I figured since I had the day off for the 4th, I may as well start installing the Marmoleum Click tiles for the kitchen floor. I will use this post mainly to describe the layout process. I'll add a second part when the floor is done.
Step 1: Choosing your First Focal Point
When installing tile on the floor, whether it is ceramic, porcelain, or in this case Marmoleum, you need to plan the layout so the finished product looks nice. This is especially true with a strong pattern like the checkerboard we have going in our kitchen.
For a typical square room, you should have two focal points; one for each dimension of the room (length and width). For our kitchen, the first and most important is the main entrance from the dining room. It is a 36" wide pass-through. If I had not considered this as a focal point, I would have started laying tiles against the cabinets on either the left or right side of the doorway, which would have left the pattern off-center in the doorway. That would not be nice to look at every time I walked into the kitchen!
Once I determined this would be my first focal point, I simply marked the center of the doorway on the floor. Since I am running full tiles down the middle (instead of having a seam in the middle), I measured a half-tile's width to one side and marked that as my reference seam. I setup my laser level on a tripod to mark this line.
Step 2: Choosing your Second Focal Point
Now that I chose the first focal point, I could have just started running full tiles centered in the doorway, but that would leave an off-center pattern somewhere else in the kitchen, in this case the sink. That means the next step is to find the center of the sink base. Since I centered a full tile in the doorway (instead of a seam), I also chose to center a full tile on the sink. I marked the center of the sink, and then placed a tile on the laser reference line from Step 1. The full sized light colored tile centered on the sink was the first to be laid. I then measured for the cut tile that goes behind it (leaving 3/8" gap per instructions). Starting at the center and the working my way back to the doorway will leave cut tiles at either end of the row.
Here you see me working my way from the center of the sink toward the door.
Continue to Part 2.
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