Essential Tools for Laying Tile and Tips on How to Use Them
When you’re installing tile flooring, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools. Having the correct tools will make the process easier and quicker, and you won’t need to stop your project to run out to get the proper supplies. You’ll want to have the correct tools for mixing adhesive, spreading adhesive, cutting the tiles, and installing the tiles.
Tools for Mixing Adhesive
When you’re mixing adhesive, you’ll want a sound drill that has torque control. This feature will allow you to mix the tile adhesive correctly and make the project a success. If you’re mixing adhesive and installing tile for your job professionally, you’ll want to invest in getting a proper drill and making sure it attaches to a mixing pallet. Having torque control capabilities will allow you to change your drill speed while you’re mixing the adhesive.
Some people prefer to save money and prepare the adhesive by hand with a margin towel, but using this method won’t give you the same quality. When you mix tile adhesive, you want to make sure your room stays clean. You’ll want to place a large piece of newspaper or paper under the mixing bucket, or you can use an old rug to cover your floor surface.
You should mix the adhesive by first using a low speed, then slowly increasing it. This process should take between three to five minutes. Keep in mind that you need to let the adhesive soak in water for a minimum of 10 minutes before you spread it on the floor.
Tools for Spreading Adhesive
To spread a layer of even tile adhesive, a notched trowel will help you accomplish this goal. This trowel comes in different dimensions, but you’ll need to have at least one notched float. You’ll notice that that the trowel is straight on two sides and notched on the other. This feature will allow you to spread the adhesive thoroughly on a floor surface. If you have a trowel from a previous project, make sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any previous residue from the tool.
Spreading adhesive requires care and patience to make sure you’re doing the job correctly. You’ll first need to place the tile adhesive on a float with a margin trowel. Next, use the straight side to spread the adhesive on the floor. Once you’ve spread the adhesive over the surface, use the notched side to comb it by holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle. You’ll need to comb the adhesive a few times to get a correct adhesive bed, which can be done by using semicircular movements.
Tools for Cutting the Tiles
You’ll need to cut your tiles so that they fit around door jambs, walls, and other areas when you’re installing tile. You’ll need to use a wet saw or score and snap tile cutter to accomplish this process. When you buy a score and snap cutter, you’ll appreciate its versatility. You can achieve about 90 percent of your cuts when you use this tool. If you use a score and snap cutter, you won’t be able to make complex cuts such as cuts inside the tiles.
One of the most helpful tools to use when cutting ceramic tiles is the wet tile saw. If you decide to purchase a wet saw, you can cut your tiles diagonally and make simple or complex cuts easily and quickly. Water is used to cool the wet saw’s blade, which prevents dust from being created. While using a wet saw is not particularly difficult, you should read the operating instructions first. You should always stay safe by wearing a respiratory mask and eye protection as well.
Tools for Installing Tile
You’ll find many times where you’ll need to adjust your tile sizes so that they can fit together correctly. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, take accurate measurements each time you make cuts. You can use a tape measure or L-square to get precise measurements for the tiles before you cut them. When you take the measurements, always consider the clearance space between the tiles in addition to the gap between the wall and the tiles.
You may need to tap the ceramic tiles to make them even on the floor surface. You can also use a rubber hammer to lightly tap the tiles until they become level. If you want to determine whether your floor is even or if your wall is plumb, you should use a spirit level. This tool will help you when you install tile on the floor. Place the level on your tiles in each direction to determine whether the tiles are plumb or horizontal. If the surface isn’t level, take out the tiles with a trowel.
Don’t apply much pressure or you’ll damage the tiles. You should then clean off the adhesive and spread it on the surface once again. Any extra material can be cleaned up with a sponge.
Tips About Using Tile-Flooring Tools
Buying a wet saw can be expensive, but you’ll want one if you’re a professional or will repeatedly perform tile installations in your home. However, if you don’t plan on using it often, you can also rent a professional saw for a day or a week to save money while getting the job done correctly. When you wipe away extra grout, the silicone sponge you use should also be slightly damp. You don’t want it too wet; otherwise, the sponge will decrease the grout’s integrity and cause it to crumble when the material becomes dry.
When you know what tools to use, installing tile flooring can be a simple task. You should determine what tools you need in advance and whether it makes more sense to rent or buy your tools. Following the correct steps when installing tile will make the process easier on you and quicker to accomplish. You’ll also have a high-quality floor that will last for many years when the job is done properly the first time.