How straight should a tile ledger board be and what would you recommend me to use for that ? 2x4s are pretty crooked and it is really difficult to find one that is really straight if it matters, I am working with 24"x24" tiles

  • You want to start with a straight edge, the more straight the better. If a piece is not straight, you make it straight by cutting/planning/sanding, or get one that is straight. If your starting edge is not straight, then it will show up before you are finish and have to start over.
    – crip659
    Nov 21, 2021 at 15:26
  • what tolerances are accepted here when we say straight ...
    – MiniMe
    Nov 21, 2021 at 16:17
  • Would try for eyeball straight against a chalk line. Lay out a chalk line and board should match it, at least at both edges of each tile. A little difference(1/32) at the bottom will increase till the top(depending on height) to an ugly difference.
    – crip659
    Nov 21, 2021 at 16:38
  • if I would go by that I have a laser but neither the chalk line nor the laser support the tile from below (remember these are large tiles that need support while the thin set is drying out (curing )
    – MiniMe
    Nov 21, 2021 at 18:05
  • Meant to lay out the chalk line on the floor or long board, if the piece you want to use as a straight edge matches the chalk line by eye then you should be good.
    – crip659
    Nov 21, 2021 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


This is what I ended up doing Finding a straight and cheap piece of lumber at Home Depot (or any other similar store) is going to be a challenge. So I picked the straightest piece of 1x8x8 pine shelf and I asked them to cut it in half along the long side ...that cut will always be straight on both sides ...their saws are not precision saws but they do cut straight

  • Indeed. 1x lumber is cut from a different part of the tree than 2x lumber which is why they are a better choice for straights.
    – P2000
    Nov 22, 2021 at 7:16

I do not trouble myself with a temporary ledger board being straight. As long as it is reasonably straight, tile shims will bring the tile to a straight line. In many cases tile needs to be shimmed here and there in order to keep the rows looking good. These shims should be on hand along with a straight edge as a rule when setting tile.

  • what are you referring to when you say tile shims ? are these the wedges used in the tile leveling system ? I don't think those are thin enough for "fine tunning"
    – MiniMe
    Nov 21, 2021 at 19:04
  • There is a type that are wedges that go down to a fine edge, these are what I use to fine tune my tile rows.
    – Jack
    Nov 21, 2021 at 19:15

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