Using Tile Spacers when Installing Ceramic Tile

Make sure you Have Two Sided Tile Spacers Handy When Tiling Walls and Floors

By Mark J. Donovan

If you are planning to tile walls or floors, make sure you pick up some two sided tile spacers along with the tile, mortar, and grout. Tile spacers, and particularly two sided tile spacers, are a godsend for professional and DIY tile installers. Tile spacers make easy work for keeping tiles running true and straight. Tile spacers help to ensure uniformity in tile spacing so that grout lines will have consistent widths.

Tile spacers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some look like a “+” sign and others are circular with a “-“ sign on one side, and a “+” sign on the other.

The ones with both a “-“ sign and a “+” sign are known as two sided tile spacers and work fantastic. They help to keep tiles both vertically and horizontally straight.

Tile spacers are made out of plastic and are available in various widths including 1/16th, 1/8th, 3/16th, and ¼th inches.

Two sided tile spacers Use tile spacers when tiling walls

Install tile spacers between floor and wall tiles as soon as you install a few tiles on the wall or floor. After the thinset mortar or adhesive sets up, which is approximately 16 to 24 hours, you can simply pull the tile spacers out and then grout.

Note that some ceramic tiles are self spacing.

They come with small lugs on the sides that automatically provide the manufacturer’s recommend tile spacing. With self spacing tiles, tile spacers are not required.

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

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