How to Make a Patterned Tile Border for Your Flooring

Ceramic, marble and porcelain tile have become the fashion in flooring for both the home and the office. Instead of simply laying the tiles in a single pattern on the floor, you can add tiles of contrasting colors and smaller sizes as a border around the edge of the room. This article will explain what you need for this project and how to create the perfect patterned tile border.

What you need:

  • tiles for the main area of the floor
  • smaller tiles and in different colors
  • a chalkline
  • two softwood battens
  • wet tile cutter
  • plastic tile spacers
  • tile adhesive
  • grout
  • notched and smooth spreaders

Method of laying the tiles:

  1. You must start from the center of the room when you start laying tiles and work outwards towards the walls. If the room in which you are working is not completely square, you will need to cut portions of the tiles to fit between the border and the wall.
  2. Start by calculating the amount of floor space you want to cover with the larger tiles and the size of the border you want to have. Make a floor plan using graph paper and then mark the border with a chalk line and draw a line around the outer edges of the room. This will tell you how much space you need to leave to work with in creating a patterned tile border.
  3. You can create a border in the center of the room with the same tiles as you want to have in the border.
  4. Fill in the floor plan as you have outlined on your graph. As you work outward, you may need to extend or decrease the size of the border depending on how many tiles you have and whether or not you have to cut a lot of tiles to make them fit within your pattern.
  5. Nail two battens together so that you have a right angle level. This will help you lay the tiles in the right position and keep them from looking as if they are slightly off-center on the floor.
  6. Use a chalk line to find the mid-point of the room. To do this you measure the distance between the opposite walls and mark it with the chalk. Repeat this with the other two walls so that you divide the room into quarters. The point at which the lines meet in the middle should be the center of the first tile that you lay.
  7. Lay the tiles as you want them to look, but do not apply any adhesive. This will give you a chance to see what the finished floor will look like and you have the opportunity to make changes.
  8. Leave a gap around the edge of the room for your border.
  9. When you are satisfied that the pattern is what you want, then you can start back in the center of the room and apply the adhesive to the tiles. Make sure you use the plastic spacers so that you have enough room around each tile for the grout.


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