Tile Leveling Systems – Candid Talk

Tile leveling clips for tilers

Tile leveling systems, tile leveling clips and tile leveling spacers.

No matter what you call em, they all do the same thing.

Fine tune tiles and help you achieve a perfectly flush tiled finish without having to worry about overnight slumping or tile curvature.

These systems have been around for 10 years or more and they still garner a wide range of attention, polarizing opinions and mockery from tile setters. The truth is that there are many schools of tiling, we all know that every job requires a different approach, a slight deviation from the norm and simply doing whatever it takes to achieve that perfect and lasting finish.

Many tilers hate tile leveling systems. They feel that they are stooping to a low, to a level shared by hacks, handymen and GC’s trying their hands at tiling. This is a common view point and you all online forums where tilers talk are rife with conjecture whether or not tile leveling systems are good or bad for tilers.

I find it funny that after 10 years of being on the market, with countless companies making their own versions and it becoming a common tiling tool, tile leveling clips are still so widely discussed, argued over and splitting the ranks between us setters.

I personally love tile leveling clips and the amount of work they save me during tile setting. Yes, they do slow down the setting process overall but if you factor in the time of lifting a tile that’s lipping, applying more thinset and tuning it to be flush, to downright removing a lipping tile because it slumped overnight – using leveling spacers is simply quicker and easier and helps achieve a better result.

Wooden plank tiles, the nasty ones that come precurved from the factory, those were made to be set with tile leveling cips. You can easily remove the curvature from the plank tiles using enough clips in the ends and get a finish that your client will pay for.

If you want to read more about tile leveling systems, I wrote a full guide you can read on my main website. I discuss the best tile leveling systems you can currently buy and try answer as many questions are I can about their use and history of the clips.

There is no reason not to use these great tiling tools, their out there, guys are using them and their getting paid – at the end of the day, that’s all that counts right?

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The Best Grout Sealers – Review

The best grout sealer

The Best Grout Sealer Review.

The best grout sealers, and tile sealers are one and the same thing – let’s clear that up right now.

The sealers can work on both tile and grout but for brevity sake, the internet prefers to call the magical tiling solution as a grout sealer. Mainly because every day homeowners hear the term grout sealer much more then they hear the term tile sealer.

This grout sealer review is a brief overlook of my proper grout sealer review on Tilersplace.

You can read all about the products there if you wish, otherwise I will show you the best grout sealers here.

If you are looking for a great grout sealer for most situations, that will seal any grout properly and without fuss, you can choose the Aquamix Sealer’s Choice Gold.

It only requires two to three coats for optimal results that will last for over a year in heavy use conditions.

It is also a versatile tile sealer that provides a natural and non-sheen coat on your tiles.

For porous tiles and grouts, like pebbled shower floors, I would go with Miracle Sealants – Porous Plus.

It works by staying close to the surface and sealing the pores, that way, no dirt and grime can penetrate deep into your tile or grout. The way it does this is with the help of an added polymer.

Two coats of this is recommended as you want a thorough coating of those deep pores and extremities.

The last grout sealer I would look at is Miracle Solutions – Seal & Enhance.

This is your go-to sealer for natural tiles like travertine that really benefit from a glossy and enhanced color look.

It is solvent based and the extra smell is worth enduring as it creates a truly beautiful finish and really completes a tiling job with natural stone.

I use this one most often on any work with natural stone as it protects the tiles during installation from any cement and grout staining.

There you have it, short and sweet.

These three grout sealer’s should cover the most use cases of tile sealing you would encounter. If you require more information and links where to buy these sealer’s at the cheapest price, visit my article.

 

 

The best grout sealers

Removing Grout Guides

I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks writing up some mammoth guides to grout removal from tiles.

The internet is sorely lacking on properly guides to removing grout with a lot of websites give you the most basic instructions on a job that is far from simple.

The guides that I have written go into absolute detail into which tools you will need for the job and proceeds to talk about site preparation and finally how to remove grout itself.

I have written two guides that focus on the two most popular grout removal tools separately.

The first guide was how to remove grout with an oscillating multi-tool

The second is how to remove grout with a grout saw.

These two grout removing tools are the staple of grout removing and very popular tools. They also suffer from some of the worst guides on the internet with tutorials shorter than the introduction page on one of my guides. It’s that bad.

These two guides contain everything I know about grout removal and I believe they should teach any one on how to remove grout effectively and safely from any tiled surface.

If you are looking for some help removing grout, I sincerly suggest you take a look at those guides and read up on what’s involved.

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Follow Me On Quora

As the title says, follow me on Quora if you would like to keep up to date with my questions and answers that are all to do about tiling!

