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Top Tips for Using Tile Spacers Effectively

Top Tips for Using Tile Spacers Effectively

Aug 7,2023
If you're starting a new tile project and it's your first time working with tiles, you might be a little confused. There is a lot to know about laying and placing tiles. From mixing mortar to cutting tile with a TILER tile cutter or TILER tile saw, to grouting the end result - it can be confusing.

That's why TILER is here with the latest post in our tips and tricks series! In this guide, we'll take a look at one of the most important elements of any tile project - the tile spacer.

We'll explore why tile spacers are so important, and we'll discuss top tips for using them effectively. Follow this guide and you'll be grouting like a pro in no time! let's start.

What Are Tile Spacers - Why Are They Important?

Tile spacers are small plastic objects, usually made in the shape of a "T" or a cross. They come in a variety of sizes from 1/4" to 3/8".

They are used to maintain a consistent space or "gap" between tiles when they are installed on mortar. This will allow for an even finish when grouting the tiles.

To use them, you place spacers on each corner of the tile as you lay the tiles, then push the tiles together until the spacers touch each corner. They are removed shortly after the tile installation is complete and can often be reused on future projects.

Tile spacers are important for several reasons. Now let's look at these reasons

You Can Use a Variety of Grout Widths

If you're making a tile rug, or creating an intricate mosaic-like tile design, it can be difficult to manually space tiles. This is especially true if you wish to use multiple grout widths.

However, by using multiple sizes of grout spacers, you can easily create tile patterns that use multiple grout sizes, which can enhance the durability and appeal of the finished product.

Consistent Grout Spacing Ensures Tiles Are Straight and Even

If you don't use tile spacers, your tiles may warp. Tile spacers are located at the corners of each tile so a perfectly straight, even finish is achieved.

Easier Project Planning

Tile spacers are great when you're laying out your tiles and planning your project. You will know exactly how big the gap is between each tile. This makes it easier to measure tiles when laying, marking, and cutting them.

Professional and Beautiful

Tile spacers are the only way to give your project a truly professional finish. Without tile spacers, your project will look amateurish, with uneven gaps and warped tiles.

Protects the Integrity of Tile Floors

Tile spacers allow you to keep floors level and ensure that each tile is properly grouted with just the right amount of product. If your tiles are too close together, they can cause damage as they expand. They may also fall off or crumble. Spacers provide a safer, more durable surface.

Faster Project Turnaround Time

Because there's no guesswork involved when using tile spacers, your projects will be faster and more efficient. You don't have to spend time measuring every gap in your grout or worry about uneven results. Just use the spacers, lay down the tiles, and you're ready to go!

Tips for Using Tile Spacers Correctly

1. Start with the Right Product

Make sure you take the time and money to invest in high-quality plastic spacers. If you don't use the right product, you can end up with cheap, cheap spacers that are difficult to remove from finished tile, or that they crack when you try to remove them.

2. Estimate the Correct Quantity of Tile Spacers for Your Project

No matter what product you use, you will need to estimate the proper amount of spacers. If you overestimate, you'll be wasting money on spacers that won't end up being used. If you underestimate, you can cause serious delays to the project.

How to estimate the correct amount of tile spacers? It's easy! Just multiply the total number of tiles or blocks you use by 4! That way, you'll know you have enough spacers for your project.

However, we also recommend buying some extra spacers in case you misplace or damage them.

3. Remove the Tile Spacers at the Right Time - Otherwise, They May Get Stuck!

The tile spacers should be removed about 20-30 minutes after the adhesive begins to set on the tile floor. You don't want to remove them too quickly as this could cause the tiles to move.

Conversely, you don't want to leave them in for too long, as this could cause the gaskets to seize. We recommend checking the manufacturer's instructions when removing tile spacers to ensure they are removed correctly.

If your spacers are difficult to remove, or you are using small cross-shaped spacers, we recommend using needle nose pliers for extraction. Grasp the sides of the spacer firmly, and pull it straight out. Avoid horizontal movement. Horizontal movement may cause tiles that are still adhered to move.

4. Never Grout over Tile Spacers

If you have thin tile spacers that are difficult to remove, you may be tempted to simply grout them. You absolutely should not do this. Grouting over tile spacers will result in poor results and may even damage the floor.

While things may look fine for weeks or even months, leaving the gasket in place can compromise the structural integrity of the grout. Eventually, you'll see a small "x" shaped crack in each tile spacer because of their height causing excessive wear on the grout.

Do not grout over tile spacers. Even if your tile spacer is stuck, it should be pulled out or removed with a chisel, and the grout reapplied. Trust us - this will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

5. Make Sure the Tiles Are Cut Correctly

Tile spacers are difficult to get right if you're cutting the tile yourself, and they're not perfectly straight and true. If you use a spacer on just one curved tile, it can ruin your entire project.

Therefore, we recommend that you use a high-quality tile cutter, such as a TILER tile cutter, during your project. These products all provide a perfectly straight, reliable cut. This means you can be sure that one misshapen tile won't ruin your entire project.

6. Usually the Thinner the Better

Thin grout lines require less maintenance, and 1/16-inch grout spacers have become very popular for both DIY tile projects and professional projects.

However, extremely thin grout spacers should only be used on tiles such as sawn stone or other high-quality tiles with very consistent edges. Some clay and tiles are fired in kilns, resulting in slight variations in width and thickness. These tiles should have at least a 1/8" grout line to ensure consistent results.

When in doubt about what size grout spacer to use, simply consult the tile manufacturer and tell them more details about your project. This will ensure you make the right choice.

Follow these tips for amazing results!

Whether you choose to use TILER tile products, or any other tile spacer and leveling product, these tips are sure to help you. So don't worry about your next DIY tile project. As long as you have the right tools, proper knowledge, and quality spacers, you can be successful!

For more tips and tricks about tiles and TILER products, feel free to visit our blog or contact us directly!

TILER is a professional custom tile laying tools manufacturer, committed to providing installers with precise, efficient, innovative, professional tile cutting and laying tools. Our six product categories cover all the necessary tools in the world of tile decoration, including tile cutters, large slab systems, tile handling tools, tile leveling tools, grouting and cleaning tools, and other tile tools.

We advocate the spirit of craftsmanship and are always committed to creating perfect, precise and safe products. Through advanced design, high-quality products and custom service, TILER makes laying tiles easy and an enjoyable experience for installers.
TILER Recyclable Tile Spacers for joint A41204
Tile spacers are placed between each tile during installation to create a uniform gap or joint between the tiles.
TILER Recyclable Tile Spacers for joint A41203
Tile spacers are placed between each tile during installation to create a uniform gap or joint between the tiles.
TILER Hollow  Tile Spacers for joint A41202
Tile spacers are placed between each tile during installation to create a uniform gap or joint between the tiles.
TILER X -type Tile Spacers for joint A41201
Tile spacers are placed between each tile during installation to create a uniform gap or joint between the tiles.

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