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Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Posted by mom6 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 14:46

I would be happy for any thoughts. The tile installers were working yesterday while I was at work and I came home to find a layout that I was very disappointed in. I am using all 12x24 tiles and the tiles in the center portion on the shower have all been cut. I hate it!!!!

Also, I really think the grout lines could be lined up with the floor tiles. I am planning a vertical stripe up the wall which they talked me into keeping 12 inches wide so the design would work. But now it doesn't even make sense why since everything is cut.

Can't I keep whole pieces 24" wide?

Here are pictures:


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Here is another picture


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Very pretty tile by the way.

Were you wanting the window centered in the cuts of tile? Is the wall tile width as laid out, or is there another column or 2 of tile to go up? With the cut tiles on the right side of the wall I would think that the left side would have the same width cut tiles. I think it is convention to center the layout along the wall ends. Of course there are exceptions depending on other design features which are decided upon ahead of time.

Off topic, is the window in the shower? If so is it a new window with tempered glass?


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

The floor is very harmonious with the wall grout line layout.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I don't understand how they have determined the wall layout. But, with a large format tile especially this layout should not have been left to chance: It should have been drawn out to scale ahead of time and approved.

However, the floor can only align with one wall elevation or pair of opposite wall elevations, if you are lucky, but not two adjacent wall elevations if you are using rectangular tile.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 15:08


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Thanks for the responses. The wall is over 10 feet and there will be a vertical strip of accent tile next. I had thought that the wall would have just full 24s and one 12 accent and at the end whatever was left over. NOT lots of cut pieces. Isn't it typical to use mostly whole tiles only having the corner smaller.

This picture might help show the whole shower. The wet area won't go as far as the window but that end is going to be open.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Does the 12" deco strip go next,

then a trimmed piece to match the tile to the right of the 12" deco strip,

then the end piece?


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I don't know what the plan is. But does that have any full size piece?


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Well, as I look at that wall, my description above would not have a 24". But I could be wrong. Have them give you a drawing of the plan or lay it out for you on the floor. If you want 24", that last column might need to come down, leave the 12" deco out, and then you will probably 2 full tiles and the last tile will be a cut. At least that is what it looks like in your pics. Again, lay it out on the floor and see what you get.

Did you not have a clear idea of the plan? I know there are so many details in a remodel and we make assumptions that others know what we mean and want. It has tripped me up sometimes.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Can you post a sketch of what you wanted and what they are doing?

I agree with palimpsest that it should have been drawn out ahead of time.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Does it strike all of you that if I bought 24" tiles that to have three of the rows cut down is not right. They did not consult me on that decision. I was not consulted on the final decisions on the layout but was asked many questions about it and was certainly under the impression that the full width tiles would be used.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

  • Posted by mom6 ne (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 21:54

I hope a tile installer will chime in.

This post was edited by mom6 on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 21:57


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

"Does it strike all of you that if I bought 24" tiles that to have three of the rows cut down is not right."

Actually, no, it does not strike me this way at all. It depends on the entire dimension of the wall compared to 24" units, and the accent strip location, and its width as to how much cut tile you were going to end up with. This was left to chance it sounds like, and it shouldn't have been.

I think what they did was to create a symmetrical tile layout to the right of the accent strip by using two full tiles in the middle with a cut tile on each side.

How much is left? Is there 36", which would mean the accent strip followed by a full 24" tile? That may be why they did it this way.

If you picked a location for the accent strip that was not a multiple of 24", there is going to be cut tiles, and if the area to the right is not much larger than three full tiles, you are going to end up with two full and two cut rather than three full and one cut to a very narrow width, usually.

What is the total width of the four tiles as it is now? Maybe three full tiles would have left a tiny strip for the fourth tile.

Its the accent strip that is making the layout difficult. I bet they did it this way because it was the only way to avoid slivers of the field tile somewhere. Without knowing the entire length of the wall it's hard to say.

