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Unread 10-21-2022, 06:39 PM   #1
louky
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Layout question

I have a wall I am covering that is 6' wide. This is behind a bathroom sink countertop with drywall walls at both ends. I thought I was home free using some (nominal) 1' x 2' porcelain tiles. I was planning on doing a 1/3 and 2/3 tile stagger which is what the rest of the bathroom uses. Unfortunately, the tile is not an actual 24", which will not allow me to use this plan. Using the same 1/8" joint to match the rest of the bathroom, I come out 1/2" short on both ends. I think it would look really bad to fill this joint with grout.

1) How would I best lay this out, using 1/3; 2/3 stagger that would look OK? If I start at the center on the first row with a joint, it would leave a 12" or so piece next to the walls. I don't know what the 2 subsequent rows will look like on the ends though.

2 Is there a piece of Schluter (or other) trim that would allow me to "steal" the 1/2" I need on the two ends next to the drywall walls, so that I could go back to my original plan?

3) How DO you handle it when a tile wall butts against a 90 degree drywall wall? Should there be a grout joint of the same size as the rest of the field, or should the tile butt tight to the drywall?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 10-21-2022, 07:17 PM   #2
Davy
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1/3rd of 24 inches is 8 inches. But if your tiles aren't quite 24 inches then the stagger might be 7 3/4 or close to that. Lay it out on the floor to figure it out.

Can you add a layer of 1/2 inch sheetrock to each side?
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Unread 10-21-2022, 07:19 PM   #3
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Welcome back, Ray.

I think the easiest fix might be to add a trim piece of something at the walls at each end to shorten your field to a suitable length, and call it a feature. Without seeing the room, it's impossible for me to even guess what might work. Or, you could, of course, add another layer of 1/2" drywall to the walls at each end if that's feasible.

3. You never want your tile to butt hard against anything at the perimeter of the layout. You want a gap of whatever your grout joint width might be, or 1/8th," whichever is greater. That can be left open if covered by trim of some sort, or filled with a flexible sealant.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-22-2022, 06:13 AM   #4
louky
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I should have made clear that this is not new construction or a remodel, but just tiling a wall in a bathroom that is already finished. Adding the drywall to the walls wouldn't be a viable solution, one of the walls includes the door entering the bathroom, and also is the back of the tub, opposite the sink.

I will try and upload a picture, I know my verbal description leaves a lot to be desired.
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Unread 10-22-2022, 06:27 AM   #5
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Still drinking coffee and waking up. I should have prefaced my reply with a big Thanks! for the prompt responses. I haven't done much tile work for a few years since I moved. Prior to my moving I did an extensive remodel on a 1940's Cape Cod to prep for sale. I depended a lot on advice from this forum to walk me through tiling two bathrooms. The house sold quickly, and I credit the tiling for a big part of the quick sale.
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Unread 10-22-2022, 07:34 AM   #6
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I like the idea of adding tile edging trim to both ends, Ray, those will eat up most of the 1/2" on each end. Something like Quadec. Available in both plastic and metal, with different finishes. https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...C?facets=false
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Unread 10-22-2022, 07:42 AM   #7
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Given your situation (as you have explained), I would do the following...

In the layout below, each square grid represents 6".
Don't try to center the tile layout within the given wall space... but outset the tile layout.
Name:  2x4 Tile layout.JPG
Views: 182
Size:  52.8 KB
  • The BLUE solid lines represents your wall space.
  • The RED dashed line represents the wall centerline.
  • The BLACK solid lines represents your tiles.
  • The GREEN arrow represents how you could use a cut portion of one tile to be resized and used on the other end of the wall.
This layout is a rough representation... your actual layout/offset may vary.

As Davy has already mentioned, lay enough tiles out on the floor (using 1/8" spacers between the tiles) to complete 2 rows - that both rows extend beyond 6 feet. Then (using 6 feet as a guide) find a spot where the end tiles would be cut to give you an offset... but symmetrical layout.
You may need more tile to complete this type of layout than you had originally planned, so be sure you have enough stock on hand.

... or you could use your existing tile layout and add some type of end trim as others have already suggested.
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Unread 10-23-2022, 07:23 AM   #8
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Thanks again to all. Between the link to the Schluter trim, and the graphic of the suggested layout, I think my problem is solved. The backstory: I have 18 pieces of matte tile, which has been discontinued. I needed exactly 18 pieces to do this wall if I could do it with three across. I will try to do my cuts planning on using the Quadec. If I screw up on cutting, I will have to go to a glossy tile of the same pattern, and use the suggested layout, which seems like will require 20 pieces.
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Unread 10-23-2022, 12:26 PM   #9
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Unread 10-25-2022, 07:09 AM   #10
louky
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Yes, I recounted and you are correct.
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Unread 11-11-2022, 04:47 PM   #11
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Holes in porcelain

I am tiling behind a 6' bathroom vanity countertop, from the countertop to the ceiling. There is a large, heavy mirror that will be going back up (mirror hangs like a picture). I've located the mirror hanging points and removed the drywall and put a 2 x 4 backer board in and replaced the drywall.

I am using 12 x 24 porcelain tile. Is it best to drill the porcelain as the tile goes up, or wait until the thinset dries a couple of days and then drill?

I do have access to a hammer drill. What is the best bit that I could get at HD or Lowes to drill a 3/16 hole in this porcelain tile? Fast or slow speed? Should I try keep the bit wet while drilling?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 11-11-2022, 05:12 PM   #12
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I had a similar situation. Used a diamond tipped core drill bit (it’s a small tube that looks like it was dipped in diamond dust - it’s not a high dollar item). Can do it either before or after putting it up. Go slow and steady and keep the tip flushed with water. Usually with a helper and a squirt bottle. That means a mess dripping down the wall - lots of rags/towels. Use a drill designed for low speed high torque vs. a high speed drill throttled back.
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Unread 11-11-2022, 05:19 PM   #13
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Your local home center should have a diamond core bit that size, Ray. They may not be wonderful, I've found they'll drill a few holes in porcelain tiles. I think them a lot safer than using the arrow-point-type bits and a hammer drill. Whatever you buy, you'll want to do a test hole in one of your drops before committing to drilling a set tile.
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Originally Posted by Ray
Is it best to drill the porcelain as the tile goes up, or wait until the thinset dries a couple of days...
Not quite sure what you might mean by "as the tile goes up," but I'd recommend you wait at least a few hours before drilling. Long enough that you can't possibly move the tile out of place with your drilling. But if you have the option of being able to locate the hole(s) before setting, drilling with the tiles horizontal is always easier.

I'd recommend you do the drilling wet. On vertical surfaces, a helper with a spray bottle of water can make things much easier.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-11-2022, 05:20 PM   #14
jadnashua
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My limited experience says drilling holes works better after the tile is up and you give it at least a day for the thinset to cure a bit. Depending on where the hole is relative to an edge, there may be some tension in there that the drill will relieve, causing the tile to crack...best if it's already locked down and evenly supported on the surface with a nice, full bed of thinset underneath. It's a big pain if that installed tile cracks, though!
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Unread 11-12-2022, 08:46 AM   #15
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One additional tip I just recalled…make template of something like 1/4” plywood with hole in it and tape it to the tile where you need it. The hole acts as a guide for the bit to keep it from wandering. The core drills like to shift off target especially with hand drilling on a vertical surface. Still need the water as a lubricant and to flush away the tile grinds.
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