One of the most often questions we receive is, "what tiling tools do I need?" We understand that there may be a plethora of alternatives accessible to you, and that determining which ones are required for your project may be difficult.
As a result, we've put together this blog post to assist you in locating the right tool for the job. The term "tiling" refers to the practise of incorporating tiles into a design in any capacity, which is a popular approach to interior design in the current period.
Tile can be used to create a uniform look in a range of applications, including accent walls and flooring. What kind of tile do you intend to use? But where precisely will they go? Before beginning any tiling project, it is essential to have answers to all of these questions because they are all very important.
Essential Tiling Tools Checklist
When beginning a tiling project, taking exact measurements is likely the single most crucial step to do. After all, once the tiles have been cut and bonded to the substrate, there is no turning back.
Before you begin, make sure you have a high-quality tape measure (one that doesn't hide its marks), and then measure the area you plan to tile as well as the tiles themselves.
Once you've completed that, measure the entire area again to make sure you aren't in for a rude awakening when you begin dry laying the tiles. Tape measures are an essential piece of equipment that should be kept in your toolbox since it is essential to have accurate measurements of the area that you plan to tile.
Attempting to tile without one or devising your own improvised method to measure the area is likely to result in erroneous calculations and unpleasant revelations further down the road.
Obtaining a good measuring tape that has legible markings should be your first step before diving headfirst into your project.
You can get one for less than ten dollars, but in order to get the most precise measurements, you should be sure to get one that will stretch to cover the entire length of the area you are tiling. Choose instead to use a laser distance measure for effortless, brisk, and accurate precise measurement.
Measure both the area you will be tiling and the tiles themselves, just in case there are any slight inconsistencies in the results of your measurements. This will guarantee that all of your calculations are accurate. The following step is to go through the entire process at least once more to ensure that all of your calculations are accurate to the highest degree possible. This attention to detail at the beginning may sound needless, but it will help you prevent any potential inadequacies when you come to permanently fix your tiles down once you have completed the project.
People are always saying that it's important to leave your mark on the world. Well, it's important to leave your mark on the tiles as well because if you don't measure and mark up accurately, you could end up with a bunch of sloppy cuts, inaccurate guidelines, and off-center holes for pipes. If you make your mark on the tiles, it's important to leave your mark on the world. When you are in the middle of your tiling endeavour, you should make sure that you have a couple of pencils lying around so that there is always one within reach.
We strongly suggest making an investment in a set of chinagraph pencils since these specialised pencils excel at making marks on smooth, hard surfaces such as porcelain and ceramic. Have a good pencil on hand at all times when working on a tiling project. All tilers, whether novices or veterans, would be remiss to go without this essential tool.
You can get by with a regular pencil, but you can also get builder's pencils that are designed specifically for marking on glossy surfaces such as ceramic or porcelain tiles in order to produce a line that is distinct and easy to see. Straight and precise tile cuts require careful planning and the use of precise guidelines when marking tiles for cutting. Your cuts won't be straight and proper if you don't have a plan.
Only marking the bottom and top dimensions leaves a lot of opportunity for error, and this is a common rookie mistake that many do-it-yourselfers make. Instead, you should use a ruler to mark out a cut line across the entirety of the tile. This will ensure that your cuts are accurate.
The same thing should be done when cutting out holes to go around pipes; first, sketch a rough outline of the hole's dimensions and position, since this will result in more accurate measurements.
This is by no means the last time a pencil will be used. As an added bonus, you can use them to mark off important starting points on walls and floors, like the exact centre of a room or the horizontal level of a wall. You may ensure that your tile lines remain on track for an even fix if you pre-mark out these points so that they are visible.
Making sure the tiles are laid out evenly and that the lines are straight in both the horizontal and vertical directions is the key to finishing a tiling job that looks halfway decent.
Neither should this be done by eye, nor should an already-existing structure like a wall or baseboard be used as a guide. Use of these preexisting features will likely result in crooked tiles due to their inherent asymmetry.
