Saturday, January 3, 2009

16: Tile on the Diagonal

There are not a lot of options for how a tile can be laid on the floor—especially if they're all square. But, laying them on a diagonal or alternately square with the room can have more of an impact than you'd imagine. The size of the room, the size of the tile and the color of the tiles all play into making this decision. My tiles are 18"x18" squares of a medium gray/blue slate. I used this tile throughout the entire first floor of the house, so I decided to have them set on the diagonal. Why? The floor plan is not large and the diagonal plan makes the rooms feel more expansive–a squared-off plan can feel more confining in a small space. Beware, though, because a diagonal plan can become very animated in appearance. I used only one type of tile. Alternating colors can become very active even in a squared-off plan.

The diagonal plan also require a tile layer to make more cuts and potentially more complicated cuts. With the living and dining room dominating the first floor, I decided to have him start the plan with a half tile centered on the front door of the house. I knew that once rugs and furniture were in place, this would be the part of the floor most visually I wanted it to look the best. I actually used a piece of chalk and roughly sketched out this plan on the sub-floor earlier to make sure that it was the right approach. I continued the sketch all the way across the room, because I also wanted to see how the diagonals of the tiles would hit the stone Tulikivi fireplace, which has a few diagonals of its own. Fortunately, the diagonals were on very similar angles and the plan wouldn't need small cut pieces to fill in around the fireplace—I didn't want a lot of little cut diagonal pieces filling in the plan as it met the other walls and objects like the fireplace.


Decorno said...

I am glad you wrote about this. I need to decide how to lay square tiles in my kitchen and was thinking on the diagonal. However, I am putting subway tiles up as the backsplash. Will it be weird having the two situated in this way, or am I overthinking it?

Newell Turner said...

Hey Decorno, I don't think it would be weird. In fact, I think the variation could add character to the kitchen. The backsplash would be separated from the floor by cabinetry and appliances. But, even if you had wall tile that went down to the floor, a simple border tile or coved tile along the bottom edge of the wall would create a transition to the diagonal tile on the floor. I've got a great Internet source/post for subway tile coming soon. BTW, I'm a fan of your blog.

Decorno said...

Looks like we have a mutual admiration society forming.

Thanks for the advice on the tile. We ended up finding wood floors underneath the icky vinyl tiles, so we went with that instead.

Also, I am sorry to hear about Jack. Pugs are such faithful friends, I am sure you miss him.