10 Tools You’ll Need Before Tiling
It’s an exciting moment; when the dream tiles you’ve carefully chosen are delivered to your door, ready to lay. You’ve invested both time and money in choosing these tiles, so it’s very important that you have the correct tools available to lay your tiles perfectly.
Some of these tools may already be waiting in your garden shed, but some are much more specialist and will need to be bought, or hired, from your local DIY store.
- Tape measure
Measuring your room is the most important task when tiling. You must make sure you have measured exactly and have calculated precisely where any special feature tiles will be laid. We highly recommend measuring the tiles too – to make sure they fit into your design just right.
When it comes to marking up a tile for cutting or drilling a pencil is essential. The general rule when cutting tiles is; measure twice, cut once. Not marking your tiles clearly and correctly may result in you having to recut or even throw away tiles, which is not only time consuming and costly but may also result in you not having enough tiles to finish the job. Better to be safe than sorry – so keep a couple of pencils and a sharpener to hand (because they are very good at disappearing when you put them down!).
- Tile Spacers
These little bits of cross shaped plastic will make the grouting process so much easier. Having evenly spaced joints not only makes grouting easier but makes the finished look much, much more impressive.
Make sure you have a clean, working bucket to hand. Old, dirty buckets may have left over substance or materials lurking in the bottom – and you don’t want lumps or bumps in your adhesive or grout. Most mixing buckets come with measurements on the side to make mixing up adhesive and grout much easier. Tip – Wash your bucket immediately after use and put it away so it’s ready to be reused. It’s a lot of plastic to just throw away.
- Grout Float
A grout float is used to press the grout into the gap between your tiles. It consists of a rubber base with a plastic handle, and is designed to fill the gaps while taking the majority of excess grout away without causing any damage to the surface of the tile.
- Notched Trowel
Notched trowels come in different sizes and shapes. Typically, a square shaped notch would be used for floors and a curved notch would be used for walls. The depth of the trowel should be dictated by which products you are using, and the size of the tile. If in doubt, make sure you ask the team at DT Stone or your DIY supplier which trowel is best for the job.
- Tile Cutter
It’s highly likely you will have to cut some of your tiles. Like your notched trowel, the type of tile cutter you will need depends on your choice of tile. Most porcelain and ceramic tiles can be cut using a manual rail cutter. Manual rail cutters have a scribe wheel which you gently run along the surface on your marked line to score into the tile. Once pressure is applied with the breaking arm, the tile will neatly break along the line.
Some porcelain and natural stone tiles require a wet wheel, and we’d advise setting up outside as a constant flow of water is needed on the cutting blade, and it can be a messy process (it’s also very noisy – so refrain from cutting tiles late at night or on a Sunday if you like your neighbours!). These cutters can be hired from most good hire shops or DIY/Builders merchants – and the team at DT stone will happily advise you.
Nippers are handheld pliers. They are the perfect tool to use to cut tiny little pieces of tile that fit the small gaps around the outside of the room.
- Mixing Paddle
Although a mixing paddle is not an essential item, it will allow you to mix your adhesive and grout to a smooth, lump free finish much easier, and far quicker than doing it by hand. Some DIY shops do hire these out – let us know if you need a recommendation.
Finally, the most important thing you must do when all your tiling and grouting is done is to give it a really good clean. Once your grout has set (as per manufacturer’s instructions on the grout bag), clean the whole tiled area with a large, clean sponge. You must use a cleaning product suitable for your tile (ask the team when buying your tiles) that will remove all residue from the tiles without affecting the grout.
Now it’s time to sit back and admire your beautiful new room and take pride in a job well done. Don’t forget to tag DT Stone in your pictures on social media too – we would love to see your work!