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Unread 08-04-2020, 07:37 AM   #1
Just In Tile LLC
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Tile Lugs no longer on subway tile?

My tile distributor told me the major suppliers they buy from no longer make subway tile with lugs? Says it’s been a couple years...? They’ve been selling through old stock and when the new shipment came in they called and complained and company told them it’s too expensive to make them with lugs.

Has anyone encountered this issue? If it’s true what a major blow to the tradesmen on efficiency and profitability of those tight stack jobs.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 07:41 AM   #2
navyson
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I thought it was just certain product lines. Bummer. The last two projects I used them on, had to buy 1/16" T-spacers to widen joint a little.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 08:08 AM   #3
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I'll axe a fella on the manufacturing side who might know about that.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 09:14 AM   #4
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This is accurate, tile with lugs is difficult to make and as production has switched to China and now India, increasingly difficult to find. The lugs get glaze on them and have to be cleaned as they go down the line which requires attention to detail that most factories just don't do well. You're better off with spacers than with self-spacing lugs that give you a random wide and narrow joint. It's been 10 years since I was involved with wall tile design but at the time Florida Tile had a 'continuous lug' that ran all the way around the piece which was easier to manufacture, you may want to see if you are actually getting a lug just not one that you recognize as such.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 10:49 AM   #5
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Man.... the bread and butter of tile now being spaced with a thousand 16th” spacers. Well... the tile trade was fun while it lasted.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 12:19 PM   #6
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we havnt had tiles with spacers since the 80s here
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Unread 08-04-2020, 01:04 PM   #7
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Just comes as a surprise here Jim, it was a great way to make money on my rental clients because it was hip, and stacked quick over my mud base. Spacing them is gonna at least double my time on those jobs.....

Which means Mo money I guess but wow.... I see it as a mistake to eliminate them. Is what it is
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Unread 08-04-2020, 05:45 PM   #8
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I was thinking the same as Dan, the last few 3x6 jobs have had a continuous lug around the bottom edge of the tiles. When butted together the top edge has a 1/16 (or close to it) joint. Care has to be taken when setting them, you have to set them straight in so thinset doesn't get between the lugs. I've always tried to set the old tiles straight in but it's even more critical with the continuous lug tiles. If you set the tile and slide it in place, thinset will get between the lugs and cause crooked tiles.

Like Justin, I can see it taking a lot more time using spacers.
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Unread 08-04-2020, 06:23 PM   #9
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I had the continuous lug on the subway tile I put in my flip house, first time I had one like that. I have never had a subway tile with lugs so I have a bazillion 1/16 T spacers. I guess I have been missing out.
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Unread 08-05-2020, 04:47 AM   #10
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I haven't set anything with lugs in almost 10 years. Hand made irregular edge is the rage. Spacing it is a mugg because corners dip and flare out so you cant just space each end. Not to mention allowing for ends that are out of square. Running a diagonal herringbone with a 1/16 spacer you will still end up with a heavy 1/8 in spots..
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Unread 08-05-2020, 10:32 AM   #11
Dave Gobis
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Grout discoloration on spacer lugs used to be a fairly normal complaint. Remember doing one where we went out in the plant to show the brush they used to feather out the glaze in the manufacturing process. Wish I could find that file.
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Unread 08-08-2020, 04:12 PM   #12
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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Are you talking about Daltile subway tile, Justin?
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Unread 08-30-2020, 02:18 PM   #13
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Well interceramic has the continuous lugs so I'll be using those.

I don't have anyone selling Dal in my area Jim or at least I don't know of anyone.
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Unread 08-30-2020, 04:31 PM   #14
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The Daltile 4 by 13 I just used had spacers in the tile.
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Unread 08-30-2020, 06:30 PM   #15
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Like Dave said lugs were callback machines. They always make for light spots in the grout. I'd be interested in trying some of the high performance grouts on them. I'm not a huge fan of the continuous lug. They seem like they've got more issues with overglaze on them, and can occasionally be less than straight.
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