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What Tools and Materials Do You Need for DIY Tile Installation?

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by

Tile installation can be a simple project for homeowners who prefer the DIY approach. With a few basic tools and materials and the right know-how, you can install beautiful tile flooring throughout your home. The flooring and design experts at Unique Flooring San Diego have put together a list of some of the tools and materials you’ll need to tackle this project.


Choosing your tile is the most important part of your project because it determines both the look of your floor and the difficulty of the installation. Ceramic, porcelain, and stone are popular choices, and each type has specific attributes that appeal to different homeowners. Unless you are doing an outdoor tile project, ceramic tile is the most durable option and is also the easiest to install. 

Wet Saw

A wet saw is a crucial tool for tile setting because you will eventually hit walls or other obstructions where a full tile will not fit. It is essentially a table saw that runs in water to prevent the diamond cutting blade from overheating. Ceramic tile is easy to cut on a wet saw, but porcelain, stone, and glass tile are more difficult to cut because they are either harder or more brittle than ceramic.

Grease Pencil

Marking the cutting lines on your tile with a grease pencil can make your time using the wet saw quicker and simpler. Grease pencils make a solid mark and won’t wash off with water when the tile is in the wet saw. However, the marks will still rub off easily with a soft cloth.

Thin-Set or Mastic

The adhesive you use for your project is an important choice as well, and the tile manufacturer’s recommendation should be followed when making your decision. Mastic is very sticky and easy to use, but it may not be the best choice for all tile projects. Thin-set mortar is more commonly used for tile flooring projects, and must be mixed with water, then spread on the subfloor before laying the tile.


A trowel allows you to apply the mastic or thin-set in ridges at the appropriate depth so the tiles will be at an even level. The mastic or thin-set manufacturer will recommend the particular type of trowel that should be used based on the substrate and the size of your tile.

To learn more about DIY tile installation, call Unique Flooring today at 760-945-0010. We offer a wide variety of tile flooring San Diego homeowners love, and we also offer installation services in case the DIY route is not right for you. Stop by our showroom or give us a call and one of our knowledgeable representatives would be happy to assist you.

Posted in DIY Flooring



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