If you use a spirit level to gauge where the walls and floors actually are, you'll have a much better chance of achieving the perfectly flat surface you've been envisioning.
This inexpensive tool, like a tape measure, can prevent you from wasting a lot of time and money on simple errors and is available at any home improvement store. This useful tool is easily accessible, just like a tape measure.
If you want a precise reading of how level a surface is with a spirit level, you need to pay equal attention to both the horizontal and vertical planes. When preparing to tile a room, it's important to first make sure the surface is level. To find out if the surface needs to be prepared in any way before levelling it out, do this.
The use of tile wedges or a thicker layer of glue can help with minor gaps, but if the gaps are too wide, you may need to instal a self-leveling screed on the floor or tile backer boards on the wall.
Time and effort spent on this preparation may prove to be well worth it in the end. During the tiling process, it is also important to double check the surface's level. If you catch any mistakes before the glue sets, you can fix them.
Components Made of Wood and Nails
You'll need some straight wooden battens, nails, and grout if you want to tile the walls. If you want the tile rows to be perfectly straight up and down, you'll need to find the true level, as was mentioned earlier. Fixing a wooden batten to the wall can be the simplest method for maintaining a level surface while tiling. Keep your lines on track as you work your way upward by using the wooden batten as a starting point for the bottom row of tiles.
The rail can also serve as a support to keep tiles in place while adhesive dries. You could also use vertical battens to ensure the precision of your cuts. The ideal dimensions for your wooden batten are 50 millimetres in width and 25 millimetres in thickness, but you can use something slightly smaller or larger if necessary.
The batten's length should be the same as the length of the wall, but shorter pieces can be used if necessary. The battens can be attached to the wall by simply nailing them there; however, the nails should be long enough to get a good grip on the wall's surface. We suggest hammering the nail into the wall until it is at least 2.5 centimetres in depth.
Wooden battens can be used as a measuring rod as you plan the arrangement of your tile design. A row of tiles can be laid out on the floor with tile spacers between them, and the wooden batten can be set up along the top edge of the tiles to complete the job. A pencil and a piece of paper are the next tools you'll need to mark off where the points and spaces will go. This will serve as a precise benchmark against which to align the tile rows.
Equipment for Cutting Tiles
Trimming tiles may be necessary during the installation process if your floors or walls aren't perfectly flat. Although it may be necessary to use a wet wheel cutter to cut some of the more durable tiles, such as quartz tiles, the majority of tiles may be cut with pinpoint accuracy using a rail cutter.
The majority of these straightforward tools come equipped with a scribe wheel, which is a wheel made from a tough substance like tungsten carbide and is designed to be dragged across the tile in order to create a score on the surface of the tile.
Following the scribing step, the "breaking arm" will need to be lowered in order to break the tile along the straight mark.Additionally, there is a wide selection of rail tile cutters to choose from, so you can get the precise size you need even if your tiles are exceptionally small. On the other hand, if you're after more precise and delicate cuts, the following item is a must-have.
Tile Nippers come into their own when you need to make a significant number of cuts that aren't straight during the course of your job. It's possible that you'll need almost as many irregular cuts as you do straight cuts.
These handheld tools that resemble pliers are ideal for holding and nipping little chunks of tile in a controlled manner. This enables the user to snip away and produce the cut that is necessary in order to tile around sanitary ware, pipes, and light fittings, among other things.
Grouting can make or break the appearance of your tiles, and there's nothing more frustrating than spending time and effort on tile selection, cutting, and placement only to discover that your grout lines are uneven. These kinds of do-it-yourself catastrophes can be avoided with the assistance of just a few insignificant pieces of plastic. Tile spacers are incredibly useful tools that do exactly what their name implies: help you evenly space tiles as you lay them down. You can find these minor items at any hardware or home improvement store.
To use spacers, you can either push them in between the corners of adjacent tiles or set them up so that the edge of one tile rests on top of another. Spacers typically take the form of a cross and are available in a range of sizes, ranging from 1mm to 6mm.
