July 13, 2023 | Updated: July 14, 2023

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All You Need to Know About Tiling with Spacers

When it comes to tiling projects, precision and attention to detail are paramount. Each tile needs to be perfectly aligned, creating a seamless and professional finish. That’s where tiling spacers come into play – the unsung heroes of tiling.

Tiling with spacers has not only transformed the tiling process but has also adapted and improved over time. The first tiling spacers were ingenious T-shaped or cross-shaped plastic inserts that ensured consistent gaps between individual tiles. Current tile levelling spacers also guarantee seamless and level flooring and wall tiles.

Like many other modern innovations, you will wonder how evenly spaced joints were possible before tiling spacers. They are intuitive as well as surprisingly effective in achieving professional tiling results.

Read on to find out the different effects and possibilities offered by tile spacers. Additionally, this post includes some advice on how to use them properly.

Floor Tiling with tiling spacers

Floor tiling with self-levelling spacers and wedges

Advantages of Floor Tile Spacers & Wall Tile Spacers

Even for the tiling specialist, the process of setting tiles into wall or floor adhesive is not an exact science. So, anything that helps with the overall result is welcome. To achieve the optimal finish, we highly recommend the use of tiling spacers. Not only to achieve a clean and even tiled surface but also to help ensure a level finish.

Benefits of Tiling with Spacers:

When it comes to home improvements and DIY projects, we want to make sure that we get things right the first time. The human eye can detect the most subtle of imperfections in our surroundings. Therefore, we recommend taking all precautions to ensure success the first time around. There are numerous advantages of tiling with spacers including the following:

  • Helps achieve a professional finish that is consistent throughout.
  • Ensure that tiles line up and are completely level.
  • Provides greater control and precision with joint widths.
  • Makes the tiling process easier and more manageable for DIY enthusiasts.
  • Allows for easier maintenance over the long term.

Note: Self-levelling tile spacers can also be useful when tiles of different thicknesses meet, at a door threshold for example.


Floor being tiled with spacers

Grouting and Tiling Spacers

Not all joints between tiles measure the same, nor would we want them to be the same. For both practical and aesthetic reasons, the width between different types of tiling can vary.

Typically, but not always, the grout lines for shower cubicles, kitchen backsplash and other wall tiles should be narrower. While the grout widths for floor tiles are slightly wider. Narrow widths are easier to keep clean because they offer a smaller area where dust, dirt and other debris can gather. Broadly, we can define narrow and wide grouting as follows:

  • Anything that measures between 3 mm (1/8 inch) to 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) is a narrow grout width.
  • A wide grout width measures anything over 6.5 mm (up to 10 mm).
  • For rectified and more specialist tiling projects we can achieve widths of as little as 1 mm.

Tiling spacers are available in different widths offering flexibility and adaptability to your specific design preferences and installation requirements.


Floor installation with self levelling tiling spacers and wedges

Recommended uses of self-levelling spacers

Many tiling projects can be completed with traditional tiling spacers. However, for certain jobs tile levelling spacers will be necessary. The following guide provides a list of circumstances where the use of levelling spacers becomes essential:

  • Decorative and feature tiles. When we use a feature or decorative tile where the visual effect depends on an exact pattern match.
  • Rectified tiles. The term refers to specially manufactured tiles with a precise 90° edge detail. These tiles are used in specific circumstances where a continuous surface is required. Tiling spacers of as little as 1mm are recommended.
  • Large format tiles. Any tiles that measure 60 cm or more along either side will be more easily laid with tiling spacers. 
  • Extra-large format and minimum thickness tiles. Larger tiles have been trending for a while now and provide a distinctive look. Floor tile spacers are a reliable method to prevent misalignment for these heavy and less malleable category of tiles.
  • Staggered joints and other designer tile patterns. For more complicated tiling patterns tiling spacers help with better alignment.
  • Bonded façades. Tiled cladding for exterior building façades offers numerous advantages including maintenance-free good looks and resistance to the elements. Tiling with spacers ensures a superior finish. 

In any case, self-levelling spacers consistently provide an additional advantage when it comes to levelling surfaces during tiling projects. 

Tiling with self-levelling spacers

Tiling with Self-Levelling Spacers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before commencing your tiling project, you will need to assemble the necessary tools to achieve an evenly spaced and level tiling surface. To calculate the number of spacers just multiply the number of tiles by 4 and allow for 10% extra.

  • The first and most important step of a tiling project is the first tile. The entire endeavour depends on getting the first tile in the correct position, level and even. Use a chalk line or a laser spirit level to ensure a true line.
  • Place two tiling spacers snugly against the side of the tile adjacent to the next one along. Apply the correct amount of proprietary adhesive and shuffle the tile into place.
  • Repeat along all sides till cover the wall or floor completely.
  • Leave for the recommended setting period (between 20 and 30 mins) and remove using a rubber mallet, or similar.
  • You can grout the joints then.

These are the essential tools that you will need at hand:

  • Tile levelling spacers. You will need two spacers for each side of a tile to ensure a perfect alignment. Sizes from the thinnest 1mm self-levelling tile spacers and 2mm tile spacers to 10mm tile spacers are standard.
  • Wedges. They are plastic wedges with a serrated side that help to level the adjacent tiles.
  • Rubber Mallet. The soft impact of this useful tool helps ensure a level of bedding.
  • Self-levelling pliers: The key tool to achieving a level finish. Use the pliers to make sure that the wedges pass through the spacers evenly. Then, once dry, remove with them the self-levelling tile spacers and wedges.


Embrace Self-levelling Spacers and Never Look Back

Through this article, we have looked at how different width grouting joints can create very different visual effects. The use of levelling spacers for tiling is the best way to ensure consistent and predictable results.

For certain specific tiles, such as rectified tiles, tiling with spacers is essential to achieving optimal results. They belong in your toolbox if you are a keen DIYer or you are attempting to carry out a simple tiling project. A professional tiling job is within reach with this nifty range of accessories.

If you have any queries or questions related to local suppliers, please leave us a message below. We will get back to you at the earliest opportunity.

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