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KUIPORNG 02-16-2007 09:09 AM

gap width for marble tiles
I saw marble tiles lay so close to each other, hardly any grout in between... I am going to lay marble tiles in my basement bathroom... what size of gap I should use? 1/4, 1/8...? or it is totally personal...


yummy mummy 02-16-2007 12:33 PM

Hi Kuiporng
When we had our house built, the contractor layed the tiles that we have in our house, (they are limestone, marble and slate) only 1/8th of an inch apart.

The reason for that, is that you want to show that the stone is one big piece. So the closer they are together, the more it would look like one piece.

But, I guess if you want you can lay them any width apart.

KUIPORNG 02-16-2007 12:47 PM

Thanks for the info...

HJ1 02-16-2007 01:07 PM

You want to be able to use non-sanded grout so keep the joints 1/8" or smaller. Sanded grout will scratch the marble.

KUIPORNG 02-16-2007 01:12 PM

thanks for the info again... I also heard somthing like expansion materials for the surround to allow expansion of the marbles... Is there somthing like that to be purchases?... or I just put silicon....

HJ1 02-16-2007 03:14 PM

Not sure what your talkin about for expansion. If its a bathroom, its not big enough for expansion joints. Just dont grout where the tile meets the wall. Leave a space there approx 1/8" to 3/16". Base molding or base tile will cover the open gap.

If this is a slab, you may want to consider putting down a membrane like schluter ditra first. Its good insurance for any minor cracking the slab may do. What kinda shape is the slab in? Any cracks, if so describe them. Make sure there is no sealer, paint etc on the floor. The floor should be able to absorb water when you put a few drops on it.

KUIPORNG 02-16-2007 03:20 PM

Thanks for the info HJ1,

I in fact using ditra...

thanks for no need to have expansion stuff between wall and tire...

how one special intersection I have, the floor and the fibre glass (or plastic in reality) shower pan? Do I just leave gap there and fill in silcon?


AtlanticWBConst. 02-16-2007 04:16 PM

Just so you know.... Marble tile doesn't expand, but wood does expand and contract. Any areas where the tile meets up to wood (i.e.- baseboard, wood threshold, etc...)....

BTW- Ditra is a great product...

HJ1 02-17-2007 02:09 PM

Not sure you understood me. You have to leave a gap between the tile and the walls. 1/8" to 3/16" is good. Do not grout the space between the tile and the walls, leave it open. The base tile, or base molding on the walls will cover this joint. Caulk the joint between the tile and the base molding or base tile - do not grout here. Leave 1/8" joint where the tile meets the tub also - caulk here, do not grout.

You can buy matching colored caulk in sanded and non sanded to match your grout color. I use TEC caulks, but there are others.

troubleseeker 02-17-2007 04:34 PM

I think marble looks better with the smaller grout lines, although the smaller the grout lines the more care must be taken when laying it. The quality of the tiles also come into play much more with tighter joints. Be aware that many of the cheaper costing materials available from the popular " flooring depots" or "factory direct outlets" are for sale at cut rate prices because it is sometimes product that has not met the manufacturing tolerences for squareness , flatness, or surface blemishes. In this case, I would stick with a reputable flooring supplier who deals with lots of trade people. Be sure to get the type of thin set recommended for your particular stone, it varies among marbles.Ditto on the color matched caulking. Any place two different materials meet, tile to tub face, tile to shower stall face, tile to front of installed cabinets, even horizontal tile to vertical tile, grout lines will self destruct from movement.

kevjob 02-18-2007 10:45 AM

I agree the flatness of the floor the material you are using etc.... 1/16th is the biggest grout joint iuse and i leave a 1/8th at walls and cabinets and caulk that gap. I like to back-butter every tile over 12 inches on the floor and we use customs marble and granite medium bed mortar to help with lippage.

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