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How to Cut and Install Tile Around Obstacles (page 3 of 3)

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions on how to properly measure and cut curves and holes in tile. Plus, find out how to lay tile in a diamond pattern and how to create borders.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Using Inset Tiles

Before placing inset tiles, build up a row of the larger tiles in your pattern, standing spacers on edge, as they will not lie flat (Image 1).

Position inset tiles as you build up subsequent rows, placing main and inset tiles alternately (Image 2).

Creating a Diamond Pattern

Buy extra tiles because this design requires cuts, and wastage may be high. Cut some tiles in half diagonally to fill in the design (Image 1).

Keep diamonds even by checking regularly, with a level, that the corners are horizontally or vertically aligned, as required (Image 2).

Using Mosaic Tiles

Treat each sheet as a single tile, and use a paint roller to flatten it into place, considering the type of backing you have (Image 1).

To fit a sheet around an obstacle, use scissors to cut through the backing (Image 2).

Creating a Border

If your border tiles are narrower than the main tiles, spacers may not sit flat. You will need to stand them on edge or cut them into a T-shape. A border may run between rows of full tiles or across the top (Image 1).

Apply border tiles adjacent to the last row of main tiles, or at the required height within the main tiles. Leave any cuts until last (Image 2).

Use an electric cutter to make 45-degree cuts on two tiles. Press them neatly together using spacers on edge to maintain the mitered gap (Image 3). Mitering works well where border tiles meet at right angles.

Other Spacing Effects

Irregular Tiles (Image 1)
Judge grout spaces by eye, or use pieces of thin cardboard, rather than trying to force spacers to fit irregular tile edges. Keep rows as level as possible.

Brickwork (Image 2)
Align each row of tiles so that seams between tiles fall at the midpoints of tiles on the row beneath.

Marble Tiles (Image 3)
Create the illusion of a continuous marble surface by keeping grout gaps as narrow as possible. Here, thin cardboard edges act as spacers.

Alternative Technique for Applying Adhesive

Where it is difficult to apply adhesive to a wall, you can apply it directly to the back of the tile instead.

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009