Features of the choice of crosses for tiles

Features of the choice of crosses for tiles

Floor and wall tiles are widely used in interior decoration. Tile laying is not complete without such simple small devices as crosses. It is they who allow you to get a beautiful and even coating..

It is worth considering in more detail the features of choosing crosses for tiles..

What are we for?

Tile crosses are needed, firstly, in order to get the seams of the same width. Secondly, in order to achieve a uniform laying height, that is, so that all the tiles lie in the same plane.

Another of their functions is to leave a gap between the wall and the floor on the lower rows, aprons or when finishing the steps, but for this they often use special plastic wedges.

Plastic crosses and wedges are definitely recommended for beginners, without these details they are unlikely to be able to achieve even seams and a single plane the first time. But this does not mean that experienced craftsmen can necessarily make high-quality styling by leveling “by eye”.

Many professionals necessarily purchase sets of plastic crosses before work, especially since they are cheap: the price of a pack of 100 pieces usually does not exceed 50 rubles.

Views

Today, a large number of varieties of plastic crosses and wedges for leveling tiles are presented. You can choose them, depending on the method of installation..

In form, they can be:

  • traditional cruciform – they are used both for walls and for floors, when the tile laying scheme is simple and without displacement;
  • T-shaped – you cannot do without them when the tiles are laid with an offset according to the patterns of “braid”, “herringbone”, “deck”, “labyrinth”, “modular grid” and others;
  • wedges used to form the desired width for wall tiles by pressing them into the seam, serve as props for the bottom row.

Distance crosses can be solid or hollow. The latter are better inserted into the tile joints, while not squeezing the glue out. There are options with jumpers between the knees, in such structures the rigidity increases, therefore, deformation of the seams is less likely after laying, they are easier to remove after work.

Instead of using plastic spacers, a technology called tile leveling system (TPS) is now widely used. It can be used for ceramic and porcelain stoneware coverings with a thickness of 3 to 20 mm, that is, for almost any interior work. Sometimes you can find the name “3D crosses for laying tiles”, but these products do not look like ordinary products.

The SVP set includes plastic wedges and clips with clips, usually in different colors. These are self-leveling elements that allow you to simultaneously form an even seam and lay adjacent tiles in one plane.. One set contains 250 clamps and wedges.

The principle of operation of the SVP is as follows. First, one tile is laid on a layer of glue and leveled. Then, on each side, 2 clips are inserted at a distance of about 5 cm from the corner, the next tile is laid, the adjacent edges should fit snugly against the leg of the plastic part. Then the wedge is tightly inserted into the clamp until the latch is triggered, forming an even plane of adjacent tiles.

After the glue dries, the wedges and the upper ends of the clips are removed with a blow with a rubber mallet, which should be in the arsenal of every tiler.

The advantages of the tile leveling system are the simplicity and speed of work; when using it, even an amateur can lay the tile evenly and beautifully. In addition, the level is maintained even when the tile adhesive shrinks, the appearance of heights is not allowed.

Disadvantages can also be noted: it is recommended to work only at temperatures above 10 degrees, when knocking out wedges with clamps, the lower part of the clamp still remains inside the seam.

Consumption

The consumption of crosses is an ambiguous value, it depends on the size of the tile. Usually 4 or 8 are used for one piece., based on this, you can calculate the amount per 1 m² and for the decoration of the entire volume of the room.

For example, if for wall tiles 20 by 30 cm we use 4 crosses per piece, one square meter accommodates 16 such elements, therefore, 16×4 = 48 crosses are needed per 1 square meter. m. This number is multiplied by the total area of ​​the surface to be coated. To the total amount you need to add a margin of 10-15%.

Besides, for large volumes, crosses are often taken out and then reused. Since the price of this product is scanty, it is not scary if crosses are purchased with a margin.

Experienced craftsmen recommend purchasing 2 packs of 100 pieces at once for decorating walls and floors in the bathroom, this amount is quite enough. For the kitchen, 4 packs are usually enough.

You can select the required number of wedges and clamps for SVP systems according to a special table, but here it is also easy to calculate everything based on the quantity per tile. Usually a package of 250 pieces is enough for tiling the floor in the kitchen..

