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samanddrew

Should I tile straight or on the diagonal?

samanddrew
14 years ago

The tile man is coming tomorrow. I have bought 12 by 12 tiles. Everyone keeps telling me to tile on the diagonal, but it seems like the tile would have to be cut more that way and it just wouldn't look as good. It's a small powder room by the way, only about 6 by 7 feet. I like a classic, timeless look. The bathroom will open up to the den and kitchen, which have hardwood floors. What do you think....straight or diagonal? I've already laid the tiles out both ways and just can't seem to make a decision. Help!!!

Comments (22)

  • areacode514
    14 years ago

    I recommend tiled diagonally to give a feeling of larger space. Indeed, there are more cuts that need to be made (make sure that the total amount of tiles takes that into consideration in terms of having extra tiles handy), but since the tile man will be doing the work and not yourself, then might as well go for it.
    Good luck!

  • MariposaTraicionera
    14 years ago

    I am really not a big fan of the diagonal and chose straight instead. But as Bill will probably tell you, "do what feels right." lol

  • shashi2
    14 years ago

    Diagonal - it will make the small space look bigger! Your tile man will probably say to lay them straight. (It is easier and less cuts) My tile guy wanted to lay them straight and I insisted on diagonal and am so happy I did!

  • samanddrew
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Mari, I guess I feel like you do. But with everyone (friends, family, even the contractor) saying it will look horrible straight, I am torn. I'm not really interested in making the powder room look bigger. I mean, it's a powder room! They're supposed to be small. I just want what is going to look the best. btw, Mari. What is it you don't like about diagonal?

  • codnuggets
    14 years ago

    One more vote for diagonal in a small space. To me, straight tiles in a small area scream out how small the space is, especially with 12x12 tiles where you can count the feet by counting the tiles. This space is 3x9 (only partially pictured here) with 18" tiles on diagonal.

  • astridh
    14 years ago

    I also vote for diagonal for the way it opens up the space.

  • monicakm_gw
    14 years ago

    Diagonal. DH tried to talk me into diagonal when we tiled the kitchen (12" tile). I wouldn't hear of it...big mistake. Wish I'd listened to him. I DID listen to him for the bathroom remodel. Much more visually interesting but less noticeable (if that makes sense). I know these are two different size tiles but really, to me, the diagonal looks so much better.
    Bathroom:
    http://www.pbase.com/monicakm/image/101838073
    kitchen:
    http://www.pbase.com/monicakm/image/16718083

  • bill_vincent
    14 years ago

    But with everyone (friends, family, even the contractor) saying it will look horrible straight, I am torn.

    It's not that it'll look horrible. It won't. What setting the tile diagonally does is take away the "modular" look. If the tile's set square, in the mid's eye, it tends to break the floor down into modules, the size of the tile (hence the name "modular"), which tends to make the room look a little smaller. Setting the tile diagonallly, for some reason, takes that away.

    One way or the other, as Mari foretold, I'm going to tell you to nevermind what I say, or Mari, or anyone else in here, OR anyone else over there, including your GC. This is strictly a subjective question, one that only you or your better half can answer. Whatever you like, THAT'S the right answer.

  • marisany
    14 years ago

    I agonized over the same decision. We are nearing the end of a renovation of a very small full bath. The area that is tiled with 12" x 12" floor tiles is about 4.5' x 5'. I will put some photos below. I like what I have (straight), although I see the point that others are making. Monica's photos do argue for diagnonal tile, but I'm wondering whether the reason the straight tiles don't look as good is that they are smaller with prominent grout lines. In case it helps, here are current photos of my floor, with fixtures not yet installed, baseboards not yet painted, etc.

  • stu2900
    14 years ago

    We had to make this same decision last week. Final result was diagonal on the floor and squared on the walls.

  • MariposaTraicionera
    14 years ago

    I find it looks less busy Sam. Something about those lines crossing everywhere bugs my eyes :-)

    Marisany, yours appeal to my eyes more :-)

    See, we have different tastes so somewhere along the way you have to decide what's right for you...now let me ponder how I want those glass tiles set...vertical, horizontal...LOL

  • marisany
    14 years ago

    I guess I have the same taste as Mari - I decided that installing the tiles straight would make the room look more peaceful.

  • chewtoy
    14 years ago

    I am guessing that your decision is already made, but just in case...

    We were also conflicted about diagonal vs. straight but for a much larger room. We ended up using a staggered pattern. It turned out great, and it seems to me to be kind of an inbetween decision. We don't have the dramatic look of diagonal, but we also don't have as many straight lines as we would have had.

  • monicakm_gw
    14 years ago

    I wish someone could find that drawing that was posted a few months ago that showed straight and diagonal patterns in different sized rooms. It was quite the visual tool for just this question.

  • bill_vincent
    14 years ago

    I know-- somewhere in the last 8 months, I did a project where two similar rooms got done, one straight, and one diagonal, and I saved them just for this reason, and now I can't find them.

  • susan631
    14 years ago

    Chewtoy,

    Can you post a picture? I am curious and trying to picture what your staggered pattern might look like. What is your room size? My room will be 10x13. We are still in the planning stages of this remodel and I haven't yet figured out how to lay the tile.

    Thanks, Susan

  • Paul Boyer
    5 years ago

    Almost always, DIAGONAL is aesthetically better. Because it does not emphasize the outline of the room, it makes the space seem less restricted: that means it will seem larger.

    No one has mentioned another fact: most small bathrooms are not exactly square! When you lay tiles on the square, you will inevitably discover this, and the irregularity will show. This will not appear as readily with the diagonal tiling.

    A third point: when you lay on the square, the number of tiles may not come out even (that is, to a whole number of tiles). Thus is you start with whole tiles along one side, you will have fractional tiles on the opposite side. Looks bad! To escape this, you have to tile from the center out, with cut tiles all around the edges. That makes up for any inconvenience involved with diagonal tiling.

    So, I count that as 3-0 in favor of diagonal tiling.

    I would even add a fourth point: when people see your tiles done diagonally, they see that you really knew what you were doing.

  • millworkman
    5 years ago

    This is an almost 9 year old post. Why dig it up?

  • grannysmith18
    5 years ago

    For sure on the diagonal. It makes the space look bigger. I did it in a small powder room, actually on the floors and up the walls, with a 12X12 tile. I was nervous to do it, but a designer encouraged me to, and I'm so glad I did.

  • Linda Doherty
    5 years ago

    Diagonal. And larger tiles actually make the room appear larger. Look at 18x18 or 20x20 tiles. Less grout lines to break up the floor. As less grout to clean.

  • amanda99999
    5 years ago

    Count me in with the straight fans. I have a 1920 home; I like the vintage/traditional look (but updated), and diagonal wouldn't appeal to me at all in my home/for the style I like. I'm guessing its not just personal preference, but regional (I never see it around here, but it is an area of primarily 100-ish year old homes).