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Tile School: How to Lay Ogee Drops like a Pro

By Lindsey

Tile School: How to Lay Ogee Drops like a Pro

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Crater Lake with Glazed Edge 1 x 6 Flatliner Trim // Design: Emily Henderson // Image: Jess Issac

One of our most sought after ceramic shapes is our Ogee Drop. With multiple ways to lay this versatile tile, it's no wonder that it's also the shape we're often asked the most questions about. This week we're taking it to the expert, our resident Installation Specialist Dan Chollet, for his tips and tricks to a flawless Ogee Drop install. Read his full interview below!

Please Note: Fireclay Tile always encourages using a professional tile installer to ensure the longevity of your installation due to the unique complexities and subtleties that can be involved. We recommend using the methods outlined in the Installation Handbook of the Tile Council of North America, TCNA. If you are confident in your DIY skills, we offer the following advice.

1. Dry Lay  
The best way to begin your Ogee Drop installation is to first lay it out on top of your counter or floor. Dry-laying your tile will help determine what the variation is looking like from your order. Each batch is unique and can show variation in both size and color. We recommend pulling from several boxes so you can disperse this beautiful handmade variation throughout your entire install.

To get an idea of how your space will come together, you can use butcher paper to draw a template to represent the wall or backsplash you are going to set your tile on. You will need to use a framing square and straight edge to start. Below I have drawn a baseline (section B) in red pencil which could represent a kitchen countertop. The perpendicular line to the left (section A), could be a wall, or inside backsplash corner:


2. Space it Out
I'm using 1/8” tile spacers. Using tile wedges with the spacers will help adjust the grout joints when stacking the tile on a wall during installation. With 1/8” tile spacers, the grout joints will finish around 3/16” because of the shape of the tile. 


People unfamiliar with the Ogee Drop layout, including some professional tile installers, can have difficulties understanding how to make this grout space work with the tile. The unique shape of the Ogee Drop leads to some misconceptions about the layout.

To decrease the chances of breakage in production, transit, and installation, our Ogee Drop has a short, round tip. Because of this, the grout joint in this area of the tile will naturally be bigger than any of the inside or outside curves of the tile. This is what's to be expected with this shape. Fireclay Tile recommends a 3/16” grout joint with all of our non-rectified tile specialty shapes (including the Ogee Drop). 


3. Know Your Cuts
Dry-laying the Ogee Drop also allows you to see the cuts that are going to be needed to fit your space. For instance, in the image below, the bottom row of tiles against our "kitchen countertop" (section B) will have to be cut. I have marked where the tile needs to be cut in red using my layout lines. I'm now ready to cut these pieces on my wet saw. 


Pro Tip: Be sure to always test your tile and grout before using a contrasting grout color. Additional grout release or tile sealers may be needed to help reduce the grout from staining some glazes (especially those with crazing). 

Ogee Drop Installs We Love-- "The Straight Stack:"


Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Lagoon // Design: City Home Collective // Image: Kerri Fukui


Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Moonstone with 1 x 6 glazed edge Trim // Design: TRG Home Concepts // Image: Courtney Apple

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Calcite // Design: Studio DIY // Image: Jeff Mindell

Don't be afraid to turn this shape upside down for a totally different vibe:

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Sugar, Naples Blue, and Boundary Waters // Design: Kristen Pena of K Interiors 

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Powder Blue // Design: Melanie Gowen Design

Try blending multiple glazes (make sure they're all on the same clay body-- recycled or white clay!) for a subtle Ombre Effect:


Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Calcite, White Wash, Daisy, Gypsum, and French Linen // Design: The Love Designed Life

Same Shape, Different Lay
Here’s another fun pattern using the Ogee Drop but in a different way-- the Moroccan layout:

Ogee Drop Installs We Love (continued) -- "The Moroccan Lay:"

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Celadon // Design: Yumi Interiors // Image: Michele Lee Wilson

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Tusk // Design: The Cabinetry // Image: Tara L. Callow   


Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Sea Green // Design: Meg Braff Designs // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living 

We hope this helps as a start to laying your Ogee Drop tiles. For additional install information, please see our Ceramic Installation Guide

Have more questions about the Ogee Drop? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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