Floor Tiling Tools of the Trade

Have an itch to try floor tiling? You’re definitely not alone. There are thousands of people just like you that want to try their hand at what many call “decorative flooring”. Depending on what you want the finished product to look like, this may or may not be true for you. Some people just like the simple tile look, while others love “the fancier the better!”

Before starting out on this task however, first you need to know what tile and sub-floor you will be putting down, once you’ve figured that out, you then need to consider what kind of tools you will need. There are some basic, important tools that anyone needs to start their floor tiling project. As there are tools that are nice to have, but not necessary, let’s talk about the important ones first.

First off, you may have some of the tools necessary already. Do you have a large bucket? A Long straight trowel? Framing Square? Chalk Line? Hammer? Cheese Cloth (drying dishes towel)? Safety Gear, including knee pads, eye wear, and earmuffs? How about a Caulking Gun? Do you have Straight Pliers? Tape Measure and a Pencil are also very important tools that most people will have on hand. The good news is that you probably already do have most, or all of these tools, which means you’re already on your way to completing your floor tiling tool collection.

Other tools you will need to purchase include a notched trowel (1/4″ x 3/8″ normally recommended), tile breaker (if you’re laying ceramic tile), tile saw (whether wet tile saw or angle grinder fitted with a diamond blade), tile spacers, 6 in 1 tool, grout applicator, and grout sponge.

Now, depending on what type of subfloor you plan on putting down, this will determine what other tools you may need. For instance, if you’re putting down a ¾” construction grade plywood subfloor or, you’ll need a drill, drill bit, and skill saw. If installing concrete board, you’ll need a drill, drill bit and a carbide cutter to score the board. If you’re using the Schluter DITRA system, then all you need is a knife to cut it and a ¼” v-notch trowel to lay a coat of mortar underneath. For steel or plastic mesh, you will need a pair of snips. The best and easiest subfloor of course, would be a concrete floor, no work required, unless of course the floor isn’t flat or it has cracks in it, you’ll need a hammer, cold chisel, and/or an angle grinder.

That’s about all there is to it. Once you’ve figured out what you have, what you need for your situation, and you’ve gone out and got the appropriate tools, well, then you’re ready to go! Have fun tiling.