Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level - Review
Tiling is all about layout and once you get used to spotting bad tile layout, public bathrooms become even worse places than they already are. How could someone leave a 3/4" wide tile at one corner and a 4" tile at the other? Auuugh...the horror.
So anyway, Johnson Level & Tool recently sent us a nifty little item called the Tiling and Flooring Laser Level. Unfortunately, we don't have any tiling jobs coming up, but we are in the process of laying out some wall to wall bookshelves and so we utilized the laser for that project.
The tool basically projects two lines at a right angle. The unit is marked with degrees (sort of like a rafter square) and it has standard and metric measurements along the short sides. These latter marks were nice because we could position the laser against an inside corner and check for square using the measurements as offsets (5-1/16"). It also projects the laser lines a solid 1-1/4" off the floor, so you don't have to worry about the lines getting blocked as you're laying down thick tile.
In a short time we've come to think that calling this a Tiling and Flooring laser sells it a bit short. We'd suggest maybe going with "Right Angle Layout Level" or something like that. This tool will no doubt be a help to anyone laying tile, but also to anyone marking out a 90 degree corner of anything, whether it's a stud wall or (like we were doing) a set of shelves. It was great to be able to finalize our corner location and know where both walls of shelving would end up. Without the laser, it would have been a pretty tedious process.
One thing that did bother us about the laser is that the battery case doesn't stay on all that well. On a bunch of occasions, we would grab the body of the laser and the little black lid would fly off. There is also no easy way to use the tool on the vertical, like for a tiling job in a shower or something similar.
If you're a DIYer embarking on a tile job and you've invested all this money in tile and supplies, the $40 spent on this tool will go a long way to ensure that the results will look good. Also if you do a lot of non-tile layout, you might want to consider this as well. It sure took time off of our project.
The Tiling and Flooring Laser Level comes with batteries and a case.
Read More in: All Reviews | Levels | Measuring & Marking
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 4, 2011 5:06 PM
You know what's better than a laser square? Two laser squares.
I have two cheap Taskforce laser squares I picked up for $9 each on clearance and have found them to be invaluable in home remodeling (my profession). I can use one to reference a wall then reference off one of the lines generated to set up the second laser square, effectively giving me three square lines and two parallel lines. In doing so, I can more accurately find discrepancies in existing walls before laying out new walls or cabinets.
In addition, I use a laser plumb bob ($30 by Stanley) to pick points in order to judge how plumb and square the walls are from the floor to the ceiling.
Working alone most of the time, this has proven a real time saver.
Yes. There is a reason. I haven't used the Stanley. There are actually a number of other similar lasers. Some that are way more expensive...some that are less. One of the problems with the blog format is that it's impractical to do too much in the way of category reviews, meaning reviews of multiple tools in a single category (ie drills, circ saws, etc). It's just too much time to put into a single post and there are plenty of places (magazines) that specialize in that sort of thing. I've done a bunch for Popular Mechanics and they are very time consuming and tedious. For me to go out and collect 6 different flooring lasers and set up controlled situations to put each of them in, simply would take too much time. So as it stands with Tool Snob, if I have experience with a similar tool, I try to bring that into the review, but I just don't have the time to actively do it for every review. That's the long answer...