How’s it going, everyone! I hope you’ve found some time to enjoy the beautiful Fall scenery and enjoying the euphoria that only this season can bring. Today I’d like to discuss a facet of tile flooring: The large format tile. While there are certainly many advantages to using large format tile, especially in wide, spacious areas, it definitely charters a few challenges, as well. Let’s discuss, shall we?

Large Format Tile: The Long Haul

Other, smaller tiles are easy enough to haul around, and where that may not seem like a huge deal beforehand, you’ll thank yourself when having to load and unload your materials. With a large format tile, well it’s simply that, a larger challenge. Considering each box contains roughly 7-10 pieces, each weighing about 4-5 pounds each, it can get kind of heavy, especially since you’re more than likely setting it in a large area, say, a living room or a basement.   large format tile   So, imagine if you will, that the average basement is 1,000 sq. ft, and your typical large format tile comes in a 12×12 piece, one square foot. Do the math. Your jaw dropped a little bit, didn’t it? You’d need 1,000 tiles to complete your floor, which means carrying about a 100 boxes of tile down a flight of steps, not to mention maneuvering them as you complete a section. It’s a tremendous, near-back-breaking task that can easily substitute as a couple of workouts, and this is just preparation alone.   [bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] DIY flooring-tile-featured   [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] Backsplash-Tile-Featured-Image [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth_last”] tile trends [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”clear”][/bscolumns]  

Large Format Tile: Lippage

Lippage is the degree to which one tile rises above an adjoining one, giving the look of unevenness, and it’s extra noticeable in larger tiles because of the space it covers. Now, you may think, “If the subfloor is level, how can lippage occur?” Some of the tiles themselves aren’t exactly even all the way across depending on material, and two, if you plan on subsetting the tile with a 50% offset, you’re just asking for it. For clarity, that means setting one row of tile down and then starting another row with a tile in the middle of the last. Worst case: Lippage can cause one to trip and fall, and no one wants those problems.   large format tile   Now, just because this type of tile is prone to such behavior definitely doesn’t mean it’s unavoidable. Before install, make sure the area your working on is 100% completely level. If not, grabbing a few bags of floor leveler will do the trick. After all, the installation process is a feat in itself, the last thing you want to see when the entire job is finished is a rolling wave in the middle of your floor or miniature Alps along the edges.  

Large Format Tile: Installation

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous challenge, but I want to talk a little bit about the entire process as a whole. Now, this is a blog post about the challenges, but one of the advantages of large format tile is being able to get around tricky spots — door casings, trim, toilet holes, etc — with only a couple pieces of tile. But there’s a catch.   large format tile   Since this tile is relatively larger, it can be hard to maneuver, to level out, and bond with the mortar. Indeed, there may be times you where you have to literally do a push-up atop the tile to even it out. Trust me, I’d had to do it. But to prevent lippage, this is something that has to be done. large format tile   Cutting can be a task, as well. There’s no doubt about that. Having to haul each large piece and praying it doesn’t crack from the tile machine can be a bit stressful, but it comes with the job. I suggest using a very careful approach when using this form of tile, especially if you’re installing a tile shower surround.   [bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] DIY flooring-tile-featured   [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] Backsplash-Tile-Featured-Image [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth”] [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_fourth_last”] tile trends [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”clear”][/bscolumns]   Well, there you have it, folks. A few of the challenges that come with laying large format tile. But, please, don’t let this deter you. There are plenty more advantages than disadvantages in using large format tile. It’s well worth it, especially in bigger, wider areas! Feel free to check out our selection of large format tile, too! Just click here. Be safe and stay blessed, everyone!  

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentuck y, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!   Written by: Chris Chamberlain    

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