Don't even think about starting a tiling project if you don't want to get at least a little bit dirty. It's not possible. A little amount of water is required for the mixing of both adhesive and grout; however, you may reduce the amount of mess you generate by ensuring that you have a suitable container in which to perform this step. Do not give in to the need to save time and money by using an old washing-up bowl; although it will get the job done, you will end up with things everywhere.
Investing in a robust bucket in which to accomplish your mixing can save you from having to perform a significant amount of clean-up work after the job has been completed. We have a couple of different sizes from Mapei, including a 10L bottle for 'daily' applications and a giant 25L bottle for larger-scale work. Both come equipped with a practical measurement gauge, allowing you to precisely determine the amounts you need.
A mixing paddle is not strictly required, but it is always helpful to have on hand because it makes the mixing of grout and adhesives much easier. A mixing paddle is helpful, but not required.
While a trowel or makeshift stirrer will work, a proper mixing paddle made for the job will ensure that the components are thoroughly combined and significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the project. High-quality steel is used to craft mixing paddles that are then made to work with a wide range of electric drills.
Do not confuse this tile grout float with the kind that hauls a steel drum band to the carnival or the ridiculous concoction that combines ice cream and soft drinks. These two instances are the first ones that pop into our head.
A grout float is a trowel with a rubber blade and a wooden or metal handle. It has a handle and is employed for packing grout into freshly laid tile spaces. To avoid scratching the tiles, the rubber blade acts like a squeegee when applying grout. Because of their low cost, you won't have to worry about going into debt if you happen to lose or break your current one during the course of tiling.
The final step in properly sealing your tiles is applying the grout, and doing so correctly is crucial to extending the life of your tiles. Here, a grout float comes in handy; it's made for spreading grout sealant between tiles.
While a standard trowel or spatula may seem convenient, they lack the pliability necessary to ensure an even coat in the spaces between tiles. Without this crucial barrier, water and dust can seep in under your tile, causing dampness issues and, eventually, the tile to pop off the wall.
To avoid this, always use a grout float when working with tile. These tile grout tools look like regular trowels, but their foam handles and rubber feet make them much more versatile. The grout mortar must be worked into the grooves, and this gives the tool the flexibility it needs to do so. After the adhesive has dried, you can use the right technique to apply the sealant, push it into all the spaces, and then smooth it out with a rubber trowel on the top layer.
The most efficient method is to apply only a small amount of grout at a time. For best results when pressing grout into tile grooves, hold the grout float at a 45-degree angle and drag it diagonally across the joints. Having a bucket of clean water and a sponge handy is also recommended so that you can regularly clean the grout between your tiles.
The Notched Trowel is the OG of tiling implements; it's the only thing that can be used to spread glue across your substrate. It can't be any other way, you have to believe us
These strong trowels are produced from steel and have notches placed into one end as well as the leading edge. They are utilised for spreading thinset mortar on floors or thicker mastic onto flooring.
The notches on various trowels come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Trowels with square notches produce a bed that is more substantial and are typically utilised for flooring, whilst trowels with curved notches are more effective for use on walls. It is imperative that you select the appropriate trowel for the task at hand. When it comes to spreading glue onto your walls or floors, the only tool that will perform the job properly is a trowel with notches in it.
Do not begin working on the project if you do not have a trowel with notches. Because the grooves in the trowel aid to create suction, the notches in the trowel help to establish better adhesion between the tile and the substrate (or surface) that it is being applied to. If you use a trowel with a flat edge, the finished product will be tiles that have come loose from the walls and flooring.
When applying adhesive to the surface on which your tiles are going to be laid, notched trowels are the tools of choice. To ensure a proper application, first scoop adhesive onto the trowel using the ridged end that is more narrow, and then use the bottom of the trowel, which is flat, to spread it evenly throughout the surface.
At this stage, you shouldn't be too concerned with the grooves; the priority right now should be to ensure that the surface is completely covered.
