What Size Tile Spacers For Shower Walls?
Everyone knows that the smaller you go, the more expensive it gets. That’s just a fact of life.
But what if you buy a tile spacer that is too small for your tiles? Will they still work? What will happen to them? And how can you avoid making this mistake in the first place so you don’t have to worry about all these questions later on down the line?
So, what size tile spacers for shower walls? The short answer is that you need to use a spacer that’s 1/4″ wider than your tile. So, for example, if you’re using 3/8″ tiles on the walls of your shower then you’d want to get at least 7/16″ spacers.
In this blog post, we explore different scenarios where people might be using tile spacers incorrectly and offer solutions for how to fix it!
Do I Really Need Tile Spacers In Shower Walls?
Before knowing what size tile spacers are for shower walls, it is important to know that if you’re using 3/8″ thick tile, then you probably don’t need spacers.
A lot of people are still confused about the differences between 1/2″ and 5/8″tile. These thicker tiles require spacers when they’re used on walls because they can’t be cut to fit around obstacles like windows or outlets. 3/8″ tiles can be cut (with the proper tools) to fit around obstacles like this, so there’s no need for tile spacers.
1/2″ or thicker tiles are usually used on floors for this reason. Of course, not everyone actually uses tile in their shower – some people opt for stone or ceramic instead. These materials typically aren’t thick enough to need spacers.
Here’s an interesting video to help you understand how to tile with proper spacing.
What Size Tile Spacers Do I Need?
The best way to get the right size tile spacers for your project is to buy a small amount and see if they fit properly. If not, you can always return them and get different-sized ones.
Generally speaking though, you need to use a spacer that’s 1/4″ wider than your tile. So, for example, if you’re using 3/8″ tiles on the walls of your shower then you’d want to get at least 7/16″ spacers.
When you ask what size tile spacers are for shower walls, some people will tell you to use more spacers between larger tiles and less between smaller tiles. Unless you’re using huge tiles, this probably isn’t necessary. The purpose of a spacer is to maintain even grout lines between your tiles while the thin-set dries.
If you don’t get spacing that looks good with just a few spacers, then you should probably use more. Don’t go overboard and add too many though – the grout lines will be too wide and your tile job won’t look as nice. Different size of tiles requires the different size of spacers.
(Quik tip: Check out our very easy-to-follow guides on how to choose tiles with optimal thickness and size as well as whether you should use tile spacers and if so, then how do you use them.)
Size Of Tile Spacers For Large Tiles
The best size tile spacers for large tiles are usually 1/2″ or 5/8″. This is because these spacers can easily fill the gaps between the tiles, and they won’t be as likely to move around. If you’re using a spacer that’s too small, then it’ll be difficult to get it in between the tiles and it might move around a lot.
On the other hand, if you’re using a spacer that’s too big, then it’ll take up too much space and your grout lines will be too wide.
Consider British standards (as well as common practice) when selecting wall and floor spacers. It is suggested that wall spacers be 2-3mm thick (with 2mm covering the majority of needs), while floor ones should be 3-5mm thick.
Size Of Tile Spacers That Are Best For Small Tiles
Smaller tiles usually don’t require tile spacers. The only time you might use one is if you’re using thin-set mortar on your walls, and the grout lines are very narrow.
In this case, you could put a small spacer next to the tiles before you apply your thin-set. The mortar would be anyway, so it won’t affect the grout lines at all.
What Happen If I Don’t Use The Right Size Tile Spacer On My Shower Wall?
If you don’t use the right size tile spacer in your shower wall, it could cause a number of problems. Most importantly, it could lead to uneven grout lines and an overall sloppy look to your tile job.
When the thin-set dries, it will pull the tiles together and create a tight bond. If your spacers are too large or too small, then this bond will be uneven and your tiles may start to crack or fall off the wall.
You may also have major problems if you use too large spacers on your wall. If the thin-set dries around small tiles with large tile spacers between them, then they could easily shift or even crack under pressure.
This is why it’s so important to get the right size tile spacer for your project – there are just some situations where they’re necessary.
What Common Mistakes People Do While Choosing The Right Size Of Tile Spacers?
One common mistake when choosing tile spacers is buying the wrong size for each tile. This leads to uneven grout lines and a sloppy-looking job – exactly what we’ve been trying to avoid.
Another mistake is buying spacers that are too small. This will force you to put a lot of them in place – which makes for a sloppy job as well. It also increases your chances of having problems with the finished bond. If you’re using tiles that require spacers, then it’s important to use the right size separately for each tile. Doing so will improve your chances of a clean-looking job and reduce the risk of having problems.
Additional Factors You Should Look For In Tile Spacers
In addition to the size of tile spacers, you should also look for some other factors like color and shape.
Pick Your Tile Spacer Shape
In addition to size, you will also want to consider shape. Although this may seem trivial, it can actually have a major impact on the appearance of your shower walls after installation is complete. You’ll encounter five main types of tile spacers at the hardware store:
- X-shaped spacers
- TAVY spacers
- T-shaped spacers
- U-shaped spacers
- Wedge spacers
TAVY and x-shaped spacers provide a checkerboard look to a wall or floor. The spacers sit at the corners of where four tiles meet. TAVY tile spacers are very similar to their x-shaped sibling, but include a ring around the x, making them easier to remove from the adhesive.
T-shaped spacers are also similar but offer more flexibility for the edge of the room or for installing irregularly shaped tiles.
Wedge and u-shaped spacers are typically used for countertops and wall tiles. For example, wedge spacers—which look like small door stops—ensure the adhesive dries evenly when tiles stack on top of one another.
Color Factor Of Tile Spacer
After you have considered tile size and shape, the color of the spacers should be considered. You don’t want to select a color that is too similar to your tiles because it will not stand out enough and may look awkward.
Instead, we recommend choosing a slightly darker spacer than your tiles. This way, it will ensure that it stands out from your tiles and looks clean.
So, what size tile spacers for shower walls? The best way to get the right size tile spacers for your shower walls is just to buy a small amount and try them out. If you have any more questions, feel free to consult the rest of our website or contact us directly!
In case you are planning a tiling project in the kitchen, you might find this kitchen tiling guide very useful.
We’re always happy to help our readers, so feel free to let us know if this article answered your question.
Good luck with your project!
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