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The Essential Tiling Tools List: 20 Different Types & Their Uses

Whether you’re a professional or home DIYer, tiling can be a long, drawn-out job. It is quite tedious and requires meticulous work for an extended period. Tiling plays a major role in many renovations and construction jobs as well, so you may find yourself doing it eventually. Some professionals do tile a lot.

No matter who you are, choosing the right tiling tools is crucial. There are quite a few things that are essential if you want your tiling job to go efficiently. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most vital tools for these sorts of jobs.

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1. Manual Tile Cutters

manual tile cutter close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

You aren’t going to be doing many tiling jobs without a manual tile cutter. This is a lightweight and relatively inexpensive tool. However, it is essential for most tiling jobs, even if you have some larger machine that is better at cutting tile in bulk.

Manual tile cutters only take one hand to use, are easy to carry around with you, and make precise cuts. We recommend choosing an assortment of sizes and tile types.

2. Wet Tile Saw

Wet tile saw

You cannot get custom tile in most cases. You’ll have to fit the tile to your space instead. The easiest way to do this is with a wet tile saw. This machine will help you fit your tiles together perfectly and get them into the exact shape you need to.

You should only use a wet tile saw for cutting tiles.

3. Diamond Saw Blades

DEWALT Diamond Blade for Masonry DW4712B

When using your wet saw, you will need the correct blade. In many cases, a diamond saw blade is your best option. We recommend having at least a few on hand for all tile jobs.

4. Rubber Buckets

Little Giant Rubber Pail

Rubber buckets are useful for a variety of reasons. For instance, you can use buckets to mix your mortar in or dispose of broken tile pieces. You likely will need a variety of different buckets. We are under the assumption that you can never have too many buckets!

5. Diamond Bits

Baban Diamond Drill Bits

In some cases, you will need to drill into your tile. Tiles are very hard, so you will need diamond bits. We recommend looking specifically for a diamond bit that can be used in wet cutting, as this will reduce the amount of dust made by the drill.

6. Tile Mortar Mixer

Nordstrand Portable Electric Mixer

If you’re laying tile, you need a mortar mixer. Mortar must be very well mixed before it is used. Otherwise, these air bubbles can become trapped in the mortar and cause the hold to be weaker. Mixing removes these air bubbles.

Obviously, you can mix the mortar by hand. However, there are very few people that do that these days. It takes a lot of work and is not very efficient in the least. Mortar is thick. Even a little bit of manual mixing will tire your arm out. For this reason, everyone working with mortar and tile needs a mixer.

7. Tile Nippers

Edward Tools Tile Nippers

For some strange angles, you will need tile nippers. This tool is used for making irregular cuts that don’t need to be very precise. They are a bit more difficult to use than other options. However, in some cases, they are the only tool that can get the job done.

You probably won’t use them very much, but there are some cuts that only nippers can do.

8. Tile Trowel

person using tile trowel
Image Credit: Pixabay

Technically, you can spread mortar around with whatever you have on hand. However, there is a reason that tile trowels are specifically made for this purpose. There are two main types: pointed and squared.

Pointed trowels are used to get mortar out of your bucket—that’s why they are pointy. Squared trowels are better for spreading the mortar onto your actual work surface.

9. Level

tiling with level
Image Credit: Pixabay

Not all tile surfaces need to be level. However, things like tile flooring do. Otherwise, the residents may have a problem with water build up or tripping. A level is an easy and inexpensive way to ensure that everything is going down smoothly.

10. Chalk Line

TAJIMA Chalk Box

To lay your tile down in a straight line, you need something to line it up with. A chalk line is a reliable way to do this. This tool is very cheap and easy to use. You can’t really get much better than it.

11. Rubber Mallet

rubber mallet
Image Credit: Pixabay

At some point, you may need to gently hit on the tile to get it into place. When you do, you want to be gentle. A rubber mallet is perfect for these situations. They are very gentle but are capable of nudging tile in the right direction.

12. Rubber Grout Floats

M-D Building Products 49827 Gum Rubber Grout Float

While this tool may look like a trowel, it has a slightly different job. One side is made of a sturdy piece of rubber. This rubber is somewhat flexible and is used to spread grout over tiles, which covers up the mortar.

These tools come in a few different sizes. You should have a few different ones on hand for different projects.

13. Knee Pads

Gorilla Grip Original Premium Thick Kneeling Pad

Tile floors are not particularly soft. When you’re leaned over laying tile all day, your knees can take a beating. Unless you have with knee pads built-in, you will need to purchase a separate set to wear. The plushy kind tends to work best, as you may be hunched on uneven flooring.

This may be a tool that is easy to skip. However, you’ll thank yourself later for picking up some knee pads.

14. Tile Leveling System

DGSL Tile Leveling System

This is one of those tools that you don’t have to have. However, it makes it far easier to lay a flat floor. If you want to work as efficiently as possible, we highly recommend investing in a suitable leveling system.

There are a few different kinds available. They all have the same purpose and work similarly. Choose the option that best fits your project.

15. Tile Spaces

YIYATOO Tile Leveler Spacers

Tile spaces are very small pieces of plastic that keep all the tiles the same distance apart. They are essential to any tiling project and can save you a lot of frustration in the long run. They’re incredibly cheap, so there is no excuse not to have tons on standby.

16. Grout Sponge

ARMALY BRANDS Grouting Sponge

While laying groat, you will need a special sponge. These are big and dense, which makes them perfect for wiping up lingering grout. You can use other tools for this job, but they just don’t work as well as groat sponges.

17. Tile Scribe

ToolUSA 6 Inch Tile Scribe

You will need to break tile eventually. A tile scribe makes this process much easier. These special tools have a hard tip, which makes it easier to mark on tile exactly where you want it to break. You will need some sort of straight edge for this tool to work properly.

18. Straight Edge

Johnson Level & Tool J48EM 48-Inch English:Metric Aluminum Straight Edge

To use a tile scribe successfully, you need a straight edge. This tool can be little more than a ruler. You will probably find yourself using this tool for more than just guiding your tile scribe. It is just a nice tool to have around.

Straight edges are usually quite inexpensive. You may already have one laying around your house!

19. Tile Rub Stone

Goldblatt Tool Company G02121 Tile Rubbing Stone

Sharp edges left on tile can be dangerous. They can cut you easily and rip clothing. If possible, you don’t want to leave any rough edges on your tile. Even if you don’t harm yourself, you can hurt others who live in the household.

A tile rub stone is an easy way to combat this problem. They are specially made to smooth out the rough edges on tile. We recommend having a few on hand.

20. Hole Cutter

Klein Tools 89552 Hole Cutter

Sometimes, you need a large circle cut out of the tile. In these situations, a hole cutter is likely your best option. These come in a range of sizes. In many cases, you can purchase a set that includes many different sizes. You will need some with a diamond-cutting edge so that it does not break the tile while cutting it.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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