Next, you will want to make sure that all of the ridges run in the same direction, either horizontally or vertically, and that there is an even distribution of the adhesive mixture throughout the entire surface.
To accomplish this, first set the trowel down flat on the surface, and then, while maintaining pressure on the edge with the notches, lift the edge that does not have ridges away from the surface at a 45-degree angle. After that, gently move it through the glue in the same direction in order to produce lines that are even. When searching for the notched trowel that is best suited for the task at hand, it is important to take into consideration both the size and shape of the notches.
Stick to the rule that the larger the tile, the larger the notches you'll need, since those suction grooves will need to be larger in order to hold a larger, heavier tile in place. This is because the size of the tile directly correlates to the weight of the tile.
Because of their design, trowels with square notches provide a more substantial foundation layer of adhesive on the surface and are more effective when used for the installation of floor tiles. On the other hand, trowels with curved notches are more effective when used for the installation of wall tiles.
The adhesive has been allowed to cure, the grout has been skilfully poured, the spacers have been removed, and everything now appears to be in wonderful shape, right? Wrong.
There is a significant possibility that the beautiful tiles you have chosen to use have grout covering their surfaces. You will be able to clean up as you go along with the help of a heavy-duty sponge, which is where the sponge comes in helpful.
Those little scourers you keep under the sink or the floppy old thing you use to wash the vehicle won't be of much use when it comes to removing grout residue, so make sure you acquire a proper, dense-celled, dual-purpose sponge instead.
If you have ever baked a cake, you will know that using an electric cake mixer is a much faster and quicker way to obtain the right batter. The same principles apply when you are mixing up your glue and grout, so keep that in mind.
You can do it by hand with a trowel, but if you're going to be mixing a lot of material, it might be more efficient to buy a mixing paddle attachment for your power drill or a power mixer machine designed specifically for mixing large volumes of material. This will save you a lot of time and arm ache.
Even while mixing paddles are not required for the tiling process, they are a handy tool that will assist you in achieving an even mixture and will decrease the likelihood that you will be left with those irritating powder pockets at the bottom of the bucket.
You should get ready to get filthy! Put on garments that are long-lasting and can handle the strain of the work you will be doing. You should wear protective goggles when you are cutting, and you should wear latex or nitrile gloves to protect your hands from any cement that you will be working with. Burns and injuries caused by cement are a very real risk.
Don't forget to bring the reliable Stanley knife with you when you need to cut tape, open packs, or cut silicon nozzles.
This should be a standard component of your toolbox because it can measure both gaps and square metres.
Think about how high you will be tiling, and don't forget to practise extreme caution at all times.
Tiling is the process of using tiles in a design. Tile is versatile and can be used for flooring, backsplashes, and accent walls to achieve a coordinated design. The answers to these questions are crucial before starting any tiling project. If you don't take the time to measure and mark up correctly, you might end up with sloppy cuts, crooked lines, and misaligned pipe holes. This may seem like overkill at first, but if you pay close attention to the details at the outset, you can avoid making any mistakes that could become major issues later on.
Making sure the floor is level is the first step in installing tiles in a room. Using a spirit level as a guide will help you create the perfectly flat surface you've been dreaming of. You can use wooden battens as a ruler to figure out how you want to lay out your tiles. If your floor or wall is not perfectly flat, you may need to trim tiles before installing them. The scribe wheel is included on most tools and is used to drag across the tile.
Even if your tiles are extremely tiny, you can get the exact size you need by using one of the many available rail tile cutters. Exactly as their name implies, tile spacers help you evenly space tiles as you lay them down. A grout float, also called a rubber trowel, has a rubber blade and a wooden or metal handle. It is recommended to use a mixing paddle, but not essential. Purchasing a high-quality bucket can reduce the amount of cleanup required once the job is finished.
