Monday, February 16, 2015

A Quick Guide to Tiling Tools

A Quick Guide to Tiling Tools
For the newcomer to DIY there can often seem to be an overwhelming amount of things to get to grips with; not least of which being the sheer variety of tools now available off-the-shelf for use in the home. In this article we take a brief look at some of the most common tiling tools for use in all types of projects such as tiling a floor or wall, laying mosaic tiles, and maintaining and repairing tiled surfaces.

Tile Cutters
Tile cutters are first and foremost one of the most important tiling tools you'll need to complete any tiling job to a good standard. Tile cutters, whilst performing the exact job that their name states, are available in a number of different forms, and it's advisable to ensure you use the correct type depending on the type of tiles you plan to cut. These are in fact one of the few tiling tools that offer the choice between powered and non-powered versions. Both types are suitable for use on most jobs, the obvious difference being that powered cutters can offer a higher level of precision, flexibility (when cutting curves), speed and power when carrying out more intensive work, and when using particularly large or thick materials. Manual cutters typically operate on a ‘score and snap' basis, utilising the flat bed of the cutter and an extended arm to perform the score and cutting.

Powered cutters typically use circular saw blades, cutting from either below the tile or above. Wet cutters are particularly useful in reducing the amount of debris typically produced during cutting, and are also more appropriate when harder materials such porcelain.

Tile Trowels
Tile trowels are another key tiling tool that it would be difficult to complete the job without. Available in range of shapes and sizes, the trowel is used primarily to apply adhesive to the surface that you are laying onto, and also to ‘butter' the tiles themselves if they happen to be porous such as in the case of natural stone. The trowels differ significantly in the size and distance between the notches they feature. This difference is important because it will allow the user to create a specific type of texture in the adhesive before the tile is laid on top. This difference in texture will affect the surface tension and quality of adhesion that is achieved. With larger, heavier tiles, it is generally advisable to use a wide-spaced notched trowel to create larger bands of adhesive in the floor; the opposite being true when using smaller tiles such as mosaic tiles, with which is it best to use a mosaic trowel, featuring significantly smaller notches, spaced closer together.

Tile Spacers
Sometimes overlooked by the newcomer, tile spacers are an especially important tiling tool; their value being most evident after the job is completed. Spacers can be used to achieve a professional finish to any tiled surface by helping to maintain a consistent spacing between tiles, which will ensure an even grout line towards the end of the project. Without the use of spacers, your tiled surface will more than likely look uneven and may also be less durable.

Grout Float
The grout float is a wonderfully fun tiling tool to use, and is used to apply and spread grout on top of laid tiles. Grout floats typically feature rubber bases to facilitate the movement and control of grout once it is on top of the tiles. Heavier floats are generally preferred as they help to add additional pressure with applying grout to promote ‘bedding in' and consistent application.

Grout Finishers
A grout finisher is a tiling tool not used until the very end of the tiling process, after the grout has been applied and left to semi-harden. Finishing is best carried out when the grout is tacky, at a similar consistency to toothpaste. The grout finisher tool is used to smooth the grout lines, achieving a professional look, whilst also helping to remove excess and unwanted grout.

Grout Rakes
Grout rakes are very simply a tiling tool used when performing maintenance on a tiled surface, and can help with the efficient removal of old grout, before a new layer is applied.

DIY Resources:

Teds Woodworking
Created by Ted McGrath, "Teds Woodworking" is one of the most popular woodworking plans and projects packages online today.
More info here

Furniture Craft Plans
Over 9,000 premium woodworking furniture and craft plans that you can easily follow at home.
More info here

Home Made Power Plant
There are some other guides for DIY wind and solar generators, but all of those that I've read don't get into the same details.
More info here

My Boat Plans
My Boat Plans is a comprehensive collection of 518 boat plans, 40 videos and about 500 pages of boat building guides.
More info here

Chickens 4 Wealth
Absolutely everything you need to know to get started with backyard chickens and produce your own eggs.
More info here

About the Author
Topps Tiles is Britain's biggest tile and wood flooring specialist and stocks a wide range of tiling tools to help you create the perfect tiled surface.

Article Source: A Quick Guide to Tiling Tools

No comments:

Post a Comment