Essential tools for working with tiles — Diy, Lifestyle

Essential tools for working with tiles - Diy, Lifestyle

Essential tools for working with tiles

10 Sep 2014

If youre planning on tackling a significant tiling job, it is worth investing in the correct tools and materials for the job at hand.

Tile cutter: Select either a manual or electrical cutter. Cutters are available in a range of sizes.

Laying new tiles in your home, whether its on the floor or against the wall, is an investment that will update the room and offer a durable and easy to maintain surface for years to come. The tools can however, make or break the tile laying experience, therefore avoid tackling the project with substandard tools or tools that arent really designed for tiling.

Using good quality tools will result in a professional floor and wall tile installation — and the tools will also last longer as theyre designed for the job, says Sharon Margon, technical adviser at TAL .

The top six tools that every tiler needs in his toolkit are:

1. Tile cutter. Select either a manual or electrical cutter. Cutters are available in a range of sizes. It is important to use the correct cutter for the size of tile you are installing, for example a 400mm tile cutter will not be able to cut a 500mm tile as the tile will be too long, she says.

2. Adhesive trowel. It spreads the adhesive evenly and effectively to ensure correct contact with the tile. An adhesive trowel has a straight and notched edge. The straight edge spreads the adhesive while the notched edge ensures that an adequate amount of adhesive is spread across the work surface when pulling the trowel through the adhesive. The notched edge makes grooves that allow air to escape when the tile is pressed into the adhesive. The size of the notch also varies for floor and wall applications.

Grout sponge: It allows for smoother finishing of grout and cleaning of tiles.

The general rule is that a 6mm notch is used for wall tile applications and a 10mm notch for floor tiles as well as heavy or large format wall tiles, says Margon.

- Tile spacers. They ensure that tiles are evenly spaced out and that your project looks as professional as possible.

- Rubber mallet. Its specially designed to bed tiles into the adhesive without air pockets and voids forming to prevent the tiles from cracking.

- Spreader. A combination spreader consists of a notched edge for fast application of grout, a squeegee for rapid grout application and includes a grout finishing profile.

- Grout sponge. Is made from dense foam and is designed to last longer. It allows for smoother finishing of grout and cleaning of tiles. A sponge with rounded edges will not make grooves in the grout while wiping off excess grout.

Some additional tools that will make the job easier include:

- Tile nipper — for cutting and shaping wall tiles

- Tile scorer — used to score and snap wall and floor tiles

Essential tools for working with tiles - Diy, Lifestyle

Some additional tools that will make the job easier include: Knee pads and a dust mask.

- Profile gauge — to measure curves, for example around the toilet base and to then cut the tile according to the shape

- Adhesive and grout mixer. mechanical version

High-traffic areas such as the kitchen, passage and entrance halls as well as wet areas such as the bathroom and shower require a water-resistant and flexible tile installation. Replace the water in the cementitious adhesive and grout mixes with a latex additive, to improve water resistance, flexibility and bond strength of the mix.

If youre tackling a renovation project and will be removing broken tiles or replacing existing tiles, consider how you are going to remove the tiles.

There are a number of tools that can be used to remove existing tiles:

- 3 in 1 Tile Nipper. This multifunctional three-in-one tiling tool is perfect for replacing broken tiles. It consists of a tile nipper with tipped jaws for cutting and shaping wall tiles, a tile pry bar for lifting and re-positioning tiles and a tile breaking chisel for breaking tiles when removing broken tiles.

- Heavy Duty Tile Remover. This professional quality tool can be used to remove wall and floor tiles as well as carpets and vinyl tiles. The tile remover is made with reinforced steel therefore it can be used in conjunction with a hammer.

By using the right tools, materials and techniques you will ensure that your tile installation looks professional and that it will be able to withstand foot traffic, spills, steam as well as wear and tear.


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