One Pro’s Favorite Tools for Working With Tile
Great gear for an easier job and better results
Mini Tool Pouch
Tile work usually means constant kneeling and bending—so carrying tools in pockets or a tool belt isn’t practical. For my latest tile job, I finally got a small pouch, perfectly sized a few essential tools. And since it’s inexpensive, I don’t care if it gets caked with adhesive or grout.
Smooth Cap Kneepads
Every tile setter has a different opinion on kneepads. Here’s mine: Go with smooth, hard plastic rather than textured rubber or fabric. I like being able to slide along—rather than crawl—as I work. Better yet, wiping thinset or grout off of them is easy.
When a large tile is set too deep or tilted, a suction cup is a lifesaver—it lets you lift the misaligned tile without disturbing the others. There are special suction cups designed just for tile work, but I’ve always used a cheapie. Keep in mind that suction cups don’t work well on rough surfaces like slate.
Tile Leveling System
On large tiles (12x12 or larger), uneven edges are a huge frustration, so many pros now use clips that lock edges in plane. These wedge-style clips can be used with special pliers, but I found that inserting wedges by hand works fine, too.
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