So, you’ve decided to have a go at fixing your tiles yourself? Many people consider it to be quite an easy DIY job but, like all jobs, you need to have the correct kit to ensure success. It is quite easy to obtain complete ready-to-go kits from DIY shops and tile merchants but are they really as complete as they claim? Here’s what we think should be in your tiling tool kit.
Ok so they’re not really part of the tool kit. However, you need to know what sort of tiles you are laying before you start because your choice of trowel, adhesive, grout and technique depends on them. Decide if you have ceramic tiles or porcelain and whether you are laying floor tiles or fixing wall tiles before you go shopping for equipment.
This is used to spread adhesive on the surface to be tiled. They usually have notched edges for creating the parallel lines of adhesive necessary to allow the adhesive to spread without oozing. Different tiling jobs require different sized and shaped notches so make sure your trowel is right for your job.
Grout seals the tiles once the adhesive is dry. A grout float is a small tool with a rubber pad that is used to dab the grout into the joints and smooth it out.
Essential for wiping surfaces and removing excess adhesive and grout.
Unless you buy premixed adhesive and grout you’ll need one for mixing in. You’ll also need one for washing water.
For mixing grout or adhesive.
Your area will almost certainly not be a precise multiple of the size of the tile so you will need to cut some tiles to fit the at the edges.
These are used to trim tiles to fit round pipes or curved walls.
To smooth off rough edges after trimming.
Tiles can throw off tiny fragments when being trimmed or drilled so wear safety specs or goggles.
To protect the rest of the room – you wouldn’t want to damage your shiny new bathroom for the sake of a few sheets would you?
Metal Snips or Hacksaw
Beading or edging is a plastic strip that finishes external corners so the tiles are protected. It can be sawn to length with a hacksaw or you can use metal snips to cut it.
Pencils or Marker pens/ Ruler (for marking straight lines)/ Spirit Level (and/or plumb line for checking)
Wonky tiles will give you years of aggravation so make sure you have the right kit to get them straight. Check and check again before you start work.
Even professionals don’t attempt to keep their lines straight without a little help from these handy bits of plastic.
Diamond Drill Bits
Once you’ve finished tiling you’ll need these to drill into the tiles to mount fittings such as toilet roll holders or towel rails.
Once you have everything ready, you can be sure you won’t have to break off your tiling job, whether for wall or floor tiles in the middle to go and find what you need. This will allow you to complete your jobs quickly, and easily, so you can reward yourself for a job well done.