Tools for Installing Substrates
2. Utility knife
3. Cementboard knife
4. Notched trowel
Depending upon your application, you may have to cut and install a substrate of cementboard, plywood, cork, backerboard, greenboard, or moisture membrane. Whichever your tiling project demands, the tools shown here will help you measure, score, cut, and install substrate material with precision.
Drywall squares are used to measure and mark substrates, such as cementboard, fiber-cementboard, and isolation membrane. They can also be used as
straightedge guides for scoring and cutting substrates with a utility knife.
Utilit y knives are usual ly adequate for scoring straight lines in wallboard, cementboard, fiber cementboard, and for cutting isolation membrane substrates. However, because cementboard and fiber-cementboard are thick, hard substrates, utility knife blades must be replaced often for best performance.
Cementboard knives are the best choice for scoring cementboard and fiber-cementboard. The blades on these knives are stronger and wear better than utility knife blades when cutting rough surfaces.
Trowels are useful for applying leveler on ex isting floors and for applying thinset mortar to substrates.
Trowels can also be used to scrape away ridges and high spots after levelers or mortars dry.
Tools for Setting & Grouting Tile
1. Buff rag
2. Grout sealer applicator
3. Grout sponge
4. Foam brush
5. Rubber mallet
6. Needlenose pliers
7. Tile spacers
8. Caulk gun
9. Grout float
11. Notched trowel
Laying tile requires quick, precise work, so it’s wise to assemble the necessary supplies before you begin.
You don’t want to search for a tool with wet mortar already in place. Some of the tools required for setting and grouting tile are probably already in your
tool box, so take an inventor y before you head to the home center or hardware store.
Tile spacers are essential for achieving consistent spacing between tiles. They are set at corners of laid tile and are later removed so grout can be applied.
Grout sponges, buff rags, foam brushes, and grout sealer applicators are used after grout is applied.
Grout sponges are used to w ipe away grout residue, buff rags remove grout haze, and foam brushes and grout sealer applicators are for applying grout sealer.
Rubber mallets are used to gently tap tiles and set them evenly into mortar.
Needlenose pliers come in handy for removing spacers placed between tiles.
Caulk guns are used to fill expansion joints at the floor and base trim, at inside corners, and where tile meets surfaces made of other materials.
Grout floats are used to apply grout over tile and into joints. They are also used to remove excess grout from the surface of tiles after grout has been applied.
For mosaic sheets, grout floats are handy for gently pressing tile into mortar.
Trowels are used to apply mortar to surfaces where tile will be laid and to apply mortar directly to the backs of cut tiles.