Tiling the spaces in your home needs to be done using the right tools so that the tiles stay put, are long-lasting, and do not easily become susceptible to damage. If you have a big tiling project coming up, such as a bathroom floor, kitchen backsplash, or shower walls, it is definitely worth hiring the right tools for the job. In this article we will be looking at the tools that are essential for your tiling project and what you need to use them for.
1. The Wet Tile Saw
When cutting tiles, it is essential you use the right tool for the job. Otherwise, you could end up with cracked or broken tiles, uneven cutting lengths, and a messy finish. Using a wet tile saw ensures your tiles are cut efficiently, with a beautiful finish, whether ceramic, natural stone, or porcelain.
What is a Wet Tile Saw?
A wet saw is a type of power tool that is used to cut all types of tiles. Using a water-cooled diamond blade, wet tile saws make very fast work of tile cutting and significantly reduce the likelihood of breakages, sharp flying pieces, and dust damage to your lungs.
How Do Wet Tile Saws Work?
Wet tile saws work on a sliding table that feeds the tile into an overhead blade. The cutting blade is continuously sprayed with a stream of water while it is running (hence the “wet” tile saw). This stream of water stops the problem of dust and allows for a cleaner finish.
There are two main types of tile saws; the recirculating pump saw and the fresh water saw. The first simply recirculates the same water, eliminating the need to be hooked up to a tap. While the other wet saw draws its water straight from a water source, which means you need to be near a tap while using it.
Hire a Wet Tile Saw Today
Wet tile saws are expensive pieces of machinery and, therefore, affordability is often a consideration many people must make. If you only have one job to do hiring is a fantastic option!
2. The Grout Float
A grout float is another essential tool for tiling as it is used to spread grout into the joints between the tiles. There is nothing you can substitute for a grout float, it is a tool you must get hold of to complete your tiling job properly. Otherwise, the grout will not be effectively applied, and your tiles will fall apart over time.
How Does a Grout Float Work?
A grout float is a handheld tool that works by spreading grout into the joints between the tiles, keeping them firmly in place. The part used to spread the grout is made from rubber so that it can easily manoeuvre into small spaces, ensuring the grout is thoroughly spread.
How to Choose the Best Grout Float
The best way to choose a good grout float is to opt for one that feels comfortable to hold and easy to use. It is always best to try out a few different models in a hardware store to find one that has a comfortable hold for you and a good weight. After all, if you have a big tiling job to get done, a comfortable grout float can make all the difference.
Our Tips when Working with a Grout Float
When working with a grout float, always keep it clean. Keep a bucket of water and a sponge next to you while you work so that you can periodically wipe the grout float clean. This will help minimise the mess on the tiles as you work and ensure the grouting is completed as professionally and seamlessly as possible.
3. Grout Sponge
Another important tool is the grout sponge. Hand-in-hand with the grout float, the sponge is an essential tool for removing excess grout from your tiles. However, you can’t use any old cloth or sponge, it has to be a grout sponge as these are made especially from thick, dense materials to ensure the proper cleaning of your tiles.
A grout sponge is a great tool to have in your toolbox, so if you do a lot of tiling we would definitely encourage you to buy one of these. Very cost-effective and long-lasting, the grout sponge will help you tidy up even the most messy tiling projects.
4. Pointed-Notched Trowels
Tiling is a job that requires a lot of attention to detail, so pointed-notched trowels are very important. Tile trowels are used to apply mortar effectively to the walls or floors where the tiling is being done. However, they also work as a metered dispensing system. By this, we mean they deliver just the right amount of mortar onto the tiles, helping keep everything neat and tidy. There are two basic types of tiling trowel, the square-notch and the pointed-notch. We prefer the pointed, but generally the type you opt for is down to personal preference.
How Do Tile Trowels Work?
Similar to many other masonry trowels, the pointed-trowel works by scoping up and spreading mortar onto the smooth surface of your wall or floor. Every trowel has notches and these do two very important things; first, they make it easy for you to apply a specific amount of mortar with even distribution, and secondly they create spaces between the lines of mortar for air to escape when the tile is pressed into place. Without these air spaces, it is possible for air pockets to be created and this can prevent the tile from lying flat – making it more susceptible to fall.
How to Choose the Right Trowel and Notch Size
Choosing the right trowel and notch size depends a lot on the installation location, the tiles you’re using, and the size of your project. The best way to find out for yourself whether you have the correct trowel and notch size is to install a couple of tiles to start off with, lift them up and see how much mortar has come into contact with the tile and the underlying surface. This is called coverage and we would generally recommend that your tiles (especially in wet locations such as kitchens or bathrooms), need at least 95% coverage. This means that around 20% of the tile you installed needs to be clear of mortar.
If you’re still unsure, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team at Mteevan Hire. We would be more than happy to recommend the best tile trowel for your next tiling project. Give us a call today and let us answer your questions.
5. Tile Nibbler
Wet tile saws are absolutely fantastic tools, but unfortunately they cannot always cut in the direction you need them to. When tiling a wall, sometimes you may need to make some irregular cuts to fit with the shape and size of your property. For tricky cuts, like semi-circles, a wet tile saw cannot help. Instead, it is best to finish the job off with a tile nibbler.
These fantastic tools can help you complete a tiling project even in the trickiest of spaces, helping you work around common obstructions such as pipes! If you don’t have a tile nibbler, you need to add it to your list because this is an essential tool you need for your tiling project.
6. A Reliable Level
Tiling correctly is all about straight lines. If you want that aesthetically-pleasing finish, you will need to use a level. Levels have always been extremely reliable tools for ensuring you’re working on a straight line, building straight shelves, or hanging pictures that are level. But you can also use levels for tiling projects.
What is a Level?
If you have a well-stocked toolbox, it’s likely you already know what a level is. However, for those who don’t, a level is a long ruler with a small clear section filled with green fluid that has a bubble inside of it that rests exactly in the middle of the level with it is held straight. This tool could not be more helpful or essential for a tiling project and will help you finish your tiling job to an impeccably high standard.
7. Tap Tiles into Place with a Rubber Mallet
When positioning tiles, it is sometimes helpful to gently tap them into place. However, you cannot use a normal hammer for this job and wrapping a hammer in something soft will not work either, instead it will crack and break the tiles, causing a real mess! So, to avoid this, invest in a rubber mallet and save yourself numerous cracked tiles and other inevitable problems. A rubber mallet will allow you exert just the right amount of force to knock the tiles into place for a lovely professional finish on your tiled wall or floor.
8. Tile Spacers
There is not much as frustrating as laying all your tiles only to discover your spacing isn’t quite right and everything is off-kilter as a result. However, such disasters are easily avoided with the use of tile spacers. These handy little tools allow you to correctly space tiles simply with the use of a few small pieces of plastic.
As their name suggests, tile spacers help ensure your tiles are correctly spaced for effective installation. These small cross-shaped pieces of plastic come in a variety of sizes and can be used between the four corners of the adjoining tiles or positioned where the edge of one tile sits on top of the other. Space your tiles correctly with tile spacers and you will complete your tiling job to an exceptionally high standard.
Hire Tiling Tools from Mteevan Today
Starting a tiling project requires a lot of time and planning, in addition to the correct tools. If you purchase and hire the tools we’ve mentioned above, your tiling project should go off without a hitch.
Here at Mteevan Hire, we have all the tools you need to complete your tiling project, and if you ask for something we don’t have – we can order it in for you. If you require any further help and advice, please do not hesitate to at Mteevan Hire for more information.