All floor tiles aren’t created equally; in fact, stone flooring can come in just about any dimensions. While most people imagine tiles to be no more than a foot on any given side, oversized floor tiles can come far larger. Depending on the stone it is hewn from, stone floor tiles can easily reach numerous feet in dimension. There are, as one could imagine, numerous unique challenges associated with oversized stone tile that aren’t shared by their standard-sized counterparts.
Unique Challenges of Large Tiles
Anyone that has installed tile has experienced the challenges that come with the job; measuring, cutting, carrying, mortaring, and even finishing grout all require time and energy. Even normal-sized tile is exhausting to haul, hoist, and position for hours on end, those issues are only compounded by oversized tile. Since the tiles are heavier, they require more effort and care to lift and move throughout the process. Even the simple task of cutting tiles to a necessary size is far more difficult and will likely require two people or modified equipment to complete.
If that isn’t enough, weight also plays a part during the laying of the tile. Since the tile is so heavy, laying it flat and level is made difficult. It is frustratingly easy to have the edges on either side of the tile become uneven, which could cause the finished product to look incorrect or even become a tripping hazard. To combat this, crews often have to double up on the workforce, laying tile with people holding each end. Obviously, this may come with extra costs, but getting the end product right the first time will be well worth it.
Lastly, the weight of the stone tile can also impact structural engineering plans for the building. While a regular stone tile may be easily carried by the structure’s current support structure, there is a chance that the net weight of the larger stones will come out heavier enough to cause concern. Be sure to speak to a structural engineer for highly oversized tiles; after all, the small fee you may pay an engineer to take a quick look is going to be a lot less than losing your building’s entire structure.
Size & Layout
Second to weight, the next problem is just planning your tiles’ configuration. Every tile cut is made more difficult by the size of the tiles and leaving a sliver of tile at any point will probably make the floor look very poor. Figuring out how to lay oversized floor tiles should be your priority well before even shopping for them, and should only be attempted with the understanding that oversized tiles don’t work equally well in every space. Our advice is to reserve oversized floor tiles for very large rooms, especially those with high ceilings; in these spaces, oversized tiles match and accentuate the grandiosity of an already grand space. Additionally, using the tiles in open spaces prevents the need for multiple cuts on a single oversized tile (as much as possible), which your tile layers will thank you for.
Your Home for Tile
Regardless of the size you settle upon, use Transworld Tile’s floor tile experts for your San Fernando or Thousand Oaks flooring. Our large showroom and online selection are home to floor tiles of all shape, sizes, material, color, and composition. Best of all, our friendly staff is always available to answer any questions you may have about how a tile will look and perform in your home or business.