There are few things more satisfying than a spot of DIY over a weekend, especially when everything goes to plan and you can be pleased with the work you’ve done.
A popular DIY job, and one that can save you a fair bit of cash that would otherwise go to a trained professional, is tiling. A tiling job well done can improve your floor, or your wall. But do it badly, and you’ll wish you’d handed over the money to a tiler from the beginning.
Tiling is not difficult – but it helps to have all the right tools to help make the job as quick and easy as possible.
A small piece of sponge is useful for pressing grout into joints between tiles. You can use anything, although most tubs of grout now come with a ‘squeegee’ for the same purpose.
You should never use a felt-tip pen to mark a tile as the ink could show beneath the glazed surface. A chinagraph pencil and steel rule will enable you to mark where tiles should be cut – without causing damage.
A tile saw does as you’d expect – cuts tiles neatly to allow for fitting around obstructions, such as water pipes and wash basins.
Depending on the type of tiles you have, a platform tile cutter could be crucial for cutting both floor or wall tiles. Modern ceramic tiles are so hard that hand-held cutters are no longer as good, and a platform tile cutter is a much better option.
Tubs of adhesive often come with a small spreader, which allows you to apply adhesive evenly and easily.
Rough tiles can make the difference between a job looking amateur, and tiles not fitting properly, and a job looking professional. Use a tile file to remove rough edges from a cut tile, or to file it to the right size if it’s cut just a little bit too big.
Use a tile gauge (a length of batten wider than any obstruction) to position tiles around windows or any other breaks in the tiling by marking the width of the tiles on the wood.
Use special drill bits to create holes to accommodate water pipes or other fittings. Hole saws often come as a set containing cuttings of different widths.
Finally, a tile nibbler – tungsten edged pincers – can be used to make very narrow cuts, or for cutting individual mosaic tiles.