Should I tile straight or on the diagonal?

samanddrewAugust 17, 2008

The tile man is coming tomorrow. I have bought 12 by 12 tiles. Everyone keeps telling me to tile on the diagonal, but it seems like the tile would have to be cut more that way and it just wouldn't look as good. It's a small powder room by the way, only about 6 by 7 feet. I like a classic, timeless look. The bathroom will open up to the den and kitchen, which have hardwood floors. What do you think....straight or diagonal? I've already laid the tiles out both ways and just can't seem to make a decision. Help!!!

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areacode514

I recommend tiled diagonally to give a feeling of larger space. Indeed, there are more cuts that need to be made (make sure that the total amount of tiles takes that into consideration in terms of having extra tiles handy), but since the tile man will be doing the work and not yourself, then might as well go for it.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:17AM
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MariposaTraicionera

I am really not a big fan of the diagonal and chose straight instead. But as Bill will probably tell you, "do what feels right." lol

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:45AM
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shashi2

Diagonal - it will make the small space look bigger! Your tile man will probably say to lay them straight. (It is easier and less cuts) My tile guy wanted to lay them straight and I insisted on diagonal and am so happy I did!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:30AM
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samanddrew

Mari, I guess I feel like you do. But with everyone (friends, family, even the contractor) saying it will look horrible straight, I am torn. I'm not really interested in making the powder room look bigger. I mean, it's a powder room! They're supposed to be small. I just want what is going to look the best. btw, Mari. What is it you don't like about diagonal?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:18AM
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codnuggets

One more vote for diagonal in a small space. To me, straight tiles in a small area scream out how small the space is, especially with 12x12 tiles where you can count the feet by counting the tiles. This space is 3x9 (only partially pictured here) with 18" tiles on diagonal.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:13PM
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astridh

I also vote for diagonal for the way it opens up the space.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:45PM
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monicakm_gw

Diagonal. DH tried to talk me into diagonal when we tiled the kitchen (12" tile). I wouldn't hear of it...big mistake. Wish I'd listened to him. I DID listen to him for the bathroom remodel. Much more visually interesting but less noticeable (if that makes sense). I know these are two different size tiles but really, to me, the diagonal looks so much better.
Bathroom:
http://www.pbase.com/monicakm/image/101838073
kitchen:
http://www.pbase.com/monicakm/image/16718083

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:23PM
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bill_vincent

But with everyone (friends, family, even the contractor) saying it will look horrible straight, I am torn.

It's not that it'll look horrible. It won't. What setting the tile diagonally does is take away the "modular" look. If the tile's set square, in the mid's eye, it tends to break the floor down into modules, the size of the tile (hence the name "modular"), which tends to make the room look a little smaller. Setting the tile diagonallly, for some reason, takes that away.

One way or the other, as Mari foretold, I'm going to tell you to nevermind what I say, or Mari, or anyone else in here, OR anyone else over there, including your GC. This is strictly a subjective question, one that only you or your better half can answer. Whatever you like, THAT'S the right answer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:25PM
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marisany

I agonized over the same decision. We are nearing the end of a renovation of a very small full bath. The area that is tiled with 12" x 12" floor tiles is about 4.5' x 5'. I will put some photos below. I like what I have (straight), although I see the point that others are making. Monica's photos do argue for diagnonal tile, but I'm wondering whether the reason the straight tiles don't look as good is that they are smaller with prominent grout lines. In case it helps, here are current photos of my floor, with fixtures not yet installed, baseboards not yet painted, etc.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:35PM
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stu2900

We had to make this same decision last week. Final result was diagonal on the floor and squared on the walls.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 3:01PM
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MariposaTraicionera

I find it looks less busy Sam. Something about those lines crossing everywhere bugs my eyes :-)

Marisany, yours appeal to my eyes more :-)

See, we have different tastes so somewhere along the way you have to decide what's right for you...now let me ponder how I want those glass tiles set...vertical, horizontal...LOL

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 4:29PM
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marisany

I guess I have the same taste as Mari - I decided that installing the tiles straight would make the room look more peaceful.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 4:40PM
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chewtoy

I am guessing that your decision is already made, but just in case...

We were also conflicted about diagonal vs. straight but for a much larger room. We ended up using a staggered pattern. It turned out great, and it seems to me to be kind of an inbetween decision. We don't have the dramatic look of diagonal, but we also don't have as many straight lines as we would have had.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:36PM
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monicakm_gw

I wish someone could find that drawing that was posted a few months ago that showed straight and diagonal patterns in different sized rooms. It was quite the visual tool for just this question.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:33PM
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bill_vincent

I know-- somewhere in the last 8 months, I did a project where two similar rooms got done, one straight, and one diagonal, and I saved them just for this reason, and now I can't find them.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:43PM
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susan631

Chewtoy,

Can you post a picture? I am curious and trying to picture what your staggered pattern might look like. What is your room size? My room will be 10x13. We are still in the planning stages of this remodel and I haven't yet figured out how to lay the tile.

Thanks, Susan

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:39AM
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