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Unread 10-09-2010, 03:48 AM   #1
RyanMcGowan
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Diamond pattern snap line methods.

Being a novice and just using common sense, I figured out what I think would be the best way to lay out the diamond pattern, but it seems no one else online does it like this. Is there a disadvantage I'm not seeing?

I snap a line down the center of the longest dimension of the room by measuring the half-way point of the two shorter walls. I find the center point of the snap line and extend 90° out each way. I dry run, using the center intersecting lines for alignment of the corners for the center tile. I check the tangent distance spacing of 2 or 3 tiles, and then snap parallel lines at that spacing to align subsequent rows.

It seems all the professionals I see on the web always snap 45° lines. It seems to me that's unnecessary and time consuming. Is there an advantage to snapping 45° lines?
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Unread 10-09-2010, 06:50 AM   #2
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Ryan - Doing it like you mention will work especially in a smaller area but when you have to tile a larger area or around something such as an island or even room to room and have to tie back in you are asking for trouble doing the way you propose. When you figure it out snapping lines isn't too time consuming and will actually save you time later on. It is one of those prep things that can save more time than it costs.

It is simple really. You can start just like you stated to find where you want to start your layout. Once you have your 2 perpendicular lines measure an equal distance out from the center in all four quadrants then measure from that point the same distance into the quadrant and make a cross mark. When complete you will have 2 cross marks crossing in all 4 quadrants. Snap a line at 45 from opposing quadrants that also goes thru your initial center mark.

Not sure I am explaining that clearly but it really is simple once you understand it.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 06:50 AM   #3
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Ryan, I have heard of guys doing it that way, I never have. There's nothing wrong with your way but I like setting the edge of the tile along a line instead of just setting the point (corner) of the tile to the line. I feel like it's more accurate setting against a line especially these days when we are setting a lot of stone with 1/16 joints.

I do it like John explained except I don't see any advantage to snapping a line down the middle of the room. I like to snap it along the longest wall, maybe a foot away so I have a longer 45 line. Not easy to explain.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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Ryan,

What John said plus;

It does work great for smaller spacers. Most DIYers will be able to take advantage of your method. Since you are doing it with the actual tiles and the actual spacers, then your results will be accurate. I do the same thing, but after I have about 4 SF of tile dry laid, I then whip out the tape measure to figure out where the cuts will wind up against the walls. If the pattern needs to be shifted up, down or sideways, that's how I find out. After the center of the pattern (as opposed to center of the room) is established, then I use my 45º laser to create the first of many long lines (gridding) on the floor to maintain accuracy.

I prefer to think of laying tiles on the diagonal laying them straight, but with the room turned.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
dhagin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanMcGowan
Is there an advantage to snapping 45° lines?
There's lots of ways to layout and lay tile, both accurate and less-than-accurate. You're aligning a point, with 45's we align the sides of the tile. Either way, our grids are not, or should not, be snapped at width-of-tile or width-of-tile-hypotenuse centers, but to center of grout line. This allows for the variation that is inherent in most tiles and for the installer to adjust for these small, and sometimes not so small, variations.

Your way can work fine in both large and small areas if you snap enough lines to center of grout joint, AND adjust each tile as necessary to account for tile size differences (when you do this last part, are you aligning the points or sides of the tile???). I do have a hard time believing it would be faster or more accurate though...
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Unread 10-10-2010, 04:45 AM   #6
RyanMcGowan
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Quote:
I do it like John explained except I don't see any advantage to snapping a line down the middle of the room. I like to snap it along the longest wall, maybe a foot away so I have a longer 45 line.
I do see an advantage to snapping from the middle.

One advantage is by spacing from the center of a rectangular room, you have the cuts the same size on both sides. You can avoid having small 1/2" pieces down one side of a room, and instead always have the largest possible pieces on both ends of the room.

Another advantage is if the room is not square, by going from the center, the edge pieces will be the closest to parallel to both walls. If the room was unsquare by 2 inches, you'd have two runs of tile on each side narrowing by an inch. By starting from one side, you'd have one side perfect, and the other narrowing by two inches. That's much more noticeable.

