"Pyramid" Install Pattern for Subway Tiles [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-07-2007, 04:04 PM
I asked this on the end of my floor tile thread ("advice for 1" hex tile floor"), but I only got one response and thought it might help to have it as a new thread. The topic is really different anyway.

Getting ready to install my subway tiles on my bathroom walls. I have seen diagrams of the order in which you apply the tiles as a sort of pyramid. That is, you start on the bottom with three tiles, then the row above it with two, then above that with one tile to complete the pyramid. Then, you go back the the first row and add a tile to one end and move up the pyramid on that side, then start on the bottom of the other end, etc.

Is this standard, or do folks just put in the whole bottom row, then the whole second row, etc? What's the advantage of each method? Seems like it would be harder to ensure level with the pyramid but you would keep the thinset in a smaller area so it doesn't dry out.

The BIG question is: if you use the pyramid, how do you do more than one wall this way? I ask because, as I understand it, if you cut a tile on the end of a row, you use the "waste" piece on the adjacent wall so it looks like it sort of wraps around. Can't see how to figure out where my first tile at the bottom center of wall 2 will go for this to work out.

Thanks as usual for all the help!

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Scottish Tile and Stone
03-07-2007, 05:03 PM
I always install the bottom row complete. Then start with a half tile and complete second row, third row start with full tile and so on. Never did the pyramid install.

Rd Tile
03-07-2007, 05:47 PM
One full row at a time.:)

03-07-2007, 07:02 PM
Sounds like a "running bond" pattern.

03-07-2007, 07:05 PM
Right, running bond. That much wasn't a question.

Thanks for the opinions. Anybody else want to weigh in?

Rd Tile
03-07-2007, 07:12 PM

03-07-2007, 07:18 PM
Install them one row at a time... Cut several pieces in half beforehand to use as the starter's for every other row.

Richie, is that the Huntington bath I saw?

Rd Tile
03-07-2007, 08:17 PM
Nope, never did it.:)

03-07-2007, 09:52 PM
Row at a time it is, then. Thanks.