Where to start tiling, or ‘setting out’ as it’s known, is as much about where your last tile will finish as where to fix the first tile. If you’re employing the skills of a professional tile fixer, discussing and agreeing the layout should ideally be done at the quoting stage, but whether the tiling is done by a tiler or you’re planning to tackle the job yourself, it’s a good idea to sketch a plan as a reference for when fixing begins.
Let’s take a step back to the tile purchasing stage, as the size and shape of tiles you buy will alter how the installation will look. The majority of porcelain tiles are either 60x60cm or rectangular 60x30cm, and predominantly natural stone tiles are 60x40cm. However, current trends in porcelain floor tiles leans towards larger format tiles, such as the impressive Avignon Gris, which comes in a whopping 90cm x 60cm.
Natural stone floor tiles are generally available in rectangular size of 60x40/30cm such as Camden Grey Limestone, and square 60x60cm. The current trend in antiqued tumbled natural stone tiles is random or free-length; these are fixed in width and come in varying lengths from 60cm up to 90cm.
Square tiles should be laid in a straight line, whereas rectangular tiles offer the alternative of being laid in an overlapping ‘brick-bond’ style. One significant advantage of the ‘brick-bond’ approach over the linear style is that if your walls are out of square, staggered tiles disguise the issue as your eyes see the pattern rather than a straight line.
Where To Start Tiling Bathrooms
When you walk into a room the direction of the door opening will determine what area of the room you view first and generally your view to the right at eyelevel before scanning the rest of the walls and focussing on features in the room. As such, considering what you see at eye level is key and behind the door and on the floor is less relevant.
There are three key components to consider when tiling a bathroom: the height of the bath, the positioning of the shower cubicle, and the size and height of the window. If you have a bath in the room, it’s best practice to take a full tile off the bath and work up and around.
When tiling around the window, don’t always automatically start in the middle if this gives you awkward cuts around the corners. If it’s practical, bear in mind the ‘eyes right’ rule and fix a full tile flush with the windows edge as this will look aesthetically pleasing. In the shower area, consider where the shower valve and head fixings will go and try to avoid grout lines as this will detract from the impact of often the most expensive piece of equipment in the room.
Avoid having slithers of tile in high-usage areas such as at doorways, and at sinks and cooking areas. It’s the norm to tile under islands to achieve a sharp finish, but bear in mind how the island sits in relation to the other fixtures and fittings. Pay particular attention to how true the walls if the room has been extended to form a kitchen/ diner or the tiling runs into a conservatory or hallway.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about where to start tiling. If you have any other questions, feel free to check out our FAQ’s.