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Old 09-12-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Trying to select tile for a small laundry room. It is also the main thoroughfare for access to the back yard. Durability and slip resistance are my primary decision factors, as some small amount of fine dirt and water will likely be present.

I'm planning the tile size around making the fewest cuts necessary and playing around with figures in AutoCAD. But when I look at tile online, I don't see nominal sizes, like I would expect to.

Is a 12x12 tile really 12x12? Do they not shrink when fired? Or should I plan on it being 11 x 11, or some other size?

Also, if I can find a ceramic I like (thinking I want PEI >= 4) at Lowes/HD, is there any difference in quality vs comparable tile at a dedicated tile store?

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Old 09-12-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Tiles are made all around the world---most are metric all are different--The only way to know the size of the tile is to measure it----sorry--no easy answer---

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Old 09-12-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Fair enough. Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


I worked in a tile store years ago---the sizes are all over the place---some times sizes will vary from lot to lot in the same style.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Plan on making all the cuts it takes to make the installation work.
Forget about the CAD and precise measurements. Everything in tile is exactly nominal, no more, no less, it is all exactly nominal.

Your best bet is a Class IV tile but a III will work. If slip resistance is a concern then rub your fingers over the tiles you like and buy the one you think serves your needs. The slip-factor of the tiles surface is known as "coefficient of friction" but I wouldn't even think about going there with a guy that is trying to layout tile he hasn't purchased yet with a CAD program. So feel the tile with your fingers and pick the one you like. You aren't very likely to find COF nomenclature on tiles you buy at a Big Box Diss-count Store.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #6
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Hehe. Guilty as charged. But Coefficient of Friction is something I haven't used since college, in... Aeronautics? Maybe Propulsion Theory, but... ahhh, so fuzzy.

Turns out, the room is 63". I found that if I was to go with 12.5" tiles, it would work out exactly to five rows with a 1/8" grout line. One cut needs to be made to accomodate an exposed piece of the footing, and five more at the other end. Took measurements at six places in the room and was extremely surprised to see less than 1/8" variation.

Would there be any harm done if I decided to open the grout joints up to 1/4" and sneak the remaining 1/4" of tile under the drywall?
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #7
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Tiles aren't square and tiles aren't perfect, they are "nominal" in all respects...Nominal I tell you.

If you think you need a 12" tile then you have to shop for 13" tiles. No twelve inch tile is going to be twelve-and-a-half inches but a 13" tile could be.

I don't know about coefficient of friction in aeronautics but in tile manufacturing industry they use an old rubber-soled tennis shoe clamped to a board with a spring clamp then they tie a rope to a fish scale (weighing device) then the rope is tied to the shoe and they pull the rope while noting the scale reading.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Wow, that's certainly interesting.

I didn't find a couple retailers online selling 12.5" tile. But buying sight unseen... well...

Back in aeronautics class, we were never given any indication of how the number was found (that I can recall), but rather used it to determine drag in a system and efficiency of airfoils. I'd imagine it was measured by blowing a known amount of air (wind tunnel) past an object and measuring the force that was exerted on it (zeroed to account for the force exerted on the stand measuring it), but that's entirely a guess.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:37 PM   #9
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


I just finished a bathroom with 12 x 12 (11 3/4 x 11 3/4 was what they really were) and purchased them from one of the big box stores. NEVER again. The difference in the edges from one tile to the next was so different. Some smooth giving a nice grout joint and the next looked like the Rocky Mountains making the grout joint appear really out of whack. If you really care about how the floor will look, go to a GOOD tile store, not just one of the Big Box Tile Stores, but a reputable tile store. I did all the cutting of my tiles with an angle grinder with a 4" diamond blade (about $45.00 for the blade) or you could rent one. Pull up your baseboards, install the tile and reinstall the baseboards and there you have 3/4" of play to start off with. The cuts are not that hard. Getting it under the door jambs, well, then you need to cut the jambs to slide the tile under, cutting enough so you will not bind the tile under it. Some of the tile stores will make your cuts for you.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Never thought I'd say this, but...

...luckily for me, the baseboards and door trim were missing when I bought the place.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:56 PM   #11
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Bad new about your plan---humans built your place out of vegetables--wood is not straight and true and rooms are seldom square--

So attempting to avoid cuts by running full tile at both walls seldom works.

Don't shy away from cuts---tile is not that difficult to cut----Mike---
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


...and, a gap of 1/4" is required around all of the walls. CAD that!
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:20 PM   #13
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Nominal Size of Tile, Lowes/HD vs Tile Store


Ah, now we're into the thick of it!

Why 1/4"?

Wish I would have known that earlier... :P
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Ah, now we're into the thick of it!
Why 1/4"?
Wish I would have known that earlier...
Because it's in all the books.
Expansion accommodation.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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Makes sense!

(Ironic that Google'ing for 30 minutes I couldn't find this, since I had no idea what it was called... )


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