Tile Equipment Overview

There is a lot of necessary and unnecessary tile equipment lining the aisles of Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware. No need to buy it all. Here is a list of what you actually need. We are at  Jordans Tile  call it the “essentials kit.”

Tile Saw

Tile saws (or tile wet saw) come in all price ranges and although you get what you pay for seems to always apply, a $99 wet saw will probably do the trick for most of you out there. A good rule of thumb is this if you have less than 200 sqft of tile a $99 saw will probably do the trick.

If you have more you might want to consider stepping up to the next level and spending $200 to $300. If you’re building your own house and tackling all the tile yourself step up to the $400 to $500 range.

Home Depot always has seven to 10 saws to choose from such as Felker Tile Saw, Dewalt Tile Saw, MK Tile Saw, etc.

Don’t want to own? Most home improvement stores rent a tile equipment like a tile cutting saw.

Tile Grinder

An alternative to a tile saw, a tile grinder with a diamond blade is a great piece of tile equipment and works with many applications and inside cuts, however, the dust and vibration get a little old after awhile. If you’re doing a whole kitchen floor or more I would definitely consider a $99 wet saw.

The time and aggravation you’ll save may be worth well more than $99 bucks not to mention all the dust!

Tile Snap Cutters / Tile Breaks

Seems everybody calls them something different, but they all do one thing… score a straight line in your tile and snap it on that line.

In my experience, most people end up using these to throw through their walls rather than cut their tile with. There is an art to using these that takes time to master. Plus my snap cutters cost from $125 to $300 each the ones you’ll be buying cost $35 to $50, mine is much easier to learn on. I strongly urge most of you to shell out the extra $50 bucks and just get a $99 wets saw in most cases this will save you money.

Tile Nips or Tile Nippers

This is a handy little piece of tile equipment for professional tile installers but may just end up being a waste of money for the one time user. If you’re tackling an entire house these might pay for themselves otherwise save your $15 bucks. There is a set of nippers called Parrot head nips that may be able to help you if you’ve installed tile and then found out that a hole isn’t big enough for a shower valve or faucet. These nips are pretty good about getting into tight spaces and giving you the room you need for your plumbing.

Hole Saws

Carbide hole saws are nice and cheap perfect for the three or five holes you may need to drill in your new shower, but only when your shower is in ceramic. Carbide will cut through the harder tiles if you have the time and want to put 1000 lbs of weight into your drill.

Diamond hole saws are the way to go for all hard surface tiles, use plenty of water and keep the pressure on the drill and you’ll get there.

Tips and Tricks

Hole saw water dam, a cheap way to go is to buy a wax toilet ring and put it around your area to be drilled. Whatever you use just be sure to keep the water on the bit.

Tile Grout Removal Tools

Utility knives work well on non-sanded grouts. There are several grout scrapping tools out there that will do the job, but most are long and tedious jobs.

The ultimate tile equipment/grout removal tool is the Fein multitask tool, it vibrates a carbide bit that basically agitates the grout lose. Then you vacuum the loose grout out of the grout lines and you’re ready for new grout. Removing grout from any tool is a huge chore and should always be your last option.


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