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Rope tile spacers

When laying tile on a large floor, I use rope in place of the usual plastic or rubber spacers. This shortcut saves time, plus I get straighter grout lines. I lay the first row using regular spacers; I prefer the U-shaped spacers shown in the drawing. Next, I trowel a layer of thinset for the next row of tile, and I place a length of rope the same thickness as the spacers against the tile I’ve just laid. I use spacers at the corners, straddling the rope, to space the tile in the other direction. In this manner, I work my way across the room, pushing the tile against the rope so that it’s sandwiched between the two rows of tile.

After running out two rows, I move the U-shaped spacers with me as I progress from row to row. I use 100 ft. of rope and weave it back and forth at the ends of each row. This technique also works well when laying wall tiles.