For sure, the tiles are the most important part of any new tile work when it comes to looks. However, buying and using smart specialty tile accessories is just as important for getting good results that last. Having the right tile preparation, installation, and finishing products on hand makes it easier for both beginners and professionals to complete even large tile jobs quickly, accurately, and for a long time. Here is a list of the most important tile speciality tools you should always have on hand before starting any kind of work.
Spacers: Make grout lines that are always straight and even
Spacers are small, crossed-shaped plastic tiles that are put between each full tile during installation to make sure that the grout lines are all the same width and that messy, uneven grout lines don’t form after the tiles are fully set. Because the spacers are thick, they leave a small, even gap between the tile edges that looks clean and professional. Spacers also make sure that tiles are evenly spaced and lined up across the whole area, so they don’t move while the mortar hardens. And when grout is added later, they keep the sides and edges of fragile tiles from chipping. When you forget to use spacers, you’ll probably have a hard time fixing tiles that aren’t level and fixing grout lines that aren’t clear.
Glues and mortars: stick things together and build up the base of the installation
Quality tile adhesives and mortars are the building blocks of any successful tile installation. They create a strong, lasting bond between the tiles that keeps them in place for good. Different specialty glue are better for installing natural stone tiles, ceramic, porcelain, glass and mosaic tiles that are easily broken. In some cases, mortar beds are used to level and smooth out subfloors that aren’t level before putting down tiles. If you don’t use enough adhesive, the tiles could come loose and sound hollow or come loose totally, which is also known as “drummy.” Don’t skimp on sealants and mortars; they are the most important parts of a long-lasting, trouble-free tile job.
Grout and caulk finish off the look of the installation.
Grout is very important because it fully fills in the gaps between tiles, making the installation look smooth, and it also makes the whole tiled surface look nice. Different types of joints and sizes of tiles work best with different types of grout, whether it is smooth or not. Caulking can also be used to seal gaps and narrow corner joints and places where tile meets different materials, like the tub. With different coloured grout, you can add detail and make patterns that look very fancy. But if you don’t use grout or caulk at all, cracks, chips, and big gaps that aren’t filled will probably show up over time. For wet places, make sure to choose grout that doesn’t grow mould or mildew.
Sealers protect the tops of tiles and the lines between them.
To protect tile and grout surfaces, it is strongly suggested that a good sealer be used on newly placed tiles and grout lines both before and after grouting. Sealers create a barrier that stops stains, makes cleaning easier in the future, stops water from getting into the grout, and greatly increases the installation’s life. There are different uses for both penetrating and surface sealers. Some sealers go deep into porous materials, while others just cover the floor and leave a film on top. By taking the quick extra step to seal, the job is done right.
You can cut pieces precisely with wet saws and tile cutters.
Specialised cutting tools are needed to shape and cut fired clay, porcelain, or natural stone tiles to fit perfectly around pipes, outlets, and rooms with odd shapes and sizes. Wet saws use water to keep tiles cool while they make precise cuts at angles and curves that keep chips and cracks from hurting the tiles. For easier jobs, manual snap tile cutters make straight cuts fast. And holesaws make clean holes for plumbing fixtures and taps. Do not ruin good tiles by making rough cuts that are not supported. By buying the right tile saws, you can avoid having tiles with rough, uneven edges.
Using mixing buckets and a paddle to mix thinsets and grout the right way
If you mix tile sealants, thinsets, and grouts the right way, you can avoid problems that can’t be fixed, like materials that are lumpy or dry. Marked measuring lines on the buckets make it easy to follow the mixing instructions exactly. A power drill attachment called a paddle mixer fully mixes water and dry ingredients into a final mixture that is smooth and even. Don’t skip steps by mixing quickly or using tools that work. Before putting, make sure that all of the setting materials have fully worked.
Grout Float and Finishing Sponge: Making the Last Polish Smooth
To force grout deep into the gaps between tiles and make the floor look like it’s one piece, you need a good rubber grout float. The flexible edge fills in all the gaps in the grout without damaging the tile faces. A grout finishing brush shapes and polishes the final joint lines. It gets rid of bumps and extra grout on the surface after it’s dry. Don’t skip these easy ending steps that will keep you from getting amateur results.
Knee pads and gloves can help protect your hands and joints.
If you don’t have enough padding, putting down tile on your hands and knees for hours on end can cause a lot of joint pain and soreness. When you have to stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time, thick foam kneepads are important for comfort. When you wear waterproof grouting gloves, tile sealants and caustic cement grout won’t dry out your hands after being out in the weather for a long time while you mix and clean up. Wearing these supporting items will protect your knees and hands.
Safety gear is very important for keeping you safe.
It shouldn’t be a choice to buy safety gear like particle masks, protective goggles, earplugs, knee pads, and long arms for tile installation to avoid accidents. Masks keep you from breathing in the dangerous silica dust that is made when tiles are cut and ground. Protect your eyes and ears from debris and loud saw noise with goggles and earplugs. Shoes that don’t slip keep you steady on wet, slippery floors. Protect your skin and lungs so you don’t make any mistakes when you cut.
Cleaning supplies: Keep your work area clean
Having extra sponges, rags, and empty buckets on hand makes it easier to clean up after an installation. Before the materials fully dry and harden on tile faces, microfiber cloths are used to gently buff away thinset residue, grout stain film, and adhesive chalkiness. Always keeping the work area clean makes things run more smoothly and makes each step easier. A clean site stops problems before they happen.
To sum up, if you want your tile installation to look really professional and last a long time, you need to use the variety of tile accessories that are made to make each step easier. Spending a little more on the right tools and supplies will help you finish quality tile projects that last and increase the value of your home or business. Don’t try to save money by cutting corners.