I am expanding my entryway by building a new half-wall, and then I will be tiling (which I have never done before). What I'm looking for is some advice on the best way to size the wall so that the tiles look right.

Here are a couple views:

enter image description here

enter image description here

(In case it's unreadable, the width of the closet is 48.5", and the distance between closet and front door is 76").

The entry to this space should be minimum 32" and max 36".

I'd like the wall to be minimum 76", and 92" (which is half-way on the wall beside the closet)

What size should I make these two dimensions, so that the tile will work out the best way?

I am open to suggestions on what tile size to use as well. The bit I don't know is if you have a 12"x12" tile, how do you figure out how much room they'll actually take up once they're down? (is a 12" tile really 12" or is it slightly smaller to allow room for grout?)


So part way though this project, our casual browsing for a new house ended up with us making an offer and me having 2 days to finish this so we could put our house up for sale. I ended up going with Allure vinyl plank tiles simply for speed of install (I was done in about 2 hours).

I put the framed wall 84.5" (7' 1/2") away (in the direction parallel with the door) to leave space for 7 tiles + 1/2" drywall, and it's about 78" long (in the direction perpendicular to the door) based mostly on aesthetics and making an unobtrusive transition. I positioned the tile so the center of the center tile in the perpendicular direction was centered with the wall, and there's an approximately equal amount of partial tile along both edges up to the new entry, and I didn't worry about what happened inside the closet (it happened to work out to only require less than 1/2" cut from the tile).

Here's the final product (sorry, it's from the MLS listing and not the greatest resolution): enter image description here

(Side note: We ended up having two offers on this house and had the sale finalized in less than 48 hours after listing, so I guess this turned out okay)

  • I'd go with a smaller tile than that. Using large tiles in small places can look a bit awkward.
    – DA01
    May 27, 2012 at 6:54
  • I'd find the tile I liked first. Then using some type of drafting software, play with different configurations until you find the layout you like best.
    – Tester101
    May 29, 2012 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


It sounds like your goal is to avoid cutting any tiles in the dimension from the 48.5" + Entry (from your pictures). 12X12 tiles won't necessarily be 12". I grabbed an extra that I had in the garage and it is actually 11.75" but is sold as a 12" tile.

As mentioned in the comments, I'd buy the tiles that you like first. You could actually buy all the tiles you are going to need and lay them out in that area with the grout spacers (little plastic spacers that keep all the tiles evenly spaced). Then you could pencil in your wall at exactly the location you'd need to keep from cutting tiles (in that dimension at least... you can't do much about the space between your front door and closet door).

Note that the tile shouldn't butt right against the wall. Your floor/molding trim will cover the small gap between the tiles and the wall.

Hope that helps. Good luck! Tiling is actually not that bad and can be fun.

  • I found the same, and I'm guessing the 12" tiles are just under because then you have 1/4" grout lines adding up to the full 12" spacing (center-to-center).
    – gregmac
    Jul 6, 2012 at 20:07
  • 1/4" grout lines are pretty thick. Anyway, congrats on the quick sale!
    – Joey
    Jul 6, 2012 at 22:39

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