layout for staggered "brick" look [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-03-2002, 02:58 PM
What is the procedure for the layout lines if the tile is to be staggered to give a brick look? Tile is 6"X12".

I am familar with the layout lines for a standard install where the grout lines are all square with each other but not sure about the staggered layout.

Thanks, TC

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John Bridge
02-03-2002, 03:08 PM
Hi TC, Welcome.

If your tiles are "modular," it's easy. Modular means they are exactly half as wide as they are long when grout joints are considered.

You can use the regular square grid layout. Set a course of tile beginning at the line. On the next course, use a tile held the narrow way as a gauge to move the course over half the lengh of the tile. Take your time, and check often using the tile as a gauge. Back off and look at your work ocassionally to make sure the "head" joints are in line. Since every other course will begin on a line, you'll be okay.

That pattern, by the way, is called "running bond."

02-18-2002, 08:58 AM
Great. Thanks for your reply John.

one more question. My tiles are modular, the width is exactly 1/2 the length. If I use the width as a go by for my staggered course, the edge of the tile will be in the middle of the tile below rather than the center of the grout line. Is this acceptable?

FYI, I am using 3/8" spacers.

This is a great web site. I have used the search feature to gain information of so many topics I can't list them all. My wife thinks I'm a miracle worker.


02-18-2002, 09:55 AM
Mark off 2 vertical (plumb) starting lines with the second line being offset by whatever size you want. In the case like John mentioned it would be a half tile offset.
You might hear it called ashlar layout as well as the more common running bond.

02-18-2002, 10:06 AM
Oh yeah, you will need to allow for the grout joint as well.

Try laying out a few on the floor so you can get a feel for the spacing and the look. 3/8" grout joint is pretty large but it all depends on the look that you are going for.

02-18-2002, 10:28 AM
got it. So if I want my 3/8" grout joint to be centered on the lower tile I would snap a second line 6" from the first less 1/2 the grout line or 3/16".

Any problem with a 3/8" grout line. The tiles are 6" X 12" and kindof look lie brick. Going for a brick look w/ the wider grout joint.


02-18-2002, 12:09 PM
Nothing wrong with it. It all depends on the tile and the "look" you are trying to achieve.

Take your time and have fun with it. I'm sure it will look great!

John Bridge
02-18-2002, 05:40 PM

I've never heard "ashlar" before. Where does that come from?

Bud Cline
02-18-2002, 05:48 PM
There's that word again. My daughter (majoring in architectural drawing) had that word in a book here last year. I had never seen it before either. I thought it said "an ashlar" was a square stone used in building and I think it is of French origin.

There. I finally taught John something. I think.

02-18-2002, 10:46 PM
I thought it meant to offset the joints. :)
Usually when I've seen the word used is in instructions for laying underlayment or subflooring panels. Lay them in an ashlar fashion so you don't have 4 corners coming together at one point.
CBU's should always be done in this fashion as well.

Hmmm maybe I should go check the dictionary.

John Bridge
02-19-2002, 05:40 AM
Yeah, somebody check the dictionary, will ya?

Paul D.
02-20-2002, 08:29 AM
ashlar (ash'ler) n. 1. In masonry, a rough-hewn block of stone. 2. Masonry made of such stones. (<L axis; board, plank)

There. Don't know much about tile, but here it is from Funk & Wagnalls.

John Bridge
02-20-2002, 04:48 PM
Okay, apparently ashlars are typically stacked up like bricks. Now, tell me where I can buy some. ;)

02-20-2002, 05:16 PM
I have seen "Ashlar" used to describe a pattern for stamped concrete.

Would Belgian Block satisfy your needs John?

John Bridge
02-20-2002, 05:40 PM
We're not going to get off on a tangent here, are we?

Where's Rob? He's supposed to be keeping us in line.

02-20-2002, 06:59 PM

Bud Cline
02-20-2002, 07:51 PM
So now we have "three" definisions of "ashlar"???

That's great!

Anubody have a fourth?