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Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level
Lay tile rather than drawing lines
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 5-24-2011
Laying out perfectly tile arrangements is crucial to creating an attractive tile or flooring job. The Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level (Model: 40-6616) projects two perfectly straight lines, exactly 90-degrees from each other. That virtual instant layout lets you get started laying tile sooner and more accurately, two things that can make the current job better and draw similar work down the road. If you are a DIY homeowner the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level can help you do a pro-looking job and save a ton of money in the process.
The Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level looks like a modified framing square in some regards. The edges of the base have degree, inch and metric scales around the edges to help with complex layouts. Two laser emitters aimed 90-degrees apart dominate the upper surface. A double AA battery compartment and the On/Off button are housed between the emitters. The kit shown in this review includes the tiling/flooring laser level, 2 “AA” alkaline batteries, floor target, instruction manual and soft-sided carry pouch.
The Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level has a notched side (square) that fits over the corner of a tile so it shoots its laser lines down the sides of the tile and across the room. The ultra-precise laser line gives you the ultimate straightedge to keep your tiling aligned with a precision that is somewhere between difficult and impossible to do manually, especially if you do not lay time for a living. (The folks who actually do lay time for a living often have the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level or something similar because they can be accurate faster with this device.)
The base also has a pair of spirit level vials mounted parallel to the laser emitters. That makes it easy to get the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level oriented to the world quickly. All of the corners have notches that align with the laser lines to make layouts even more accurate and let you get done quicker. The corner directly under the laser emitters has a 1”-deep notch that allows you to set the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level over the corner of a tile and shoot precise lines down the sides.
The twin laser emitters project perfectly straight lines with an accuracy of +/- 1/4" at 60-feet. Since the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level is most likely to be used in bathroom and kitchen work accuracy is more important than range but the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level does well on both counts. A single On/Off button controls the lasers to keep things simple.
The lasers are mounted about 1-1/4” above the surface yet project lines that begin at the base. Being able to shoot these non-contact layout lines makes working with wet adhesives or cement easy and far less frustrating.
Whether you work with tile, stone, brick, carpet or wood flooring the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level will make your jobs go faster with more accuracy. Between the price and versatility you do not have to be a pro to make good use of this tool. I suspect that those of us who lay tile “now and then” actually need the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level more than pros who still see the value of having such a tool.
With a street price of around $55.00 (5-23-2011) the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level is easily a worthwhile investment. Getting a tile or flooring layout truly square without all of the math, strings and water filled tubes and doing it quickly makes this a very smart tool to buy. The fact that you don’t have to be a math wizard to use it lets you focus on choosing and applying the tiles.
If you have a tile or flooring job coming up, take a look at the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level. I just cannot remember seeing a more accurate or more cost-effective tool. When I do my next tile or flooring job you can bet the Johnson Tiling & Flooring Laser Level will be the first tool I get out.
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