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Tools for Tiling

Tiling is ubiquitous in homes, on the walls or floor, or both. Over time, tiles can become cracked or damaged and every DIY enthusiast will be required to repair, replace, or install tiles at some time during their lifetime.

To start, homeowners should use plumb-line and a spirit level to locate the mid-point of the wall and mark the horizon with a pencil. They should make and use a tiling gauge - a straight piece of wood cut to size - to check the tile count to the corner. An adhesive spreader should be used to apply the correct amount of adhesive to the wall or floor.

However, when tiling near obstacles, homeowners will need to cut tiles to shape. A chinagraph pencil is the best marker for tiles. Marker pens can get into the glaze and pencil marks can easily be wiped off.

The cutting of tiles to the correct shape and size is a difficult job and an excess of tiles is always required to cover breakages. Homeowners should use a tile saw to cut tiles into complex shapes. Tile corers with hardened tips are good for creating simple, unidirectional snaps while a platform tile cutter is ideal for use when working with thick, hard tiles. Finer adjustments can be made with a tile nibbler or a tile file.

For a neat finish, homeowners may wish to use little plastic X-shaped tile spacers to achieve neat, regular spacing, and a sponge for final grout application and cleaning up upon completion.

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