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Old 05-25-2008, 08:51 PM   #1
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Laying tiles, start in center?

We are in the process of laying out our duraceramic for installation. However, I have read that you need to start in the exact center of the floor. If I had one big rectangular room that would be easy, but we are starting at the mudroom, going thru to the kitchen (where there's a bar area) and then again to the dining room. It's about 24 ft long and maybe 10 ft wide. So do I take the center from one of the rooms and then go from there? Or use the whole space when determining the center for the whole thing?

Any help appreciated, as my husband would like to just start flush at one corner and go from there.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:00 PM   #2
Brad Denny
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Hello Megan, Welcome to the Forum!
If you can get one set of lines that go through all the rooms it would be best. If they all share a common long wall, can you lay a whole tile off of it? Ideally, centering (either a tile or a joint) eliminates any cuts less than half in a square room. In your case, you want to have the largest cuts on the focal walls. Take into consideration furniture, appliances, and cabinets. You can always hide cuts there.

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
Dan Kramer
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In your type of situation I would find what you think is going to be the focal point of the flooring. For example if your tile is going to transition to carpet or wood, then start with a full row of tiles there. Or perhaps at the front door.

Many publications stress centering a room and I honestly rarely do it. In a bathroom there are cabinets and toilets that hide half of the room so you'd never even know if it was centered unless you looked under/ behind the toilet.
I'd do with a full tile at the door and maybe center it the other way.

Now an entry with the front door smack dab in the center. Then you center the tile on the center line, or the grout joint on the center line; whichever gives the largest cuts on the sides.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:11 PM   #4
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You should always center the room and lay it out so the cuts are atleast 50% of one tile. That is in accordance to the TCA. They do not like seeing small cuts, anywhere.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:14 PM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi Megan, welcome.

Sometimes it isn't mathematically possible to maintain more than a half tile at all walls when multiple rooms are involved. It's ideal if you can, but not always possible. Multiple room layouts generally force you to compromise by shifting the layout of the tiles to obtain the most pleasing results.

Start by centering the "main" area and run a scenario on how the layout plays out in the other rooms. Lay the tiles dry to assist in your layout. See if you can get more than a half tile at all the walls. If you need to shift the layout right/left/up/down to obtain a more pleasing result in a more visible area, do it. Another common starting place is a transition to another flooring material.....start with full tiles at the transition and run the scenario on how the layout plays out in the other rooms. Time spent laying it out isn't time wasted. Take you time and come up with the layout that gives you the most pleasing results.

Are you installing your DuraCeramic tiles tightly together, or are you spacing them apart for a grout joint?
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:19 AM   #6
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Centering the room is what Home Depot tells people. As your seeing, it doesn't really work.
First lay three tiles on the floor spacing them exactly asthey will be installed. (1/8" or 3/16" or 1/4" grout joints). Measure off the edge of the first tile so your measuring two tiles and two grout joints. Now multiply that number by itself. Pretending you have 18"; you'd get 36",72",108",144",etc..
Now look at the area to be tiled. What's the most important focal point? Examples: Foyers and long hallways are almost always at the top of the list, backs of closets and behind stuff is at the bottom. You mention going between multiple rooms. Pretending the path is perfectly straight through, if you balance your cuts exactly in that pathway, what do the cuts in the rooms end up at? Do you need to shift one way or the other to get rid of a small cut? Do you need to shift a 1/2 tile to get rid of small cuts at the perimeter? Once you get your layout this way, do the exact same thing the other way. Before I even pop one chalkline on a job, I know the approximate size of all my cuts and where I'm going to have a bad one.
Bonus info!!!
Framers aren't that smart. Don't assume a wall is square with anything. Use a long outside wall over any other wall.
Drywall guys use too much mud. When measuring off any walls, measure from a point that is at least a foot away from a corner if you can. That "little bit of mud" can really throw your layout out of whack.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:41 AM   #7
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If you are good with a computer you can create a layout of the area, then make a grid to represent the tile (make sure you account for the grout!). Make the grid transparent and larger than the room area. Place the grid over the layout and move it around until you get something you like, taking into account the 1/2-tile rule and other suggestion folks here have made. If you can do this to scale it works great in these odd shaped areas and can often reveal those gotchas that crop up in the middle of the job - before tile is on the floor.

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