It doesn't matter if you plan to install tiles on the floor or on a wall, because it will be hard to perform such a task without the right kind of tools. For this, you first need to know all the tools a professional requires for a job of this kind. Then, you will choose the tools that will help you with your work, tools that should not miss from your reliable toolbox.
While the process of tiling a surface is considered by many a type of art, selecting the right tools and using them is not such a creative process. Affordable is not always good, especially for large tiling projects, as it can be tough to obtain the desired results with tools and materials that are below average. When you choose to work with cheap materials and tools, your work can be delayed, you risk getting the tiles damaged, and can even end up getting hurt or injured.
Believe it or not, the right set of tools can help speed up the tiling process, making most tiling processes last no more than one day. Below you will find out all the details you need about the required tools, so you'll enjoy the type of finish you prefer the most.
- The tile scribe
You will need to use this tool when you need to cut tiles in a straight line. The functioning principle of this tool is quite simple. Equipped with a sturdy tip, usually made out of Tungsten carbide, this tool can mark straight lines across the glaze of a tile. In the end, you can break the tile along this line, which remains nice and straight. To ensure the success of this method, you need to make sure that the drawn line is perfectly straight, so use a ruler or a straight instrument.
- The tile cutter
Do you need to cut a high number of tiles in a straight line? In this case, you will need the help of a tile cutter. When looking to buy a tile cutter, you'll notice that there are quite a few models available on the market. The simplest and most popular tile cutter design involves a "scribe wheel". This wheel is pulled across the surface of a tile, after a straight line has been marked on it, indicating the way the cut needs to be done. Besides the wheel, the cutter will also have a breaking arm. This arm will be used to detach the cut piece of the tile after the wheel did its job. It may be difficult at first to use this tool, but once you get used to the move, you'll find it easier to use a tile cutter instead of a tile scribe.
As a tip, when buying a tile cutter, make sure it is large enough to accommodate even the largest types of tiles you're installing. Also, it would be great to have a spare wheel with the tool, just in case the one already mounted on the cutter becomes worn.
- A power saw for tiles
A special power saw made for the cutting of tiles can turn out to be very useful when you need to cut numerous tiles in a straight line or when the tiles are thick and hard, such as those recommended for floors. Unlike other cutters, this one is powered by electricity and features a water tank embedded in its design. This water tank will provide water that will be sprayed onto the cutting area, to prevent both the saw and the tile from getting overheated. However, this also means that things can get rather messy when using it.
If you're only a DIY-er and not a professional, the elevated costs of buying such a saw may not make sense, especially if you need it only periodically. So, in this case, renting a power saw may be more cost-effective.
What to check when looking for a power saw:
- What is the motor's wattage – usually, the more wattage you get, the better it will be, as you'll get things done faster, especially when you need to cut hard tiles.
- Take a look at the table's size – you will need to take power saws that have tables large enough to accommodate the size of the tiles you're about to install, making the cutting process easy and comfortable.
- See if the table can be tilted – it is a feature not that used, but it can turn to be handy in some instances.
An important aspect you need to know is that power saws for tiles come in different voltage options. Thus, there are devices of 110V and of 230V. In care you're tempted to go for the 110V AC, you will need a step-down transformer, which will allow the use of this tool with the mains found in UK homes.
Ideally, check the power saw for the following features and accessories, as it makes its use easier and safer:
- A guide fence that can be adjusted;
- A guard for the saw's blade;
- A switch with waterproof protection;
- Protection against overload;
- An embedded water tank;
- A blade with a diamond tip;
Considering the costs of a power saw for tiles, it is recommended to use it for cutting tiles only. Otherwise, you risk damaging it and put yourself in the situation of having to buy another one.
- The tile nippers
A manual tile nipper is extremely useful when you need to cut irregular, small shapes into a tile. With such a tool, you can do this in a controlled manner, and obtain the desired shape, like a circle around a vent or pipe.
- A hand saw for tiles
Do you need to cut irregular shapes when installing tiles? This happens when you need to go around a corner or obtain intricate designs. A hand saw for tiles allows you to perform these cuts faster than a tile nipper. This tool is actually a frame that offers support for a cutting blade specially created for cutting tiles. Just make sure that the distance from the frame's back and up to the blade is large enough to allow the comfortable cutting of a tile.
When using a tile hand saw, make sure you cut the tile on its glazed side, and work your way down with the cut.
- The tile drill
When you need to drill holes in tiles, you will need a special tile drill bit, made out of carbide and specially created for tiles. The same drill bit can be used for glass and mirrors. It is possible to use a hand drill in your projects, but it is always best to utilize a power drill, set at a slow speed. In case you want to use this drill on glass, it is recommended to use a special lubricant, meant to keep the drill bit cool during the drilling procedure. White spirit or turpentine will do.
If you want to obtain professional results in your tiling projects, having good quality tools is necessary to reach such a goal. Skills and talent are not enough to help you obtain the desired outcome, as tools play an important role as well. So, when choosing your tiling tools, try to go for quality and you'll thank yourself later for making such a decision.