Tile Preparation and Repair Tools
Have these tools on hand when you're getting ready for a new tile project or fixing up an old one.
Getting any surface ready for tile installation calls for a mix of both hand and power tools, as described in this section. You’ll also need a putty knife or two (wide and narrow), a paint roller and cover, a circular saw and a jigsaw (for cutting countertop rough tops), a utility knife, a hammer, a notched trowel, and a level.
Backerboard scoring tool
A scoring tool is indispensable for cutting backerboard to size to use under backsplashes, countertops, and (sometimes) floors. This specialized tool’s carbide tip scores a line into concrete backerboard, allowing you to snap it along the line, just like glass.
A 4-in. or 5-in. angle grinder performs any number of useful tasks for surface preparation and tile installation. Fitted with a diamond or carbide blade, it’s handy for making sink cutouts in backerboard or slicing damaged tiles into pieces for easy removal. An angle grinder fitted with a cup wheel is good for cleaning up small areas of concrete in lieu of a concrete grinder.
For cleaning up the surface of large concrete floors, you’ll need a concrete grinder. It has a carbide/diamond cup wheel that’s effective for grinding off high spots on a large concrete slab or removing glue and foreign substances that will interfere with tile bonding. Hooked up to a vacuum, these grinders (available at rental yards) are almost dustless.
Electric drill and accessories
A portable or corded electric drill, preferably a variable-speed model, makes short work of driving screws into your backerboard during surface preparation. A drill is also perfect for powering a paddle-wheel mixer to blend thinset for bonding backerboard and tile. Because of the heavy nature of tile materials, a corded model is preferable for mixing as it has the necessary torque and no battery to run down.
The grout saw, a little hand tool, has a carbide/diamond edge. By scraping back and forth along a grout joint, you can remove grout before doing a repair or replacement.
|WARNING: A first-aid kit, complete with eyewash, is a good thing to have on hand before you start any project and especially if you’re unfamiliar or inexperienced with the particular hazards that different tools and materials present.|