DIY tools for tiling

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, Home Improvements, Tiles

Having a good set of tiling tools in your DIY arsenal is essential when planning to re-tile any surface, and having the right tools makes the job even easier and produces a professional look. Here are the basic tiling tools and what they do:

Spirit Level

This is an essential tool not just for tiling, but for levelling anything you wish to hang or fix to the wall. A spirit level is used to line up tiles both horizontally and vertically and provides a professional and eye pleasing finish.

Serrated Tile Trowel

Having an even spread of tile adhesive on a wall of floor is essential for a good tiling job and for seating the tile flat against the surface. The serrated tile trowel has a tooth like edge that is perfect for the job.

Tile Cutter

As the name suggests, a tile cutter is used to cut tiles in straight lines for finishing the edges of a room. Most tile cutters use a lever action to first score the tile then snap the tile along the score line; there are also electric tile cutters available, much  like a table top circular saw but these are expensive and usually out of the budget for a DIYer.


Cutting narrow strips off a ceramic tile is near on impossible unless you have an expensive electric tile cutter, but this is where nibblers come in. Score the tile as you would and use the nibblers to break off the unwanted piece of tile. Nibblers look similar to pincers but have sharper jaws made from tungsten carbide.

Profile Gauge

A profile gauge is an essential tool for copying the contour of pipework, door mouldings and more complex shapes. The shape can then be transferred to the tile and cut out with a tile saw. It can also be used when fitting laminate or vinyl flooring.

Tile Saw

A tile saw looks very much like a hacksaw but with one crucial difference. Instead of a blade it has a tungsten carbide rod suspended under tension. This rod is hard enough to cut through ceramic tile and because it is round it can cut it any direction making it a great tool for curved lines.

Grout Spreader

A grout spreader has a rubber blade fitted into a plastic or wooden handle and is used to spread grout into the gaps between the tiles. This tool is a great time saver if you are tiling a large area.

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