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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

First time tiler here, getting ready to lay large format (12x24) tile in my upstairs bathroom and encountering a layout challenge. We want to lay the tile with the long side parallel to the long side of the room, but the spacing leaves roughly a 2" gap (would be about 1.5" after leaving a 1/4 inch expansion joint on both sides of the room) that would be very difficult to fill in. The attached picture illustrates what I mean.

I will be putting in base trim later which would fill part of the gap on the non-tub side, but no trim I've seen is 1.5"+ wide.

One possible option here is to place four rows of tiles oriented to the centerline of the room, but then I'd have to cut roughly a 6.5" x 24" strip to fit along both sides of the room. I'm not sure either how that would look or if it violates any kind of code for the area along the side of the tub or behind the toilet. There also may be an issue with our new vanity, since the two rear feet would sit directly down on this narrower strip of tile. Again, I don't have the experience to know if that's a problem or not.

Any thoughts on the best way to deal with this layout challenge?
 

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Your first row on the left will be 6.75" and your last row on the right will be 6.75". The grout line will be centered in the room... but once the vanity is in there your eye will see the center of the room differently. But where you CAN see both walls at the same time, (on either side of the vanity) I imagine the tile should be centered equally between the walls.

And there is no "code" on tile layout. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe "code" is the wrong word. I guess I just mean general guidance or rules of thumb from past experience. If I have a 6.5"x24" piece of tile sitting directly under one of the four vanity feet, would you imagine that potentially being a stressor leading to the tile cracking/breaking or such? Or likewise if that narrow strip runs behind the toilet or along the line of the bathtub? The reason I'm asking is these seem like areas more subject to stresses and moisture, so just want to get some sense if I'm setting myself up for unpleasantness down the road.

I'm guessing this "shouldn't" be an issue if the tile is set correctly and the underlayment is well prepped and flat...
 

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Center it in the room like XSleeper suggested. If you put down thin set uniformly with the proper notched trowel putting the vanity on a cut tile will not be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice on the layout. Here are a couple pics with the tile dry fit to the room centerline. I offset the alternate rows by 66% instead of 33% because it worked better with the location of the toilet flange, as you can see in the second picture. Please let me know if you see any other issues with this configuration.

Any other thoughts before I go past the point of no return?
 

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I would certainly not do that. I would leave a full tile right up against the tub. Leave the little strip behind the toilet. There is no issue as long as the floor itself, and whatever your underlayment is, are solid.
 

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I wouldn't let the toilet flange position determine the offset of your running bond pattern - tiles have to be cut regardless and the toilet will hide a sloppy cut. Also, I think a 66% offset is the same as 33%. If it were my bathroom I'd do 50% offset, but it's yours and if you like the offset that's what matters.

As for the full tile against the tub or not, you can go either way. Small slivers on one side are usually to be avoided, but your vanity and toilet will hide most of that.

As you are laying the tile, pay attention to the pattern on the tile. Some tiles are identical and you don't want them too close to each other. I once did a floor and didn't pay attention to that and whenever I sat on the toilet i would stare at the floor and it's all I saw!
 

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I agree I wouldn't let the toilet affect my layout either. Normally a 1/3 stagger means every row, not every other row. But as you have it laid out it doesn't really look bad. Personal preference.
 

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By the way, I don't think the toilet flange is an issue anyway. I used to cut circular holes in the tile with an angle grinder, but I finally realized there is room under the toilet to do a regular square cut with the tile saw, and still hide it. Of course if you shift everything over toward the tub like I think you should, you're going to have a different layout anyway.
 

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50% stagger results in greater possibility of lippage issues. TCNA recommends maximum 1/3 stagger for larger tiles.

I agree with the previous suggestion that 33% stagger is the same as 66% stagger. But there are two ways to a 33% stagger --- as shown, or in a staircase pattern. That's just owner preference (or maybe simply wife's preference).

I understand what jeffnc is saying about putting the thin strip by the wall, but myself, I really hate that 3.25" strip. Unless virtually all of the thin strip could be covered toilet/vanity/etc, I would center the tile and have 6.5" pieces on either side.

I am no pro, just a DIYer.
 

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The vanity and toilet are going to cover almost all of that wall, you won't even see it unless you look. Always put the full tiles where they are in full view. You would only "balance" the tiles if you can see each side equally. For example if we were doing the back wall of a tub surround with these tiles - then you want symmetry. In this case it would actually throw you off because you wouldn't even be able to see the symmetry, so it would like like it's just off. The only reason it looks reasonable right now is because the vanity and toilet aren't there. 100% of the time I'd put a full tile against the tub here.
 
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