How To Lay Tile In Oddly Shaped Rooms

This guide will help you find the center of your room, pick your tile layout, and even gives a great cutting trick.

Tile is square but your room is not. What are you to do? Learn how to properly lay tile in oddly shaped rooms.

Start in the center of the room. That is the best way to get your tile layout to look even. You find the center of the room by measuring east to west then north to south. Then come to the center of each measurement. If the two centers don't match up you may have measured wrong so double check and measure again. If your room is extremely oddly shaped there is a chance you can end up having a hard time finding the center of the room based on those instructions (such as if you have 5 or more walls with unusual angles). In that case measure east to west and north and south, mark the centers of each measurement, draw a straight line between those two points, then mark the center of that final line. That will be your center.

To make the floor more appealing to the eye lay the tile on a diagonal. It will be less noticeable that the room isn't square. This technique will also give it a high end designer look. You start by laying the first piece of tile right on top of your center mark. It's best to measure it out first to make sure you are dead center. Determine the size of your tile, say 12 by 12 for example. In that case you add 6 inches north, south, east, and west from that center mark, then connect these points with straight lines to create a 12 by 12 square. Lay the tile directly in the square. Now bring out your spacers and start tiling. (Spacers aren't necessary if you are putting down peel and stick linoleum tile, but when working with ceramic or other mortar and grout tiles, don't forget those spacers.)



Here's the hard part. Once you have put down all of the full sized tiles the room will hold, you now have to cut tiles to fill in the floor up to the walls. Be very careful with your measurements because you don't want to cut wrong and waste tile. A handy little trick it to take a piece of paper and cut it to the exact size of where the cut tile is needed (keeping in mind your grout line of course). This way you get any mistakes out on paper which is much easier to replace. Then you take the final cut piece of paper and use it as a template for you tile. Granted it will get tedious to do this with every tile that needs cut, but if you are prone to measuring mistakes this is the technique for you.

If you prefer to lay your tile square then go ahead. Just follow the above instructions but instead of laying that first tile like a diamond, lay it like a square. However, depending on your room it may not be obvious which way looks like a diamond and which looks like a square. So whichever way you choose, base the direction of the tile on the flow of traffic of the room. That means if you are in the center of your room and the traffic flows north to south, to lay the tile diagonally you need to place it with the points facing north to south. If you want it square you face the flat sides north to south. Whichever you decide, if you follow the above guide it will come out looking great.

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