Month: March 2018

10 tiling tools no tiler should be without

Whether you are completing a DIY tiling job or are working as a professional tiler, there are certain tiling tools that no project can be completed without.

More importantly, professional tilers should ensure they have the right equipment on hand to ensure a first-class finish. After all, a mediocre, DIY-like job is not going to cut it in the tiling profession.

Once you are trained in tiling and have the skills for tiling, you’ll need to make sure your equipped with the right tools before embarking on any paid project.

As well as a pencil, a tape measure and other obvious DIY essentials like a spirit level and PPE, such as safety goggles and safety shoes, you will need a handful of tools established purely for the tiling field.

As tiling experts and passionate about the industry, UK Pro Tiling Training share 10 tiling tools that no tiler should be without. We explain what they are and why they”re used.

Most of the tools can be bought from various stores online, including ScrewFix, Toolstation and Wickes.

Here’s our checklist of 10 tiling tools no tiler should be without:

  1. Grout Float

A grout float is used once the tiles have been applied to press the grout between the gaps in the tiles. It looks similar to a trowel and feature rubber “squeegee-like” parts that manipulate the grout.

Grout floats do not last for long due to the malleability of the rubber but are not hugely expensive to buy.

  1. Grout Sponge

A grout sponge is a dual-purpose sponge that is made specifically to remove any leftover grout from the tiles.

Use the grout sponge as you go to keep the tiling job looking professional. After all, when the customer is popping in and out of the room, they won’t want to see a whole wall of grout-marked tiles. Using the sponge can keep the room looking fairly polished and the customer feeling happy. At the end of the project, using a grout sponge will give the project a clean and professional finish.

  1. Notched Trowel

A notched trowel is essentially the only way to spread adhesive on your tiles. Made from steel, you’ll need to choose the right type of notched trowel for the tiling job in hand. A curved notched trowel is best for walls, while square notched trowels are usually used for floors. All notched trowels feature a notched edge and a smooth edge.

  1. Tile Nipper

Perfect for awkward edges and irregular areas of tiling applications, tile nippers are hand held, plier-like tools that allow you to cut the tiles into chunks in a controlled fashion.

  1. Rubber Mallet

A rubber mallet can be useful when gently knocking the tiles into place.

  1. Tile Cutters

One of the best type of tile cutters is the rail tile cutter that can be bought in various sizes to suit various types of tile. It is unlikely you’ll get any tiling job which does not involve cutting tiles, There are also electric tile cutters which are used for cutting sections out of tiles.

  1. Tile Spacers

Tile spacers are small pieces of plastic that are used to help you evenly space the tiles on application. Most spacers are cross-shaped and come in 1mm-6mm sizes. Use between tiles to ensure correct spacing.

  1. Mixing Paddle

Mixing paddles are designed to fit to most paddle drills and are used for mixing adhesive and grout. Any alternatives will not give a professional touch to your job, therefore always turn up to a tiling project with a mixing paddle, even if you think you could get away with using another stirring device.

  1. Bucket

Turning up with an old ice cream tub or washing up bowl is far too DIY when you”re a professional in the tiling industry. A bucket is essential for mixing and will save you a lot of time when it comes to clearing up any mess made. For everyday projects a 10L bucket will suffice, for bigger jobs, you’ll undoubtedly need a 25L bucket.

  1. Tile Drill

A tile drill is the only type of drill that will allow you to drill a hole into the tiles without breaking them.

More information on tiling tools from UK Pro Tiling Training

We offer extensive information on tiling tools at our courses at UK Pro Tiling Training. We are also on hand following the course if you have any questions about tiling tools, such as where to buy and which tools can be useful for particular projects.

What is a tiler?

Here at UK Pro Tiling Training, we are experts in tiling and take pride in educating those new to tiling, about the tiling industry and how exactly how to become a tiler.

For us, a tiler is more than somebody applying tiles to a wall. In fact, a tiler is a craftsman, a construction worker, a business man, an artist and more.

At UK Pro Tiling Training, we teach our students every aspect of what it takes to be a tiler, from running the basics of your business, to the actual tile applications.

Dictionary definition of a tiler

The Oxford English Dictionary of a tiler is: “A person who lays tiles”.

At UK Pro Tiling training, we use all our knowledge and expertise to educate the next generation of tilers to be as professional as they can possibly be. There is a clear difference between our professional tilers and those completing a DIY tiling job at home.