If this had been planned out on paper you may have been able to determine a layout that used Only full tiles and the accent strip could be used to fill in only whatever was left over.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 22:54


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Did you tell them how you wanted the tile laid out or did they lay it out on their own? If you left the layout decisions to them then......


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Did you tell them how you wanted the tile laid out or did they lay it out on their own? If you left the layout decisions to them then......


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

We used very similar pattern, color, if not exact, of the tiles as yours in our hall bathroom.

What I learned is this is the "choices/dilemma" we would face when picking out 12 x 24 inches tiles. Unless the wall, floor size is exact multiplication of width plus grout lines on both sides of a tile. Even then we may still have to cut tiles to match the dimension of other elements, such as shower tub, fixtures, windows, walls, shower nitches...etc.

I think your tile installer cut the tiles because he wanted to keep tiles on both sides of the window in symmetry since window wall is most obvious when enterring the room.

Once he cut the tiles used on the window wall, he had to carry the pattern all the way down to meet the floor. Unless he set floor tile in horizonal direction, there is no way he could lined up the grout lines between wall and floor vertically unless he cut the floor tiles narrow when laying the tiles vertically.

Later you may face another choice when selecting grout color. In our case, I wanted to have the grout color as invisible as possible. But because the pattern color on the tile is dark and light, using exact match of either color, the grout lines would stand out. In addtion, the grout line has to match the wall color. Our tile installer made samples with actual tiles in 5 grout colors for us to choose, it helped a lot.

I too like to hear how the professional tile installers handle this issue.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I don't see any other way of installing those tiles, given the constraints of the wall size and window placement.

I used 12x24 tiles in our bath remodel. The architect actually configured the size of the room to work with them, so as not to end up with odd-sized cuts. Same thing for a new mantel and surround--sized to accommodate the tile I chose. If you're particular about the cut placement, this is the ONLY way to get a result you love.

If you chose the tile after that window/shower area was configured, it would have been nice but not EXPECTED of someone (the tile installer?) to forewarn you that the wall size would mean lots of cut-down tiles. Often, though, the tilesetter is just a sub of your GC and there isn't much contact with the homeowner. He shows up, looks at the wall, looks at the tile (which has been chosen long before and sitting there for weeks) and does his thing.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I have drawn a plan of how I would lay out the tile. I am planning to discuss this with the tile installer. He is my GC too. I was under the impression that he understood I wanted full tiles but the guy he had here last week maybe didn't? I am not sure...
The symmetry with the window couldn't be an issue, the window is way off center. It used to be over an outdated Jacuzzi that we removed.
I think I was clear that I was open to where the accent strip would go and how wide it would be depending on how it fit best in the layout so that couldn't be it.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

And what is the layout that is currently being done? I would ask him why he is doing the layout that he chose as there may be a good reason for it.

Why the 12/16 on the left side? Is the accent also going on the half wall?

Also, is the window plumb? Your design has a full tile just up to the window, but if the window is not plumb, the partial tiles that go around the corners of the windows may look funny.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Wow... I am surprised that they did not go over the tile layout with you before hand. If I bought 24" tiles I would certainly want to know and approve where those were going to made smaller.. This is a good lesson for me to have everything drawn out and agreed upon ahead of time.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I would be beside myself if I came home to that tile job! It's especially troubling that you are flexible with the width of the accent stripe. Can that not be adjusted so that the full tiles can be used? I'm using 12x24 tiles in our shower and on the wainscot and hadn't given a thought to the need for designing a layout myself, let alone expect to approve an exact tile for tile layout in advance. We've built and remodeled several homes and have never had a problem with tile layout. Aside from waiving my hand in the general direction of the walls and saying I want the field tiles running this direction, and the accent strip in this general area running that direction, I completely expect that my professional tile setter will figure out how to use full tiles and include my pretty bling, bling accent strip. If my tile size proves to be impossible to use without cutting it up (except in a discrete area like a corner or ends), I expect be be informed well in advance to allow me to reconsider my options and perhaps change tile size. Otherwise what is the point of choosing gorgeous large format tiles and hiring a pro? No one wants the majoity of their tiles cut to a different size!

