As a kitchen and bathroom remodeler, I install quite a bit of ceramic tile. I’ve found that if my project is more than a basic square or rectangle, a scaled sketch of the countertop, floor or wall to be tiled can save a lot of time and trouble when the job rolls around.
With my project dimensions in hand, I use the 3/4-in. scale on my architect’s rule to draw the outline of the area to be tiled on a sheet of tracing paper. On another sheet of paper and with the same scale, I draw a grid to match the size of the tile selected for the job (in fact, I have several grid sheets to match common tile sizes — 12×12, 8×8, 6×8 and 4×4).
Grid drawn, I can get a quick and accurate picture of the job by overlaying my drawing of the project on the grid. The tiles show through the tracing paper, and I can move my drawing around until I get the best possible layout. With this approach, I can usually spot and solve any layout problems before I even start working. It’s also a piece of cake to accurately figure my materials by simply counting up the number of tiles the layout requires.
Herrick Kimball, Moravia, NY