Basic Required Tools for DIY Tiling (The Simple Step to Become Pro)
No matter how wide or long of a floor you want to cover with tiles, you must expect such of a good final looks. That ‘good final looks’ sometimes hard to achieve in the DIY route especially without sufficient knowledge. As you want to do it by yourself, here we want to help find your ways to make everything work smoothly. Here we also suggest you to pick up only the best tools for DIY tiling project, which will help you manage expenses including time and energy.
A little advice too, you need to look at some general preps as the followings:
Which is the right tile for me?
Tile produced in different sizes, materials, shapes, patterns and colors. In now days you can find tile almost for any purposes for example in covering floors, wall decorations, table surface adornment, and many more. Based on the materials build, there are four common type of tiles often used in covering floor as well as for wall decoration. They are clay-based tiles (ceramic and porcelains), cement tile, mosaic (could be made from more than one materials), and natural stone tile. Porcelains are among the mainstreams today for large installation, because they are known for its long-last strength, easy to setup, and mostly affordable for many kind of setups.
You can find all of them in countless colors and patterns. Here is the example of piece supply for DIY you can buy online:
Choosing the Right Tile ‘Glue’
You need to be careful when choosing the type of adhesive for fixing tile. None of every adhesive made for all kind of tiles. Each adhesive product made for specific tile and substrate (the base layer). In example, when you want to fix a small size ceramic tile onto the plasterboard substrate, it’s maybe enough with a ready-mixed paste adhesive. In the other setup, you need mortar (powdered adhesive) to fix a large or many ceramic or porcelain tiles onto the substrate.
Other things to consider when looking for adhesive:
- Setting time (depending on your needs and schedule)
- Flexibility rate (related to the existence of vibration and movement such as in working area). Many unrated products still safe and applicable for home use.
- Primer coats maybe needed for water-absorbent substrates like plasterboard wall
- To have maximum yield your surface must be flat, clean, dry and strong enough to hold the weight of the tiles.
- Don’t let any voids between tile and the substrate. Rubber hammer tool is very helpful to give full coverage.
Some of the Must-have Tools for DIY Tiling
Tools for Measuring Square and Flatness
There are some tools for DIY tiling projects that most all homeowners need to have – if they plan to do their own DIY home improvements projects. These tools are essential and you need to have them. If you don’t, you can always rent them. However, if you are going to work such of this project, it would better if you own all or some of the tools.
Laser Level Square
All home improvements projects definitely need such (square) layout lines. And using the laser lever square would be perfect for tiling the walls or floors. The function is to project (a pair of) perpendicular lines, such as the crosshairs. The laser square will be great for layout planning. Simply set it (on the floor) and make measurement – from the lines in order to see how the layout of the tile works. Aside from the function, it is also perfect for tile setting too. The lines won’t be hidden or covered by the mastic or thin-set. Feel free to find the laser (level) squares online or at home centers.
One example that professionals often use:
The main function is to draw the line – from the (ruler’s) corner right to the desired number displayed on the scales. The ruler itself includes scales for eights, thirds, and halves. Also known as the tailor’s square, it is a ruler with two armed design whose function is to make reduced (scale) patterns within pattern drafting. For making scale measurements, it doesn’t need math information. The shorter arm has the 16ths, 8ths, 4ths, and halves, while the long arm has 3rds, 12ths, 6ths, and two-thirds. The tailor would determine (at first) which scale to use and draw a line. It usually sets from the zero point (on the corner) to the desired number on the scale. For instance, if the (full) scale pattern wants to perform 16 inches of measurement while the tailor wants to create half scale pattern, the tailor will draw 16 mark (on the half scale) and it actually creates the 8 inch line.
Mixing Adhesive – from a Simple Margin Trowel to the Powerful Drill
There are different ways to mix the adhesive. Margin trowel one of the tools for DIY tiling. It is used when you mix it manually (by hand). But if you do it mechanically (with the help of a machine), then you need to use a drill. Don’t underestimate the job of mixing adhesive because you want to do it right. A good and reliable drill is crucial to mix the pallet. You want to choose one with torque control because you can mix the adhesive properly and correctly. And the torque control allows you to change the speed while mixing. You may want to buy a good drill with a mixing pallet attached to it.
You can always use the margin trowel to mix the adhesive, especially if you want to save up some money. However, the texture or quality won’t be the same as you are using the drill. When you use the drill, you typically start slow. And then you slowly increase it – within a process taking 3 to 5 minutes to complete.
This is the tool used to spread the adhesive. You can use a notched trowel for this purpose – and it comes in various dimensions. If you take a look at the tool, you will see that it has two straight sides and notched part on the other sides. This enables you to spread (the adhesive) on the surface thoroughly. If you have done several adhesive spread works before, you need to clean it off perfectly. Use margin trowel to put the adhesive on the float. Then, spread it on the floor’s surface with the straight side. Afterwards, hold the trowel within a 45 degree angle so you can comb it by using the notched side. Combing is necessary so you can get the right and proper adhesive bed – and combing has to be done several times.
As the name suggests, this is the tool to cut the tiles. If you want a versatile tool, a tile (wet) saw is handy to cut stone, glass, ceramic, and porcelain tiles. The blade has no teeth and it is flooded (with water) so the tile and blade won’t overheat during the cut.
Besides a wet saw, there is a snap cutter. This is basically a manual tool that is available in a simple tabletop form. It will score the tile and you can snap it – along the line. The snap cutter is great for glass, porcelain, and ceramic tile.
Tile Spacer. It is a commonly small piece of a plastic that is used to space the tiles. It is designed to create an equal distance from one another. With it, your tiles should be properly (and visually artistically) lined up. To create checkerboard (or basically a uniform) pattern, a cross-shaped spacer would be needed. You will need a T-shaped space for offset or irregular pattern. For many builders, having the tile spacer is a good investment. Not only has it made the project (and the work) go easier, but it can also result in detailed and fine work.
Tile spacers are usually made of plastic, but they can also be made of ceramic or wood. They are also available in various sizes, normally the 1/8 inch, the 1/16 inch, the 3/16 inch, the ¼ inch, and the 3/8 inch. Keep in mind that the smaller the tile spacer size, the joints between the tiles would be narrower.
Another last important is a tape measure. As the name suggests, a tape measure is basically a measurement device (in portable manner) to quantify objects’ distance or objects’ size. Some tapes are coming with meters, centimeters, and millimeters mark within one side or edge. The common length is available in 12 feet, 100 feet, or 25 feet. The 12 feet tape is the common and most popular one for consumers. The 25 feet one is usually coming in feet mark. It is generally named a builder’s tape. You should always keep it close in your pocket while doing the work.
Glad to hear, all of the tools for DIY tiling are available to purchase online without any hassle.