Can We Lay Flooring Tiles Without Spacers? Answered!

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When tiling floors, you will need to ensure at the end of the project it looks uniform and symmetric; therefore, tile spacers are used; they are usually made of plastic and help the tiler to make sure the tiles are lined and have even spaces between them, tile spacers can also be made of ceramic or wood, and they have different sizes and shapes. 

Although tile spacers save time and effort, some people prefer to lay flooring tiles without spacers, as it gives a more undifferentiated and monolithic surface when used with large tiles; not using tile spacers can enhance your space’s aesthetics and visuals as it creates a uniform, decorative, beautiful lining.

Can We Lay Flooring Tiles Without Spacers?

Although it’s possible to lay floor tiles without gaps or spacers, it’s recommended and advisable that you use spacers when placing tiles; spacers have many advantages when laying flooring tiles; for example, the spacers give the floor a better look and make it easier to handle.

When not using spacers and laying the tiles next to each other, this creates a path for dust and dirt to settle between them; in addition, this path can also cause leaking of water from floors subjected to water like bathroom floors; meanwhile, when you use spacers, you can use grout to fill them, which is waterproof.

Therefore, using spacers reduces the probability of water leakage problems; laying tiles without spacers can cause tiles to uplift and pop as tiles contract and expand with cooling and heating; therefore, when the tiles are touching each, there will be no space to expand in, which will apply pressure on the tiles leading them to uplift and pop.

Meanwhile, when you use spacers and fill them with grout, this provides some space for the tiles to expand and does not put any pressure on the tiles next to them. If a tile pops or uplifts and there is no space between it and other tiles, it will be harder to remove without damaging the other tiles. When you use spacers and a damaged tile, you can easily replace or remove it without affecting the neighboring tiles.

In some countries, the building codes state that you have to use spacers between tiles; tile spacers are always preferred use as they reduce effort and cost during the tiling process, and you will not need to adjust each tile while tiling.

What Happens When You Lay Flooring Tiles Without Spacers?

When you don’t use tile spacers while tiling the floor, the tiles are more expected to pop due to the tile’s thermal properties as they are subjected to contraction and expansion; this happens when the temperature increase or decreases; as temperature increases, they expand, and as it decreases they contract.

Meanwhile, when you use spacers for tiles and fill the spaces with grout, this provides enough space for the tiles to contract and expand without putting any pressure on neighboring tiles, ensuring a long life span of tile and durability.

How Does Laying Flooring Tiles Without Spacers Affect Your Space Aesthetics?

Laying flooring tiles without using spacers or narrow joints can enhance your space’s aesthetics and visuals as it creates a uniform, decorative, beautiful lining. However, laying the flooring tiles without spacers is more recommended when using large tiles because it helps achieve an undifferentiated, monolithic floor surface or a wall.

However, some people see that spacers give better looks to floors and make them easier to handle and maintain, especially when you are using tiles that mimic wood; the grout and spacers give the design of the floor a more realistic and aesthetic look.

Do Laying Flooring Tiles Without Spacers Reduce Occurrence of Leaks and Dust?

It’s a wrong belief that laying flooring tiles without spacers reduces the occurrences of leaks and dust, as it’s believed that removing spaces from between the tiles will leave no space for dust and leaks to occur; on the contrary, the opposite happens as laying floor tiles without spacers will create paths for the dust to settle.

In addition, when floors are tiled without spacers that create tiny spaces that can not be noticed, these spaces can leak water when the tiles are used on floors subjected to water constantly, like bathroom floors. The water leakage, in this case, will be hard to handle as you will need to remove the tile causing the leak.

This can be a challenging task as it’s hard to remove tiles when they are touching each other; it can lead to damage to the tiles; as a result, you will need to replace them and reinstall them properly to prevent leak problems. Meanwhile, when you use grout and spacers between tiles, this will prevent the settlement of dust.

The grout will be leveled with the tiles’ height; therefore, if dust has settled on the grout, you can easily wipe it away; in addition, the grout used to fill spaces can be waterproof; therefore, if a suitable amount of grout has been used to fill the spaces, this will prevent any water leakage problems.

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What Are The Disadvantages of Not Using Spacers?

Uneven Spaces

When not using spacers while tiling, you can find problems in making the spaces even between the tiles as you have to make every tile touch the other and not leave any space between them because you are not using any material to fill this space. Therefore, you will need to take some time to adjust each tile and ensure it’s touching all its neighboring tiles. 

Uniformity of Tiles

The tiling project is said to be successful when characterized by uniformity and accuracy; therefore, one tile that is not placed perfectly can compromise the project and make it look bad and unsymmetric. Therefore, it’s one of the disadvantages of not using spacers or grout while tiling is the symmetry of the tiles. 

Spacers and grout ensure that each tile is placed and lined perfectly without many efforts, like the effort done when not using spacers. 

Durability

When not using spacers while you lay flooring tiles, this can increase the risk of tiles getting uplifted and poped due to the tiles’ thermal properties as they are subjected to contraction and expansion; this happens when the temperature increase or decreases; as the temperature increases, the tiles start to expand, and when the temperature decreases the tiles start to contract.

Hard Replacement

Leaving no space between tiles or not using spacers will make replacing or removing any damaged tile a challenging task as there the space between the tiles will be very narrow, so to remove the tile, you could damage the neighboring tiles, which can make things worse. Meanwhile, using grout and spacers leaves some space between tiles, making replacing them more straightforward.

Conclusion

To sum up, you can lay flooring tiles without using spacers or grout. Still, it’s not recommended or advisable because this increases the risk of tiles getting uplifted and poped due to the tile’s thermal properties as it is subjected to contraction and expansion; this happens when the temperature increase or decreases; as the temperature increases, the tiles start to expand, and when the temperature decreases the tiles start to contract.

In addition, not using spacers while tiling the floors can lead to dust settlement and water leakage because laying the tiles next to each other creates a path for dust and dirt to settle between them; in addition, this path can also cause the leaking of water from floors subjected to water like bathroom floors; meanwhile, when you use spacers, you can use grout to fill them, which is waterproof.

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