What entry requirements are there to become a tiler?

There are no official set requirements to become a tiler unless you want to work on a building site where an NVQ and a CSCS card would be required. In terms of Domestic tiling there are no qualifications required to work in people’s houses.

Younger people setting out in a career in tiling, could find an apprenticeship which would provide on-the-job training.

If you want to work on a construction site? What are the entry requirements for this?

You will need to enquire at the site you wish to work on if you are looking to become a tiler on a construction or building site. Some sites require tilers to carry a CSCS card (this stands for Construction Skills Certification Scheme card). This CSCS card proves that a person looking to work on a construction site, has the relevant health and safety skills to do so. The NVQ qualification is an assessment of your tiling skills, of which a card will be issued to prove this.

What skills do you need as a tiler?

As well as a tiling qualification, you’ll need an array of skills in order to become a tiler. These include:

  • Being able to follow a design
  • Patience to tile patterns
  • Practical skills
  • The ability to complete a job accurately
  • Pay a good level of attention to detail
  • Maths knowledge- calculating materials and costs, as well as for measuring up a job and cutting tiles
  • Creativity
  • Customer service skills
  • Self-employment knowledge/basic business knowledge

How much can you earn as a tiler?

Self-employed tilers can earn anything between £25,000 to £60,000.

Those new to the tiling industry should expect to earn £25,000 in their first self-employed year. Highly experienced tilers could earn between up to £60,000. Essentially, the more experienced you are as a tiler, the more potential you have to earn more. You may grow your business to recruit other tilers, for example, so that there are more hands-on deck to complete customer projects.

What should be expected from the working patterns of a tiler?

Tilers often work between 37-45 hours a week, Monday to Friday. If you own your own business, your hours may be more flexible than if you work for another company.

Weekend work may occasionally be required by some customers, but this is not always the case. If you are working on a project out of your local area, you may need to stay away from home.

Some tilers may indeed work part-time to fit in with their lifestyle, although would still need to meet customer deadlines.

Types of tiler

A tiler will probably lay different types of tiles during their career, including wall tiles, floor tiles, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, mosaic tiles, tiles for kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor tiles, and more.

Instead of progressing and specializing in one type of tiling technique, material or project, career progression usually involves becoming a trainer or assessor in tiling.

Find out more about out tiling courses here at UK Pro Tiling Training

We have a variety of tiling courses available to suit your particular situation, whether you are looking to study full-time or begin your tiling career alongside a current part-time role. Whatever course you choose, you’ll be trained in all aspects of tiling, from business basics to applying various different tiling materials.

Does a tile need sealing

Does a tile need to be sealed?

Most people overlook this treatment when applying wall and floor tiles.

It is really important to understand whether the tile you have bought needs to be treated with a sealer to block the small particles in the surface of the tile.

Failure to treat a porous tile will result in the grout penetrating the tile surface leaving nasty stains that cannot be removed

There are various types of tile that are on the market available for you to tile your projects.

Ceramic Tiles

These types of tiles have a glass glaze on the top of the clay back which provides a non porous surface as the glass will not let anything penetrate it, unless it is un glazed.

There is no need to seal this tile.

Porcelain tiles

A porcelain tile has been fired at a higher temperature than ceramics and this is called the vitrified process, this means these tiles are non absorbent on the front back or sides of the tile.

This is fine on most porcelain tiles but some porcelains have been mechanically polished to give a deep high shine, this leaves the surface of the porcelain tile to have tiny pours which the grout will penetrate. A sealer would need to be applied if it has a glossy look

Natural Stone Tiles

Most natural stone tiles are porous and are made from natural rock. When grout is applied to the surface of the tile to fill the joints it also penetrates the surface like polished porcelain above, this will also leave nasty marks on the stone that cannot be removed.

How to tell if a tile needs a sealant

The best way to check whether a tile is porous and will stain is to use a dry wipe whiteboard marker to test them.

In a small area of one tile apply the ink marker to a corner and leave for a few minutes, once done wipe off the ink, if there is a stain where the ink has penetrated the tile then the tiles will need sealing, if all the ink wipes off with no marks left then there is no need to seal.

The tile shops sell a range of sealers applicable to the type of tile you have bought, simply follow the instructions on the can, leave to dry and grout as usual.

Training

UK Pro Tiling training offers advice on their fast track tiling courses on all aspects of tile installation. For more info please visit www.tiling-courses.co.uk for more info