Dimensions (edit)

The minimum thickness of this plastic product for walls is 1 mm, the following markings are 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 and 2 mm. For any tile size, a seam with a thickness of 1 to 2 mm will look neat, therefore, they create such variants of distance crosses.

Maximum length and width, they are also optimal, 20 mm. Depth for sufficient rigidity is usually 3 mm.

The wedges are 20 to 30 mm long, with a maximum height of 7 mm. For the floor, crosses are usually used with a width of 2 to 3 mm..

Selection Tips

For tile installation, it is best to use solid plastic crosses in sufficient quantity to form an even joint. Many praise hollow options for their effective use without squeezing out the glue, but because of their structure, they do not have sufficient rigidity, so many craftsmen trust traditional products, the main thing is to work carefully.

When laying tiles it is better not to take crosses with a width of more than 2 mm on the wall, they do not form such a neat look, an unnecessarily thick seam always spoils the overall picture.

Tile leveling systems are mainly used for flooring, they are much more expensive than regular crosses, but they are more reliable and guarantee alignment both along the seams and on the plane. But you should choose them, depending on your work experience: for professionals, laying floor tiles can be easier and cheaper with ordinary plastic crosses..

For reliable installation and ease of removal of parts after work it is better to choose imported crosses with jumpers between the knees. They are stronger, tougher, more comfortable to work with. When finishing the floor and walls, it is better to immediately stock up on a set of necessary crosses and wedges.

How to use correctly?

And a few more recommendations:

  • In order for the quality of wall cladding to be more reliable, you should not save money, therefore it is better to immediately use 8 crosses for each tile. On top of the lower laid row, 2 upper tiles are laid, then the crosses are inserted into the horizontal rows and into the vertical one – at a distance of about 2-3 cm from the corners. The tiles are neatly brought together until they stop, pressed into the depths, the surface is checked by level. The work requires some skill, but if you try in several stages, it is quite possible to achieve an even, neat seam. Then they move on to laying the next two tiles, the procedure is repeated.

  • For reliability, you can insert crosses directly into the corners, with a width of 2 mm they just adjust the required seam width. For wall tiles, it is best to use products of 1.5 and 2 mm, for floor tiles 3 mm, they are quite rigid and effectively form a seam. It is better not to make thicker gaps, the smaller they are, the smoother they look, require less consumption of glue and fugue (grout).

  • You can remove crosses from floor tiles a day after laying, from wall tiles on the same day, but so that at least 2 hours have passed after the end of the work, the tile adhesive will already harden and will not deform the tile. You should not wait with the removal: the more time has passed, the harder the solution becomes and the process becomes more complicated..

  • You can remove distance crosses and wedges using different tools: pliers, blade, screwdriver. There is a special jointing knife that cleans the glue from the seams and prepares them for grouting, you can use it. But there is one caveat: the tip of a hard tool can scratch the decorative surface of the tile, so you need to work carefully or try to get it with another cross.

  • If the layer is too large, then you can drown the cross in depth even during installation, then you will not need to remove it. But it is better to get rid of all plastic elements in the seams immediately after work, otherwise they will interfere with grouting, and after it the fugue layer may fall off.

  • Many people wonder what happens if crosses are not used when laying. This can lead to some unpleasant consequences. Firstly, some microscopic gap remains without a seam, through which moisture can penetrate inside, destroy the adhesive layer, reduce the adhesion of the tile to the surface, and the tile itself swells and deteriorates. Secondly, under the influence of heat, the ceramics are also deformed, due to the voids, they risk collapsing. Thirdly, even with the experienced eye of a professional it is impossible to achieve perfectly even seams without fixing elements, even if everything looks neat up close, the whole picture from a distance will look defective.

      • It must be remembered that there is also a seamless tile – a relatively expensive option for a finishing material that is used for walls and floors inside residential premises. It is obtained by rectification – creating perfectly flat side surfaces with a clear rectangular geometry. It has no chamfers, there are no seams between adjacent elements, therefore, crosses are not required for its laying..

      For information on how to choose crosses for tiles, see the next video..

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