I have answered quite a few questions on there from various users and it is slowly turning into a neat little database of helpful info about tiling, grouting and tiling tools.

You don’t even need to sign up to use Quora, just use your Gmail or Facebook account to login and click follow.

Definitely give it a browse if you have never been on there before as there are so many questions and answered to a whole array of subjects including tiling.

Since I specialize in tiling, I only answer tile and grout related questions but have found the site useful for many things.

Once you’ve done reading, follow me on Quora and have a browse through my answered questions, you might even learn something that you didn’t on Tilersplace.com!

Enjoy!

How To Cut Tiles

Tiles – one of the most misunderstood materials to cut, shape or drill known to man.

For someone that has never worked with tiles before, the idea of cutting them will either produce minor forms of panic or heavy levels of frustration as they try cutting them and end up breaking the tile.

This often results in tiles being thrown against the wall, excessive swearing and heavy alcohol abuse.

Fortunately, nowadays, we have this little known resource called the internet where one can learn to do whatever they want.

How to build a swing, how to hotwire a car and of course how to cut tiles.

Unfortunately, the abundance of information on this internet makes it hard for one to know who is telling the truth or whether their tile cutting tips are real or just another amateur shearing their half assed attempts at working with tiles.

If you are lucky and I have done my job well, you will stumple upon the Tilersplace guide to cutting tiles and learn how to cut tiles correctly.

I wrote that guide at the beginning of my net career so the layout may not be as beautiful as my later works but the information there is all solid, including the suggested products and methods.

The reason for the guide was simple: To create the ultimate resource for people to learn how to cut tiles easily by showing them the correct products and techniques on cutting tile.

So far it is one of my most shared articles so I guess it’s doing it’s job and people are enjoying it.

Best Hand held tile saw
Hand held tile saw for cutting all forms of tiles.

Why are Tiles hard to cut?

Tiles are essentially glass ware, well that’s putting it very simply.

They are a mix of sand and clays that are then fired in a kiln to very high temperatures, enough to fuse the materials together and make a solid. A glaze is also introduced to the top to provide the pattern and finish.

This makes tiles very strong but fragile if introduced to certain stresses.

Like dropping them on the ground or cutting them incorrectly.

The common mistake that people make is that they assume tiles are like paving stones or a similar concrete like substance.

Concrete is very soft and durable in comparison to tiles, but then concrete is also very porous and absorbent.

If you attempt to cut tiles like a paving stone you’ll likely break the tile. You can’t just use a hammer and cold chisel and snap pieces off nor can you use a masonry blade to cut tiles.

You need to think of tiles like glassware.

How do you cut glass?

With a fine tipped glass cutter and snap the pieces off.

Well what do you think a manual tile cutter is?

It scores a nice line along the glaze which creates a weak point that provides the breaking point. The snapper then comes and applies even pressure across that weak point and bam, your tile is in two pieces.

If you want to read an in-depth guide to tile cutters, you can go here.

Hopefully you have a better idea into what it takes to cut tiles correctly now, it’s not rocket science but the right knowledge is required for success.

Go on and read my guides on my website and you’ll be cutting like a professional tile setter in no time.

 

You can read my guide to cutting the correct tile cutter for the job here.How-to-tile-cutter.jpg

 

Grout Sealing – Let’s Talk

Grout sealing guide on tilersplace.com

Definition According To Dictionary of Carl Anders, Tiler esq: Grout sealing : the act of sealing tile grout with a specialist fluid that makes grout waterproof and stain resistant for a short period of time. Usually applied by industrious homeowners wanting their investment to remain beautiful and durable for years to come.

So let’s have a quick informal chat about grout sealing and whether or not sealing your tile grout is worth the hassle.

I get this question every week or there abouts by homeowners. It’s either during the tiling work or after I am done and applying the final touches like silicone sealant etc.

“Do I need to seal the grout?” Is a common opener. Some owners have already gone out and purchased the grout sealer and are already asking “when can I seal the grout?”

I’ll skip the first question as that’s a whole nest of ants wrapped in a honey badger in the hood of your car on a hot day. Don’t ask me what that means but it sounds good.

And fun.

Facial lacerations anyone?

The answer to question two is: I’d wait about a week for the grout to fully cure and allow it’s chemical processes to cease. Let it harden properly and stop giving off what little fumes it would be doing.

The grout sealer manufacturers say about 48hrs, so you can even go with that if you are in a hurry to start using that new shower immediately.

The first question?

Hmm.

Well sure, you can go and seal your grout, it’ll retain it’s color for longer as it’ll be more resistant to staining, it’ll be mostly waterproof for a while and you’ll have an easier time cleaning it up.

