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I am tiling an entryway/hallway floor, which has a somewhat irregular shape. While I've dealt with all the corners and funny shapes, there's one place where I can't think of a solution. At one point, the floor ends with a step down into a garage. I need to tile the whole area as one. Yet when I lay the tiles, because the step ends slightly at an angle, I end up with a very narrow strip along the edge of the last tile. Look at the picture below (not drawn to scale):

enter image description here

This is a simplified drawing of the area in question - and I'm interested in the little corner marked in grey. Normally I would just cut a tile at an angle, however the width of that grey area is only about 5 mm at the widest point and I am tiling with 3 mm spacers.

One option I'm thinking about is to put one tile vertically along the side of the step (basically from the drawn surface down) but sticking 13-14 mm up above the surface (i.e. the same as thickness of the tiles plus the thinset) and then grout. Are there any other options?

  • The image you've drawn shows full-width tiles along both the left and right side of the main area. Is that literally the case? One solution to this would be to offset the whole installation towards the right side in order to bring the edge of the leftmost tile in the alcove farther away from the edge, which would make for a "meatier" piece of tile to fill that triangle area, instead of a small strip. Of course, this means you'll have to cut tiles along the left and right edges of the main floor area, but depending on the tile and the layout, this might look fine. – dwizum Aug 8 '19 at 13:07
  • @dwizum The image only shows the small area in question. The whole area is larger and has curves and about a dozen corners. – Aleks G Aug 8 '19 at 13:11
  • Does that tapered edge butt up against a wall, or the nose of a stair or something else? I would try to hide the taper in whatever trim or edge is being installed. Does your tile come in different sizes? Maybe you can buy one or two larger tiles and cut them to be slightly wider - and tapered - compared to the tiles you're already using. Or take the opportunity to introduce a narrow strip of mosaic or other trim near that opening in order to shift the tiles towards the edge far enough that you can cut that taper into the last whole tile. – dwizum Aug 8 '19 at 13:14
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Two options:

  1. you could taper the tile as necessary and fit a nose strip.

  2. Lay that last single tile at a slight angle so it shares that gap equally either side. But wide grout lines may be "odd"...

Edited based on comments, and option 1 seems favorite...

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  • Hm.. a nose strip may be a good idea actually. I'll see if that can work. – Aleks G Aug 8 '19 at 13:11
  • I don't like the wide grout line idea as they tend to be noticeable if the grout is a contrasting color, which makes the job look amateurish. I do like the idea of a nosing/transition strip, since the cut tile edge would be sharp and have an unfinished appearance. In fact, I'd probably want to do that regardless for durability. Grout lines that end at a drop like that really take a beating. – isherwood Aug 8 '19 at 13:19
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You can cut the last tile in half and place a bigger angle-cut piece on the edge. The type of tile you are using will determine how good of an idea this is because some tile has a cut edge that looks pretty bad. In some cases the inside of the tile is a totally different color than the top.

So, if you think your tiles will work for this, use a tile edge smoothing stone to take the sharp edge off the cut to make it look more natural.

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  • The tiles are using are "wood plank" style. They are all 600x150. If I cut the last one in half, it'll be visibly different size so will look very strange in place. – Aleks G Aug 8 '19 at 15:40
  • @AleksG, yea, that makes sense. I hesitated to post this answer because it doesn't work for some tile types, but maybe it will help someone else. – JPhi1618 Aug 8 '19 at 15:44

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