How To: Floor tile layout using a drawing application
Posted on 21 Aug ’07 by Earl Moore
Many of us have home improvement projects. A little pre-project planning using readily available tools can often avoid mistakes.
One such project that I’m dealing with is tiling a bathroom floor with not just one size tile but a combination of 12 inch and 6 inch tiles. In order to get the placement of the tiles correct, and also a count of the needed tiles, I decided to use a drawing application to do an initial layout plan.
The drawing application I used was OmniGraffle Pro, but any drawing program which allows you to define ruler and grid scales will work. I selected OmniGraffle because of it’s simple user interface and my own experience with it. For others wanting an application with this capability, InkScape is a free drawing/design program that provides these same features and is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.
Below are the steps I used to create my tiling plan. Your steps may differ according to your own project requirements.
Application Grid and Spacing Set-Up:
1. I set the ruler scale to one inch is equal to one foot.
2. Major grid spacing to 1 foot.
3. Minor grid spacing/steps to 48 (1/4 inch )
Note: For 48 equal spaces there would be 47 tick marks. For this particular drawing program the minor grid/steps is the number of spaces not the number of tick marks.
Steps for laying out tile patterns for the bathroom:
1. Measure the exact dimensions of the bathroom floor and any objects that will need to be tiled around.
2. Transfer the floor measurements to a scale line outline drawing using the above grid and ruler spacings for scale.
3. Created two square template objects, one representing a 12 inch tile and the other to represent a 6 inch tile. These will be duplicated during the step below.
4. Lay (drag and drop) the tiles over the scaled floor outline experimenting to find the best and most effective layout. You will be looking for the least tile cutting required, the best visual patterns and the most effective use of tiles. You can duplicate the above tile templates as needed. Be sure to allow at least 1/4 inch (one minor grid spacing) between the tiles for grouting.
6. This pattern will also serve as a guide to quickly and efficiently tile your floor, hopefully without waste of time or material.
For this “How To” project planning I used:
Computer: Apple Mac OS X
Application: OmniGraffle Pro
Printer: Minolta Magicolor 2430DL