Tools needed for tiling

Posted by Chris Sugden on

When done well tiling can provide a stunning surface, whether it’s a wall or splash-back, it creates a hard-wearing and attractive finish that will last years. In fact, most tiling is removed because the owners’ tastes change, not because the tiling needs replacing.

And if you have the right tools needed for tiling, it’s not that difficult a job. Like any job, you need to make sure you measure properly, have the right tools for cutting tiles, and a way to make sure the adhesive and tiles are well-placed and spaced.


It might seem that measuring is unnecessary, you are simply placing one tile after another, but taking the time to measure and think about the space, and how the tiles will fit, can prevent having oddly centred or cut tiles. A simple tape measure will suffice, and a chinagraph pencil — which can write on smooth surfaces — is ideal for marking your tiles and surfaces.

Cutting and trimming your tiles

Although tiles are hard-wearing, they can break unpredictably, which can make them difficult to get into the right shapes when you need to fill an oddly sized gap. That’s why some of the most important tools needed for tiling are for cutting, ideally you will have both a rail and nippers.

A rail cutter can help by ensuring that your cut in a straight line. Unless you are very lucky, you won’t be tiling a space that fits an exact number of tiles, but a rail cutter can help ensure a nice line when you cut. Nippers are useful for nibbling away at tiles until you get the right shape; ideal for when you need to remove a small bit for a pipe, plug socket, or an awkward corner.


Trowels are essential for ensuring that you have a perfect layer of adhesive for your tiles. You need to make sure the adhesive is consistent, but not too thick, which is exactly what a trowel can do. You might want to consider getting a notched trowel, which will leave you with smooth lines of adhesive, ideal for leaving enough sticking power, without overdoing the adhesive.

Spacers and sponges

Finally, you want it all to look great, don’t you?

Spacers are perhaps the simplest, but most important tool for tiling. These little plastic crosses may seem like nothing and are ridiculously cheap (you’ll probably need to buy a bag that has far more than you will need) but they do their job well. Using these at the corners of your tiles will make sure that there’s the perfect gap for grouting between each and every tile, and that they are all perfectly spaced, leaving you with nice even lines.

And, when it’s all done, make sure you have a sponge to clean everything off. Your tiles will be covered in grout by the time you have finished, but a quick wipe with a sponge and all that will be left to do is to take a step back and admire your work.

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