Thank you for posting, you may have just saved me from a lot of heartache. I will call the tile guy tomorrow and ask about the plan for as few cuts as possible in my 12x24 marble. Please let us know how it gets resolved and post photos - your tile is very pretty!


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

FWIW, I think the tile job looks like it is very well installed. The layout may be another issue. I think that the home owner should not expect a design to evolve on its own without the homeowners input. You wouldn't let a painter put paint where ever they wanted would you. I am a DIY'er, and I painstakingly draw up my tile design over and over to be sure that I have the cuts where I want them and the transitions where I want them. I would really have expected the same from the tile installer if I hired one.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

What are they trying to line the accent strip up with? I would agree with palimpsest that if you selected a specific location for the accent strip that did not line up with 24" + grout thickness multiples, then additional cuts were probably necessary. In general, when laying tile, you try to avoid small tile cuts. And by "small" I mean anything less than half the width of the tile. In general, it's also ideal to try to keep things symmetrical. I'm not enough of an expert to explain exactly what the tile people did in your case, but it does look like the floor layout coordinates well with the wall layout (even if the grout lines aren't lined up) and that they tried to account for symmetry around the window, handle the accent strip, as well as avoid small tile pieces. I would definitely ask the installer and find out what the plan is.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

If I had seen the tile layout without any commentary, I would not have thought anything was wrong. Even after reading it, which I'm not following all that well, esp. the part about an accent strip, nothing glaring stands out. Except maybe the tile isn't centered on the window which at this stage of the shower is the most prominent aspect for me.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

I am sort of surprised by the comments. Jacqueline5 I was thinking the same way you were. I hired an expert. It is his job not mine to get the layout right. My clients don't hire me and tell me how to do my job. If I had wanted 15" tiles across the main wall, I wouldn't have spent the $$$ on the large format tiles. On Monday the boss came and we had a long talk and they took down the cut tiles and we worked out a new layout. I am attaching the picture now since it was grouted today and all the machinery was finally removed. It looks so much better.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Much better! Beautiful! I'm so happy for you! What material did you use to cap the pony wall? I'm trying to choose something for my shower curb and your material if its solid surface looks like something that might work.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Much better.

My point was not that you should have to figure out the layout by yourself, or tell them how to do their job, but that it should have been discussed explicitly in advance. If they had showed you how they planned to do it you would have known it was wrong ahead of time. They should not have assumed they were on the same page as you, or that the layout was up to them. (and vice versa)

I have some people that do work for me that are exceptional at the technical aspects of their work. Their esthetic sensibilities, however, are nowhere close to mine. If they were left to make the decision about something left up in the air, I doubt they would approach it the same way I would.

The layout of conventional-size wall tile isn't as crucial because the unit is small. If you go all the way down to a 1" mosaic, you can see that the potential layout options can only vary by 1/2". With a large format tile the layout issues increase exponentially, as does the potential waste of tile.

In my kitchen I am planning on using some 48" x 24" inch tile. There will probably be exact dimensioned drawings of exactly what I want them to do.


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

Well, it looks great. I'll say that I wouldn't rely on a technician to design anything (as I made a previous comment about relying on an electrician to tell you where the lights should go -- I think its the electrician's job to get the lights installed correctly, after someone else decide where to put them), unless I thought that was a particular skill of theirs (my last tiler was brilliant at layout, but yes, we discussed each choice).

However, I am so happy to have seen this thread, because we've also chosen large format (also 12 x 24) tiles for both bathroom shower/tubs, so I'll definitely pay attention and design the layout myself!!


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RE: Help, Tiling in process and I hate the layout.

palimpsest, I guess I misunderstood you. The reason I was so angry was that when we went over things I has understood that we were using the full width of the tiles. The communication between the various members of the tiling team apparently failed to include me. That was their fatal flaw and the reason why I didn't feel at all bad about having them rip it out.
jacqueline5, all I can tell about what the pony wall is capped with is on the receipt: "6x84 jambs panna white" it is the same material they use for the threshold.


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