The notched trowel predates all other tile tools. Only with this implement can glue be evenly applied to a surface. The trowel's grooves help generate suction, which in turn helps the tile adhere more securely to its base. Trowels with the right sized and shaped suction grooves on the surface will help you get the job done faster and with less mess. Notches need to be deeper to support a heavier tile, so the size of the tile matters when deciding on the size of the notches. It is imperative that you always have the proper tools and equipment on hand if you plan on tiling a bathroom.
- Essential Tiling Tools Checklist Measuring Tape Taking precise measurements is the first and most important step in any tiling project.
- Before beginning, measure both the space you intend to tile and the tiles themselves using a high-quality tape measure (one that doesn't hide its marks).
- Tape measures are an essential piece of equipment that should be kept in your toolbox since it is essential to have accurate measurements of the area that you plan to tile.
- Get yourself a good measuring tape with clear markings before diving headfirst into your project.
- Instead, you could use a laser distance measure, which provides quick, precise measurements without the hassle.
- Doing so will ensure the precision of your calculations.
- Well, it's important to leave your mark on the tiles as well because if you don't measure and mark up accurately, you could end up with a bunch of sloppy cuts, inaccurate guidelines, and off-center holes for pipes.
- If you're going to leave your mark on the tiles, it's worth doing the same in the world. When working on a tiling project, you should always have a good pencil on hand.
- Careful planning and the use of precise guidelines when marking tiles for cutting are essential for achieving straight and precise tile cuts. Without a strategy, you won't be able to make clean, precise cuts.
- Instead, use the ruler to draw a line across the tile that will serve as the cutting guide. Following these steps will guarantee precision when cutting.
- One more thing they're good for is marking off on walls and floors the exact centre of a room or the horizontal level of a wall.
- Straight Rod for Leveling The trick to completing a tiling job that looks halfway decent is to make sure the tiles are laid out evenly and that the lines are straight in both the horizontal and vertical directions.
- Using a spirit level as a guide will help you create the perfectly flat surface you've been dreaming of.
- Pay equal attention to the horizontal and vertical planes when using a spirit level to get an accurate reading on how level a surface is.
- Making sure the floor is level is the first step in installing tiles in a room. Checking for the need of any surface preparation prior to levelling it out is the next step.
- Checking the surface's level twice during tiling is essential.
- The true level must be found if the rows of tiles are to be perfectly vertical and horizontal.
- The simplest way to ensure a flat surface for tiling is to attach a wooden batten to the wall.
- Using the wooden batten as a base for the first row of tiles will help you keep your lines straight as you build up.
- You can use wooden battens as a ruler to figure out how you want to lay out your tiles.
- After the floor has been prepared by laying tile spacers, a row of tiles can be laid out and the wooden batten installed along the top edge of the tiles to finish the job.
- For the purpose of aligning the tile rows, this will serve as an exact reference point.
- While cutting some of the harder tiles, like quartz tiles, may require a wet wheel cutter, a rail cutter can be used to great effect for the vast majority of tiles.
- To break the tile along the straight mark, the "breaking arm" must be lowered after the scribing step.
- You can get the exact size you need, even if your tiles are exceptionally small, because there is a wide variety of rail tile cutters to choose from.
- However, if you're looking for finer, more precise cuts, the following tool is an absolute necessity.
- Those Who Cut Tiles Tile nippers are useful when you need to make numerous angled cuts in a row.
- You may require nearly as many angled cuts as straight ones.
- Tile Separators In spite of your best efforts, poorly applied grout can ruin the look of your carefully selected, cut, and laid tiles.
- Both adhesive and grout need to be mixed with water, but you can minimise cleanup by working in a suitable container.
- Do not give in to the temptation to economise by using an old washing-up bowl; while it will get the job done, you will end up with things everywhere.
- Investing in a sturdy bucket in which to carry out the mixing will prevent you from having to clean up a lot of mess afterwards.
- Pan for Stirring Although not strictly necessary, a mixing paddle is always useful to have on hand because it speeds up the process of blending grout and adhesives.
