Planning your wall & floor tile layout

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Planning your project’s tile layout is really important to ensure you get the look you set out to achieve.

There’s nothing worse than starting to set your tiles in place with adhesive to realise that one tile’s been misplaced.

Here we outline a few tips on how to layout tiles for your walls and floors.

Laying Out Your Floor Tiles

When laying out your floor tiles, our main aim is to make sure the centre of the floor is positioned correctly first. From there we extend the tiling pattern towards the edges of the room.

Step 1: Mark your halfway points

With chalk or a pencil measure a centre mark in between opposite walls and draw a straight line down.

Expert tip: Don’t assume that the opposite walls are equal in size, a lot of rooms aren’t perfectly square!

Step 2: Find the middle of your centre line

Repeat this again by measuring the centre of the line you draw

Step 3: Draw a new, perpendicular line

Lay the square onto the centre line and centre mark and draw a line 90° to the first line

Step 4: Start laying our your floor tiles

Starting from the middle point, dry lay a row of tiles in both directions up to the wall. Make sure you include 3mm tile spacers so that the joints are even. You can also use your tile staff to work out where the tiles will fall.

Expert Tip: If there is only a thin piece of tile left at the wall, you can rearrange the centre tile so there is a larger section of tile. Leave about half a tile or more as it can be difficult to fit smaller sections of tile. You may need to re-mark your lines on the floor.

Laying out Wall Tiles

Similarly to laying out a floor, you must first find the centre point of the wall you want to tile and then work out towards the edges.

Step 1: Find the centre of the wall

Find the centre of your window or wall and mark a pencil line.

Step 2: Measure from the middle

Using your tile staff, measure from the halfway point or centre of the window up and down so that you can see where each tile will fall.

Expert tip: Where the bottom tile is less than half a tile, rearrange slightly by raising the tile staff to half a tile and re-mark once you’re happy.

Step 4: Set your starting point from the bottom

On the mark near the floor, use your spirit level to draw a straight line across the wall. Get a piece of timber baton and lightly hammer it into the wall, but not fully as you will have to take it out later. Use this piece of timber as your starting point to tile up from.

Step 5: Finishing up

Mark out again with the tile staff, this time horizontally and hammer in another piece of timber up the wall. This should make a right angle with the timber pieces. Alternatively you can work with a pencil line.