BUT.

There’s a butt my friends, and quite a large and unattractive one.

Applying grout sealer is not a one-off dealy.

You need to keep up the maintenance and apply the grout sealer atleast annually to retain the benefits of grout sealer.

Ideally, atleast twice a year, even more often in high traffic areas because believe it or not, a liquid solution applied to grout does wear off over time.

Especially if you are good and mop your floors on a regular basis, have a busy family and all that, that’s a lot of stuff rubbing that sealer off your grout.

So if you are happy to reapply the grout sealer to your grout, then sure! Go ahead and apply that bad boy stuff, you’ll be happy for it.

Just remember to maintain it and reapply!

That reason alone is why I very seldom apply grout sealer for my clients, as I have been burned in the past by them.

“Oh carl, you tiled my bathroom 6 months ago and sealed my grout. I have noticed the sealer has worn off in places, can you come and reapply it for me? It’s under warranty right?”

6 months later. “Oh carl, can you reapply my sealer for me?”

4 years later “Oh carl, my sealer has worn off, come reapply it for me under your warranty conditions.”

….

Yeah….

Just like cars, perishable items that are designed to wear out like brakes and oil, tyres and wipers, are not covered by a warranty.

Neither is grout sealer or silicone.

That stuff needs to be replaced in time and no I can’t come for the rest of your life to come and replace it.

After a few bad experiences and clients who tried take advantage of me cause I look like a nice guy with the busy beard and smiling eyes, I had to take a stand to stop offering it as a service.

And teach my clients how to do it instead!

Oh, and I teach the internet how to apply grout sealer as well!

If you would like to learn how to apply grout sealer, follow this link!

It’ll teach you everything you need to know how to seal grout, which grout sealers work great and many other handy tricks of the trade.

So that’s my stance on grout sealer, it’s a great product and useful for homeowners but it’s not the magical cure-all as it does need maintenance and up-keeping.

If you want a one stop solution that is permanent, get Epoxy grout!

But that’s a barrel of fishes I will leave for another day as Epoxy grout makes a honey badger look like a squirrel in comparison.

It’s one bad mofo that makes grown men cry.

Grout sealing guide on tilersplace.com

 

Work Continues

It’s been busy here in Tilersplace land.

I recently published my knee pad review about the Rubi Gel Duplex knee pads. You should check it out if you have a moment, I did some things I haven’t done before, and blended the lines of respectability.

Well, that’s subjective really, but since I generally go for a G-Rated, family friendly stlye, my latest article is definitely more adult themed.

Yes, an adult themed knee pad review.

Tilersplace.com is breaking new ground yet again, whoo hoo.

My 2 regular readers are in for a treat that’s for sure.

Apart from the knee pad review, I just published another epic How-To guide.

It’s an in-depth guide to removing grout with an oscillating multi-tool.

I looked around on the web and there are some pitiful guides ranking on the first page of google and my skin crawls at the amounts of people reading those weak guides.

The problems with those guides is that they assume the reader knows a lot of stuff that they obviously don’t. Their presumptuous and skip a lot of details.

There is one site that I wont name but it rhymes with bruce and starts with the letter S.

They should be ashamed of even publishing such guides on their massive site, you’d think they would try a bit more.

They don’t even bother to take their own images, they just include copyright info to every image they jacked from someone else’s site!

Well, you know me. I take pride in my tiling articles and actually take photos of my own.

Anyway, if you’d like to check it out, here’s a link!How To Remove Grout With An Oscillating Multi-Tool

My Google Drive – Useful Links

For anyone that is interested, I have provided access to my Google Drive Folder.

In here, you can view a lot of my raw files and notes about my latest tiling articles and photos that I store before they go live.

I believe it could be quite interesting for those who want to see how my articles come together and the backend of my website.

There are also a tonne of links to my articles and quick links to other things that you can browse at your leisure.

The link to my drive is here, give it a look if you are bored.

brown brick road
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Rubi Knee Pad Review – In The Works

If any of you have visited my website, you would know I have some sort of an obsession with knee pads for work.

Not only did I write the world’s longest knee pad review, I wrote an in-depth article in the importance of knee pads and why you need a pair if you work a lot on your knees.

I also wrote another series of knee pad reviews for specialist trades.

That is A LOT of words written about knee pads.

I still get laid…

Perks of having an understanding wife.

Anyway, recently I picked up a new pair of knee pads created by famed tiled tool company; Rubi Tools.

They have created this super padded, hybrid pair of knee pads that have removable shells for a variety of surfaces.

Since no one has written a review on them, I figure my review will have a place in the world and be of use to someone.

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