- It is recommended to use a mixing paddle, but not essential.
- While a trowel or improvised stirrer might get the job done, a purpose-built mixing paddle will ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and will drastically cut down on the amount of time it takes to complete the task.
- A grout float, also called a rubber trowel, has a rubber blade and a wooden or metal handle.
- It's used to pack grout into tile joints after they've been laid, and it comes with a handle for easy transport.
- Grout application is the final step in sealing your tiles, and doing so correctly is crucial to extending the life of your tiles.
- A grout float, an instrument designed for applying grout sealant with, comes in handy in this situation.
- A regular trowel or spatula might be more practical, but they aren't flexible enough to get an even coat in the cracks between tiles.
- This provides the manoeuvrability required to work the grout mortar into the grooves.
- It is best to apply a very small amount of grout at a time.
- It's also a good idea to keep a bucket of clean water and a sponge close by so you can keep the grout between your tiles clean.
- Hoe with Notches The Notched Trowel was the first tool specifically designed to apply tile adhesive to a surface.
- They are used to apply a thicker layer of mastic or thinset mortar to floors.
- It's crucial that you use the right trowel for the job.
- A notched trowel is the only tool that will do the job when it comes to applying glue to your walls or floors.
- Do not start the project until you have acquired a trowel with notches.
- Using a flat-edged trowel will result in tiles that have broken away from the walls and flooring.
- It is recommended to use notched trowels when spreading adhesive on the floor before tiling.
- Next, you will want to make sure that all of the ridges run in the same direction, either horizontally or vertically, and that there is an even distribution of the adhesive mixture throughout the entire surface.
- To do this, place the trowel flat on the surface and, while keeping pressure on the edge with the notches, lift the edge that does not have ridges away from the surface at a 45-degree angle.
- Considering the size and shape of the notches will help you find the best suited notched trowel for your project.
- When choosing tiles, remember that the larger the tile, the larger the notches you'll need, as the suction grooves will need to be larger to hold the tile in place if it's heavier.
- This is because the size of the tile directly correlates to the weight of the tile.
- Square-notched trowels are preferable for tiling floors because they allow the installer to spread a thicker layer of adhesive over the subfloor.
- By carrying a sturdy sponge with you, you can clean up as you go.
- The same rules apply when blending glue and grout.
- Mixing can be done manually with a trowel, but if you need to mix a lot of material, it may be more efficient to invest in a mixing paddle attachment for your power drill or a power mixer machine.
- While mixing paddles aren't strictly necessary for tiling, they are a helpful tool that will ensure a uniform consistency in your grout and lessen the likelihood of leaving behind annoying powder pockets at the bucket's bottom.
- You should wear protective goggles when you are cutting, and you should wear latex or nitrile gloves to protect your hands from any cement that you will be working with.
- Blade, Stanley When you need to slice through tape, open boxes, or trim silicon nozzles, reach for your trusty Stanley knife.
- Step Stool Consider the height you will be working at while tiling, and be very careful at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tiling Tools
The four most essential tile tools are a tile cutter or wet saw, a notched trowel, tile spacers, and a grout float.
- Caulk gun.
- Grout float.
- Margin trowel.
- Microfiber towel.
- Putty knife.
- Shop vacuums.
- Tiling sponge.
Tiling Tools Checklist
- Preparation. Pencil.
- Fixing. Rubber mallet.
- Grouting + finishing. Grout float.
- Protective clothing. You are going to get dirty!
- Dust sheets.
- Sponges and Cloths.
- Spirit Level.
- Stanley Knife.
The real-life tiling doesn't happen that way, especially for unseasoned do-it-yourselfers. Laying tile is easy but laying tile and doing it well is difficult. It doesn't have to be that way. With just a few tips and tricks, you may improve your tiling skills throughout just one installation.
Small tiled area, there's nothing wrong with using a rapid set and grouting the same day. It is very advantageous to grout the next day as grouting too early will possibly move the tiles, making them uneven.