Four easy steps on how to square for tiling. Keeping your tile pattern square uses simple tools without fancy lasers or a lot of math. Start by laying out some reference lines which you can use as reference points for your layout. Use the carpenters 3-4-5 rule to keep it simple. Remember, right triangles make good squares.
Five reference lines are enough for most rooms, but you might use more on a very large project. Keep the tile pattern square by referencing your layout lines from the original reference lines. You can use chalk lines as your guide, or add a mason’s line.
How to Square for Tiling: Keep Your Tile Pattern Straight
How to square for tiling isn’t that difficult using basic tools like a carpenters square, chalk lines, and a tape measure. Setting down reference lines keeps the layout square. Measure the layout, add some layout lines and use masons line as a guide while tiling to keep your tiles aligned.
Tile has to be laid square, in straight lines, or the installation lot will look obviously amateur. How to square for tiling and keeping the tile lines straight isn’t as hard as it seems. Start with square reference lines and fix them in place with hairspray.
Add some layout lines to keep the tiles square. As you lay tile, keep the pattern aligned with the chalk lines you carefully measured and laid out and the end result will be a professional installation.
Making a Reference Line
Layout a square starting point. Draw a line between the doorstop molding on both sides of the doorway. Use a square to measure into the room 12 inches on either side of the doorway and make a mark on both sides. Do this on both sides of the entryway.
Measure between the two marks and mark the center point. Draw a line parallel to the entrance across the three marks using the longest straightedge available. Use a chalk line to extend this line from one side of the room to the other.
The Carpenters 3-4-5 Triangle Rule
From the center mark on the reference line, measure left and right three feet and make marks. Drive screws part way into the floor at the center mark and at the two-three footmarks. Tie a loop onto a mason line and pull it out 5 feet from the left 3-foot mark and mark the mason line at exactly 5 feet.
Make another line from the center screw and mark it at exactly 4 feet. Pull the lines together so the two marks touch and make a mark on the floor at this point. Swap the two lines between the center and left marks and make a new mark. Now move the mason line from the left screw to the right screw and make a third mark.
Add Four More Reference Lines
Snap three chalk lines from the screws, across the marks to the opposite end of the room. Snap a fourth chalk line across the three marks to the sides of the room. Use the five chalk lines as reference lines to lay out the tile pattern using a different color chalk line.
Spraying the lines with a can of cheap hairspray will fix the chalk lines in place once you are sure of their location. This is how to lay square tiles. Determine where your layout lines should be and use a square to measure from the reference lines. Make two marks at either end of the room and snap a new line.
Mason Lines for Guides
A pair of perpendicular mason lines is another how to square for tiling tip. Put a screw on the floor on each end of a layout chalk line.
Tie a mason line to one screw and make a loop that pulls the line taut on the other end. Lift the line of the screw, spread your mortar and put the line back on the screw. Now lay your tiles right next to the mason line.