Or would they appear about the same?

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I mulled this over for our small basement bath - 12x12 marble tile in a 5 x 7 space. Was going to go diagonal but settled on a simple layout and I think it was the right choice.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:03PM
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I think it depends on the tile and pattern. The marble floor would probably not gain much by putting the tile on a diagonal. We put a large porcelain travertine look tile (16 X 16 ) in our lower level bath on the diagonal and I believe it opens up the space somewhat. It was more of a challenge to lay in a small space, but I like it and would do it again.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Torontotim, thank you so much for sharing your pictures. The floor looks gorgeous.

Karenseb, really appreciate your sharing of experience. May I ask how big your lower level bathroom is?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 3:19PM
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We used porcelain plank on our bath floor instead of square and we are not finished yet but here's one of the earlier phases in progress showing the plank on the diagonal. This section of the curbless shower was 5ft by 5ft giving you a sense of scale. I would most definitely do this again. Floor is one of the most striking features of the bath. I'll be showing the whole bath eventually but don't have all of the accessories yet.
I understand that this color and style is totally different from yours but guess I wanted to take this opportunity to show off a little, LOL.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Diagonal requires cutting of every perimeter tile.

Be prepared for the extra material and labor costs

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:12PM
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We also tiled the family/pool room and hallway downstairs on the lower level on concrete. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to make sure the floor was level (use a liquid leveler).
The bathroom was 5 X9 feet 10 inches with a tub at the end.
We actually did it ourselves and I took quite a while to figure how to lay it out in the family room to get it centered on the lower level floor as you came down the stairs and also down the hall to the bathroom. They usually do charge more for a diagonal layout, but I disagree that there is more cutting or waste. If you are laying properly, you are most likely going to have to cut tile on both sides of the room, unless you are unusually lucky. Maybe you could make a small diagram of the room and figure it out. We did use a good wet saw.
My daughter had her tile laid on a diagonal and was not charged more.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:17PM
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I have heard it said that diagonal helps make things appear larger. I do know that diagonal gives the suggestion of movement, where a straight grid is more static. I have seen this effect in art work, that is how I've come to this conclusion.

Elphaba!, you're the one with the bathroom I have been waiting to see!! I love it and was just thinking the other day "where is that cool bathroom with the porclean wood shaped tile?" I am so glad you posted so I can be reminded to keep my eye out for your reveal.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Can you mark out your floor with masking tape, and see which one you prefer? I myself lean towards the diagonal. If I was doing square tiles that's what I would do. I agree with Karen, TT didn't need to, cuz he has so many patterns, including lots of diagonals already running through his marble.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Neither - offset the tiles by 1/3 or 2/3 - much more interesting than the "graph paper" look IMO.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:31PM
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I love our diagonal floor, I think it looks much nicer in many places than square. Offset would probably look nice too though.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:06PM
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We laid our 18" squares on the diagonal also.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:15PM
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My marble was laid in a running bond pattern (about 100 square foot space with about 65 of it useable floor space). Diagonal is more expensive in terms of labor and waste, so keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:27PM
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That looks almost exactly like the tile I just used, in exactly the same layout (can't remember whether I ran them horizontally or vertically in relation to the entry door and tub at the back - decision was made as they were being installed, after learning earlier in the day that the 12" square tiles we ordered were backordered but the 12 x 24s in the same color were available.) It was one of those happy accidents - I much prefer the look of 24x12 to the 12x12 we planned to use in a boring grid pattern.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:17AM
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I happen to prefer diagonal⦠but we did straight⦠we used subway tiles on all the walls, and I thought it would be better to keep all the lines running parallel⦠also, we did a light tile, with light grout, so the lines arenâÂÂt really noticeable. Another consideration is if yours will be emphasized through color contrast?

Here is a link that might be useful: Our marble lookalike tile.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Diagonals can indeed look great.

I'd simply advise you to do a mock layout with pencil and paper. And probably an eraser too.

You don't give the dimensions of your room, and that can be the deciding factor. How the pattern lays out and how you shift it against the walls will dictate your cuts, waste, etc.

If your diagonal fights you in terms of you not being able to get a decent or efficient pattern from wall-to-wall, you might be able to get good results by centering a diamond pattern made from full and half-sized tiles in middle of the floor and using a border to bridge the gap from the diamond inset to the walls.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Heres a different take on diagonal, and staggered:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:14AM
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I think it depends on the tile and what else you have going on in the space. Can you please post a picture of the tile and bathroom?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:14PM
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