Ceramic Tile Multi-Spacer Review
Tile Project Multi-Spacer Review
I recently received some sample tile spacers from MultiSpacer and was asked to try them out. I used them on a tile shower project, and found them to be very useful over the standard spacers that are made of soft rubber. While the standard spacers tend to compress under the weight of several courses of tile, the MultiSpacer is made of hard plastic and retains the proper grout joint.
The best thing about MultiSpacer is that five different sizes are incorporated in only two spacers. One spacer has a 1/8″ end thickness, the other end has 3/16″ and 1/4″. Changing from 3/16″ to 1/4″ is achieved by rotating the spacer 1/4 turn. The other spacer has 1/16″ thickness on one end and 1/32″ on the other. Stacking spacers allows you to customize the tile spacing.
MultiSpacers are solid black in color, so color-coding the different sizes would certainly be an improvement. While it might seem easy to distinguish between the different sizes, when installing a number of them quickly, such as for a mosaic listello, it can be easy to mistake one size for another.
The spacers are about 1¼” long, so a small bag of 200 MultiSpacers goes a long way. Since they stick out of the grout joint approximately one inch, depending on how far you insert them, the chance that you’ll accidentally bump one out of place is reduced. Instead of having five bags of another brand of spacers, your supply is reduced to two bags. This is especially important if you’re working in a small area like a shower, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for extra tools. And the cost factor means savings and more profit.
I found that some of the Multi-Spacers were a bit difficult to remove the day after installation. I actually used pliers on a few. This difficulty might be reduced by inserting the spacer into the grout joint partially instead of the full depth. This also reduces the chance that a bit of thinset will hinder removal of the spacer.
Multi-Spacers are squared off on the ends and do not graduate in size like tile spikes or wedges, so alone they will not compensate for variations in tile size. However, it is possible to use wedges or spikes in combination with multi-spacers to achieve the desired grout joint width. It’s also possible to use two multi-spacers (i.e. a 3/16″ and a 1/32″) to make the joint a little wider when needed.
While MultiSpacers can certainly be used on floor installations, their best use is on walls. If you’re like me and install just as much tile on the wall as the floor, you’ll find them an important asset to the tile installation supply bin. Check them out for yourself at
www.Multi-Spacer.com [apologies: As of 2013, Multi-Spacer has gone out of business and the website is closed]. Tell them I sent you.
Kevin Trevathan is an expert in ceramic and stone tile installations. He owns Trevathan Floorcovering in Pea Ridge, Arkansas and also works in law enforcement.