Essential tools for tiling
Taking accurate measurements is arguably the most important task when it comes to your tiling project. This applies not only to measuring your space but also to measuring your tiles for cutting. Your tape measure must be good quality with no obscure markings. Before starting, measure both the surface you are tiling and the actual tiles, then measure them again to avoid any errors.
It’s no use just measuring your tiles, you also need to mark up your tiles accurately ready for cutting. Make sure you always have a pencil within reach throughout your project. Although not necessary, we recommend using chinagraph pencils as they are the best for marking ceramic and porcelain tiles.
Tile Rail Cutter
During your project it is likely that you will need to cut a few tiles. Most ceramic and porcelain can be cut with precision using a Rail Cutter. Most cutters have a scribe wheel, for scoring the tile in a straight line, and a breaking arm to push down on the scored tile, breaking it cleanly. Tile cutters are available in many different sizes to suit the size of your tiles.
Not all of the cuts you need to make during your tiling project will be straight ones. Tiles will need to be cut to fit around pipes, sinks and light fittings. Tile nippers are pliers – like handheld tools for gripping and nipping small chunks of tile to snip away and create the cuts you need
You will need to make sure your tiles are laid evenly and with the same width grout lines throughout the tiled area. Tile spacers will help by making laying easier and more accurate. Spacers are cross shaped pieces of plastic that come in many different sizes from 1mm to 6mm, and are used by pushing between the corners of four adjoining tiles, or pushed between two tiles where one sits on top of another.
Mixing adhesive and grout can get messy. Save yourself from a huge clean-up by investing in a large, sturdy bucket or two. A 10L bucket should suit most projects however, if you are working on a larger project, a few 25L buckets should do the job.
This item is not essential, however it will make your job a whole lot easier. Using a mixing paddle will save you a lot of effort when mixing grout and adhesive as well as making sure that they are mixed properly. Most paddles are made from high – grade steel and fit the majority of power drills.
This tiling item looks like a trowel but has a flat rubber base, rather than a metal one, that acts like a squeegee. This is used to press the grout into the gaps between the laid tiles. Grout floats are made from rubber to prevent damage to the tiles.
A notched trowel is used to spread thin set mortar or thicker mastic on to your floors. Square notched trowels give a thicker bed and would usually be used for floors, whereas trowels with curved notches are better for walls.
Buy a proper, dense – celled, heavy duty sponge to help mop up excess grout from the surface of your tiles. Make sure it’s always within reach while you grout your surface to help you clean up before the excess grout dries.
The tools listed here are the basic items needed to do an adequate tiling job on floors and walls. You can download a printable list of the above items here. If you need any further help with your tiling project, check out some more of the articles in our Help Centre or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org