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Unread 08-10-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
runningbond
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Layout options for 4" Square Schluter Drain Grate

Hi,

First post here, long time reader. I am in the middle of a full gut renovation of my 3/4 bathroom in my house. My wife has been very patient with my ocd pace of work.

I might post the full build in another thread, I have photos documenting the entire process. Right now, as the title states, I am hoping to get feedback or advise on the three options for how to layout the drain grate in the field of my 2" square mosaics. With the 1/8" grout lines on the mesh, the opening after removing 2x2 tiles is about 4.5", too large for the 4" grate to fit nicely.

Option 1: Maintain 1/8" grout lines between the adjacent tiles and the grate, and add small cut tiles into the extra space. This looks bad to me, and I worry the tiny tiles will cause issues over time.
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Option 2: Center the grate in the opening, and have 3/16" appx groutlines surrounding the grate. This seems too wide for sanded grout, and I think would also look terrible.
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Option 3: Rotate the grate on the 45 and cut 4 triangles, and notch the corners of 8 tiles. Most amount of work, but will look the cleaner than 1 and 2. Also, the main floor of the bathroom is a 4x12 herringbone, so the angled grate would be complementary to this. Attached a photo of the herringbone floor (no grout yet)
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I am using a Mapei sanded grout that matches the tiles pretty close. Thoughts on this? Am I missing something with this? Thanks!
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Unread 08-10-2020, 04:49 PM   #2
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Welcome, Ben.

I don't think the centered grate with 3/16ths" grout joints would look bad, but I'm not Mrs. Ben, eh? You surely don't want to do the little "skinnies" on two sides!

The 3/16ths" grout joint is by no means too large for a sanded cementitious grout. Indeed, the industry minimum is 1/8th" joints for a sanded grout (I put sanded grout in smaller joints).

As an aside: That joint around the drain grate is the only application where the ceramic tile industry allows the use of grout between tile and different materials.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-10-2020, 04:59 PM   #3
runningbond
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Thanks CX! That is an interesting fact to learn. I'm surprised that Schluter does not put some kind of texture or something on the outside of the grate flange for better adhesion. Mrs. Ben, unfortunately likes option 3 the best, and unfortunate for me because I wanted to be done with 45 degree cuts

I agree that centered with wider grout joints would look better than a poorly executed option 3.
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Unread 08-10-2020, 05:37 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd think the 3/16" centered option would look fine. The 45? option could look cool *if* your cuts are very, very precise. I'd imagine the 3/16" option would look better than cuts that are almost on the money but not quite... but if you've got time to fuss with the cuts, might as well make the missus happy?

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Unread 08-11-2020, 06:08 AM   #5
RichVT
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Well, just as a point of reference, whoever did this shower thought that a half inch grout joint around the drain was acceptable.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 06:15 AM   #6
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Wow, that's *ugly*!

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Unread 08-11-2020, 07:37 AM   #7
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Design feature!
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Unread 08-11-2020, 10:36 AM   #8
runningbond
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It seems strange to me that with all the knowledge that the Schluter designers and engineers have, why would they not offer grates in sizes like 4", 4 1/4", 4 1/2" and so on up to 6"? At least design them to account for a tile+grout size rather than a nominal tile size.

The Mrs has come around to the idea that the grout route is the best option. Maybe she does not trust that I can cut the 45 option perfectly. Ha

I will post a photo of the completed work here, whichever option I decide!
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Unread 08-11-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben
Maybe she does not trust that I can cut the 45 option perfectly. Ha
Challenge Accepted.

I fell for that; "I bet you can't put a window in there". I'm still not sure who "won".
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Unread 08-11-2020, 10:57 AM   #10
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Option 4 Move it so it is centered the other way and you will have 4 L cuts in the corners and slightly larger than half tiles in the middle of each side.

The Rainforest 2x2 is plain lazy.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 02:23 PM   #11
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When your grout closely matches the tile, a slightly larger grout joint around the drain doesn't seem to be an issue. The last one I did, the 2x2 tile fit perfectly around the grate with even grout joints...lucky choice, I guess. It can get really expensive and a stocking nightmare to have super large quantities of choices. They already have their grates in numerous finishes...then, throw in multiple sizes, and it would get pretty messy and expensive. You should see their profile warehouse...bin after bin of the various styles, then in different colors/finishes, and thickness for various tile...takes up a LOT of space, and there's a huge amount of money tied up. You have to make the cut somewhere.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 08:53 PM   #12
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I think this is what Jeff (above) is describing.
It’s what I wound up with, before cutting the “L” corners.
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Unread 08-12-2020, 06:55 PM   #13
runningbond
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Thanks Jeff for the fourth option, and also thanks to the previous poster for the info about all the variants, makes sense they have to draw the line somewhere. I will be installing quadec on the niche and another couple outside corners, and I can appreciate the many permutations of options for the trim.

I ended up going with the 3/16" grout joints option and no cut tiles around the grate. I had very little overage on my mosaic sheets, and the porcelain, even with a nice clean blade and fresh water on the wet saw, was showing little chips on the glazing. The cut tiles are at the perimeter and the cut edge will be hidden under the wall tile, just enough. I did take a diamond file to the exposed 45s on my herringbone, but that's another story for another post!
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