You will probably need to remove some old tiles first, and this is done with a hammer and chisel. This is bound to cause flying debris, so it’s imperative that you protect all surrounding areas and your own eyes. Worktops are best covered with thick cardboard in a kitchen for example, and appliances should be covered with thick sheets. You need to protect your eyes with protective goggles as a piece of splintered ceramic tile can fly up at an amazing speed and with some force. When removing the old tiles you should use a shallow angle of attack to prevent the chisel gouging out plaster from the wall itself.
Also, work away from yourself as much as possible, and be especially careful near a window. Old adhesive can be removed as a separate step in the process. The less damage you do to the underlying wall the easier it will be to get a good result with the new tiles.
Rather than start in a corner it is better to begin in the middles, say the middle of a window. Use your tape measure and mark the middle point. Then using a tile, you can mark out where each will go along a line to the corner to check that tiles will fit without too much adjusting in the corner. You can start with your first tile placed either with its middle or edge on your first mark.
Apply adhesive to the wall with your trowel at about 60 degrees to get an even thickness, or you may find it easier to put adhesive on the tiles, one by one, as you go. Place your spaces between the tiles as you work.
Cutting tiles is done with a tile-cutter and may need a little practice to master, so hopefully you have allowed for wastage of a few tiles. To cut out shapes it is best to make a paper template and transfer the shape to the tile, and then use the wet cutter.
It is best to leave tiles for several hours or overnight before grouting. You may need to colour the grout before using. Any spacers on an edge may need to be removed, before you push grout into the joints over the whole are of tiles. It is important not to let the excess grout stay on the face of the tiles for too long. With traditional grouts you have about an hour, but with some epoxy ones, only about ten minutes. The grout excess is removed with a damp sponge, wringing it out in a bucket of clean water.
The internal corners where tiles meet are usually finished with a silicone sealant or mastic to make them waterproof and give a neat appearance. It is worth using masking tape on the tiles first, leaving the width of join that you aster happy with. Then, simply run a bead of sealant along the length of the join, keeping an even pressure and speed. Run along a wet finger to give a shine. Once set the masking tape can be removed and the tiles polished over to remove any haze.
how do you cut tile with a tile cutter for a house?
Cutting tile for a home can be quite simple but there are many different factors… one being the material you are working with.
If it is a vinyl tile that you are working with you can use a utility knife. To make straight precise cuts use a straight edge along the line you are cutting by pressing the knife along the side of the straight edge.
I do have a feeling however, that you are dealing with either a ceramic, porcelain or stone tile. Most ceramics and porcelains can be cut with a tile cutting device (available for rent at many tool centers) called a scribe. With this tool you will actually score the tile and then press down in order to snap the line you just scored. Although it is a very effective tool, it does require some practice and it is possible that you may break several tiles while getting the hang of it. When you scored the tile… you don’t need to apply a tremendous amount of pressure but only enough to lightly score the tile.
Another tool that will make sufficient cuts and can be used for most ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles is a 4 or 4 1/2 inch angle grinder with a diamond bit blade. This tool very inexpensive (ranging from 30 – 80 dollars) and the blades are typically 10 – 20 dollars. Basically, you go back and forth with the grinder slowly cutting through the entirety of the tile. Be very careful as these angle grinders can injure you severely.
Lastly, you have wet saws that are designed specifically for cutting tile. These wet saws (some much better than others) will be able to cut any tile or stone as long as they are utilizing a good diamond bit blade. Wet saws are much safer than grinders. You can infact stop the blade from spinning with you bare hands… although it is always best to practice safety with any tool. Wet saws actually spray water on and around the cutting surface making clean cuts very simple. Move your line past the blade slowly to prevent snapping tiles. The price range for a wet saw is pretty broad. You can pick one up that will last a few good jobs from Home Depot or Lowes for about $150. Don’t spend less if you’re going to purchase one. Most contractors, such as myself, use much more industrial rated saws and cost as much as $2000… these are designed to last long, and typically cut very large tiles, up to 20 – 22″ on diagnal.
Regardless of which tool you choose to use, consider using a tile file to smooth your cut edges as they can be very sharp. If you are installing tile for your first time, be sure and research the installation very thoroughly. Taking short cuts and using the wrong materials can be more costly than hiring a contractor. Good luck with your installation!
Rodia MS60 Mosaic Tile Cutter
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