Cabot, everything you said is pretty much how I think when I lay out the tile. The only thing different is I don't add the step of converting the 90s to 45s. By placing my first dry tile in the dead center of the room, parallel to the centerline, I can pretty easily predict the cuts at the walls with the tape measure right off the center lines.

I was thinking the advantage to thinking on 90s at the corners as opposed to the sides is that the cuts are always in the 90 direction, so if I know my spacing in the tangent direction, I can see right away where trouble is before I snap additional lines. I can quickly tape over from the center lines to see where the corners will land. On 45s, I'd have to see where two lines intersect before I know if it's going to land funky.

On my tile, the spacing is 25-1/4", corner to corner if I have 1/4" grout lines. So any wall that lands near that interval or on it's half (12-1/8") will be close to the corners of the tile. I marked my tape measure at the interval and by taping over from the centerline I can quickly see wall #1 lands with a 4" cut, Wall #2 lands with a 5" cut, wall #3, lands with a 1/2" cut... and so on.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 06:48 AM   #7
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That'll work in a one room situation. But like the others have said, if you need to go around an island or meet the tile up after it travels through many rooms (picture a foyer with the hallway going into the family room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, which is adjacent to the dining room, which is adjacent to the living room, which by the way is adjacent to the foyer), then a layout is necessary.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
One advantage is by spacing from the center of a rectangular room, you have the cuts the same size on both sides. You can avoid having small 1/2" pieces down one side of a room, and instead always have the largest possible pieces on both ends of the room.
Turning your layout to a diagonal has nothing to do with laying out so that you achieve desired cuts at perimeters or elsewhere. If you think about your room as a sheet of graph paper you can move the sheet in any direction to achieve your desired layout. Deciding on where to start popping lines to start installation is secondary to deciding what cuts you want where.

If your way works for you that is great. I think if you worked off a grid a couple times in adjoining rooms or around islands or other fixed objects I think you'd find it to be a better/easier way.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 11:40 AM   #9
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Ryan, again, I have never done it like that but it's great if it works for you. When setting the edge of the tile against the line, you can spread thinset right up to the line. Can you do the with the way you pop lines, or will the thinset go beyond the lines?
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Unread 10-10-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
dhagin
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Hey Ryan, humor me will ya?

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Your way can work fine in both large and small areas if you snap enough lines to center of grout joint, AND adjust each tile as necessary to account for tile size differences (when you do this last part, are you aligning the points or sides of the tile???).
So, are you aligning the points or sides of the tile after setting? If you're aligning just the points without looking at the sides, then post some photos of what you've done like this.

...maybe this and the base thread would be best in the Pro's Hangout??? Not sure if we want DIYers going down this road.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #11
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Laying out a diagonal pattern on a floor is no different from laying out a square pattern. Pattern is exactly the same. Room is turned at an angle.

The cuts will be a bit different, but why would you want your layout lines to be any different at all. You snap'em so's to lay your tiles against/along them just the way your daddy taught you, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 01:21 PM   #12
dhagin
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Yea, except Ryan is suggesting using a grid of lines that are parallel to the walls... for a diagonal layout.

I say go for it. Ain't no tile layout police far as i know... just make it nice when it's all finished.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 01:31 PM   #13
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I remember something on FT about this. Here is a link, scroll down to see it.
http://www.floorstransformed.com/patternfloor.html
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Unread 10-10-2010, 01:58 PM   #14
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I am not one for gridding my work unless I have islands etc...to go around. That said I usually will snap 2-3 "control lines" Some times on a diagonal, sometimes not. I am on a big job in Moab right now, I did the floor all set on a 45 Just like Ryan suggested. It worked just fine for me, and my tiles stayed square and same size cuts on all opposite walls. May not be the easiest, but if you are confident that you can maintain square then go ahead. If you want I can take a pic. when I'm at the job tom.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #15
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This method is not accurate for large jobs and have fun trying to do it with tile that has rounded corners.
Most of the guys who do it this way don't know how to grid a 45 easily. They tend to think it is too hard, too much work or lack confidence but on a bigger job with tie-ins and such you are asking for trouble.
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