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Old 04-25-2009, 07:21 AM   #1
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QEP Bullseye spacer mod for running bond subway tile


QEP makes a round spacer they call the Bullseye, which lets you clearly see the place where the tiles meet at the corners. It has two sides, with a different grout-joint thickness on each side.

Its design prevents you from pushing it too deeply into the grout joint, and it is easy to remove. It's not available as a T-spacer for use with running-bond pattern on subway tile, yet with two quick snips it can be quickly turned into one. You end up with a horse-shoe shape, with the vertical spacer on the top of the arch and a horizontal spacer near the end of each "leg". And the leftover piece is not wasted. You can use it as a spacer where the walls meet. In fact, QEP includes a small bag of pieces similar to the leftover piece, for just that purpose.

I think it's a better solution for subway tile than turning a standard + type spacer sideways, or using three bar-shaped spacers, or using a T-shaped spacer that has to be pried out with a tool; the modified Bullseye spacer supports the spacer in the vertical joint and it's all one piece. The QEP Bullseye works better with tiles that do not have a perimeter ridge.

I phoned QEP to ask if there was going to be a T-spacer version, and was told that subway-tile installations are too small a slice of the market, so probably not. Too bad, as it would be an easy mod for QEP to do, and they could "corner" the subway-tile-spacer market


Last edited by diy888; 04-30-2009 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #2
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QEP Bullseye spacer mod for running bond subway tile


Tilespikes and Tavy spacers work the best, larger horseshoe for larger stone.

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Old 04-25-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
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QEP Bullseye spacer mod for running bond subway tile


I have the Tavy spacers. It takes two-three Tavy spacers to do the work of one QEP Bullseye (modified per above) on running bond. I haven't tried shims, but still you'd need several of them per one modded bullseye.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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QEP Bullseye spacer mod for running bond subway tile


Subway tiles I've installed have built in nubs to space the tile. I see no reason to do otherwise as increased grout spaces are inappropriate to the size of the small tile. Larger rectangular tiles can use the spacers available.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
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QEP Bullseye spacer mod for running bond subway tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Subway tiles I've installed have built in nubs to space the tile. I see no reason to do otherwise as increased grout spaces are inappropriate to the size of the small tile. Larger rectangular tiles can use the spacers available.
Ron
Yes, subway tile is very often installed with a minimal grout joint using the tile's perimeter ridge or nubs, though not always. The retro subway style does have a very narrow grout joint. But I've seen installations using 3x6 field tile where the grout joint was intentionally larger, 1/8 or 3/16, and they looked good, at least to me and to the people who did them.

BTW, it doesn't have to be subway tile per se -- wherever there's a staggered joint, the modded Bullseyes would be convenient.

The QEP Bullseyes are available in 1/16 + 3/16 and 1/8 + 1/4 combos. If you're using subway tiles without a perimeter ridge or nubs, the modded 1/16 Bullseye could still prove useful, even for use with very narrow grout joints.

I'd like to see QEP introduce this variation. The plastic mold would be easily modified.
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