If you’re laying tiles on a floor or wall, then you’ll want to be absolutely sure that you’re laying them straight. Traditionally, this is done using a pencil and a spirit level. But if you want to be extra precise and convenient, or you want to lay down tiles according to a more exotic pattern, then you’ll need the guidance of a laser system.
Unlike a pencil mark, a laser-line won’t disappear as soon as you apply some adhesive. This makes them extremely valuable if you’re tiling without a point of reference to a nearby wall or ceiling. But as well as improving accuracy, a laser level will also speed things up enormously. If you’re an amateur, this can be extremely convenient; if you’re a professional and you need to tile a large space in a limited time while maintaining high-quality results, then a green laser level can be indispensable.
Red vs Green
Certain types of laser levels will project a green beam; others will project a red one. Red wavelengths tend to be a little less naturally visible to the human eye, and so manufacturers will crank the brightness to compensate. As such, red lights tend to be a little more painful when you’re looking straight at them. For certain applications, however, this isn’t much of a concern. Go with whatever you prefer, and learn to use it well.
Your laser level should come equipped with self-leveling technology, which is basically a spirit-level attached to the projector. However, you might find some models with offsets built-in, which will allow you to rotate and pan the projection to create interesting patterns.
Types of Laser Levels
Laser levels come in a few different varieties. Some of them offer extra features and functionality which tilers are sure to find useful.
Straight Line Lasers
A straight line laser will project a single straight line down the room, allowing you to project where the tiles will go on.
Cross Line Lasers
A cross-line laser will project a vertical and a horizontal line at the same time, which is useful not only for tiling but for cabinets and shelves and other installations that need to be put perfectly straight.
A rotary laser will spin around the entire room, effectively drawing a perfectly straight line at a given height. If you want to tile all the way around, then these can be exceptionally useful, and they can help you to avoid minor misalignments as you pass from one wall to the next.
This special category of laser level is specialized to sit on the floor and project a laser straight down. Once you’ve got one positioned at the corner of two tiles, you’ll be able to easily see where the next lot goes. If you’re laying tiles on the floor, it’s a fantastic tool.
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