Skip to comments.My Son is Learning How to Install Ceramic and Quarry Tile. Any Tool Brand Recommendations?
Posted on 04/10/2012 6:07:51 AM PDT by Chickensoup
My Son is Learning How to Install Ceramic and Quarry Tile. Any Tool Brand Recommendations? I am providing him with tools of the trade. He needs a wet saw that will hold up for a number of installations.
Tile guys out there?
Tile guys out
“Buy expensive tools - only cry once.”
I’ve done a little tile work on the side and I’ve found that really good knee pads are priceless, ha.
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Best Advice Possible
Keep his knees together and lift with his back.
You’ll find few tile guys that haven’t had at least one hernia operation, some two or three. I had an uncle that was in the tile business, and after his third operation his doctor said, “find another line of work or find another doctor.”
He found another line of work. (those boxes are heavy and small)
I’ll echo what grobdrive said in number 3.
Any tool made by DeWalt will be excellent and last forever. Expensive though. Here’s their tile saws: http://www.dewalt.com/tool-categories/Tile-Saws.aspx
Buy only American made tools. Shop around for a good used wet saw like a Rockwell or Delta. He’ll never be sorry.
Stay away from the Chinese Communist crap and you’ll only have to buy the tools once.
I cant help with the tile saw, but any tradesman working on his knees should be wearing the best knee pads available. He will thank you for years to come for the knee pads.
I’ve seen this one used at Habitat
They also make a good tile hammer.
He will need a good score and pop tool as well. Don’t get one of the 12”ers, get one big enough for the large tiles.
He will use the score and popper much more than a saw, but the saw does things the popper can’t do.
“... really good knee pads are priceless”
I heard you would do anything for a pay raise but this is ridiculous!! (LOL!)
This is not life work, this is a skill to have and to barter. He likes driving big motorized equipment too much and is in a heavy equipment program.
Is DeWalt chinese communist crap?
Good timing on this post.... Last night I stopped at Home Depot and picked up a 3/16" drill bit made by Bosch that stated on the packaging that it was for 'tile and glass' (with a note on the back that it was not suitable for porcelain tiles which we all know are harder). I wanted to drill two holes in a ceramic tile and by the time I drilled approximately 1/4 inch, the drill was done... and I mean done. Twenty minutes after buying the bit, I was back at Home Depot returning it. When the lady at the desk asked me what the problem was, I pointed to the back of the package... "Here's the problem right here.... Made in China".
I find that just about everything I buy at Home Depot (that isn't things like lumber) has to be returned because of simply not being 'fit for purpose'.
Unfortunately, that is true for almost everything you buy these days. Most of it is made by a company called Emmerson, which is an old line American name that was bought by a Chinese conglomerate.
Even my beloved Milwaukee tools very carefully skirt the issue with, “assembled in the USA.” That means all of the pieces of the saw were made in China, and when they got here Milwaukee installed the blade.
If you look at a lot of the tools, you'll realize that DeWalt, Rigid, and Craftsman all look the same. This is especially true of table saws. That's because they are all made by Emmerson, with customization of colors and small features to suit each brand.
About the only difference these days is warranty, although you even have to read those very carefully. Rigid’s famous “life time warranty” now has a whole bunch of lawyer language, and in fact is only slightly different then DeWalt's.
Congrats to your son on a recession-free vocation. People always need floors.
I wish more of our young people were going into the trades. They are very honorable, and you can do just fine financially. My son is going to school to be an automobile and diesel mechanic, and is also training to be a firefighter/ EMT.
I recommend you stay away from “Congress” brand tools.
Breathtakingly expensive and basically useless.
Cheap tools are never a bargain.
One point though, keep it clean; particularly the water pump. All that dust can shorten the life of the saw. Although it can be a pain at the end of a long day, the extra half hour he'll spend cleaning it will be well worth the effort.
A good angle grinder with a diamond blade and edge guide coupled with a quality clamp on cutting guide for cutting backer board has been very helpful as well.
Quality floats, notch trowels, good knee pads, adjustable saw horses, a drill powered mixer for thinset/mud and an ample supply of various size spacers, sponges and five gallon buckets too.
Ryobi are fine DYI tools, but I get the impression his sone is perhaps looking to do this as a trade, and if that is the case, I’d certainly go for the professional brands and lines over the DIY lines you can buy cheap at HD.
Ryobi are fine inexpensive DIY tools, but I get the impression his sone is perhaps looking to do this as a trade, and if that is the case, I’d certainly go for the professional brands and lines over the DIY lines you can buy cheap at HD.
HD sells cheap made in china Crap... that’s known. Many tradesmen I know won’t even buy the most basic of materials there, they go to the plumbing supply stores. You’d think a copper pipe is a copper pipe, and a steel pipe is a steel pipe... don’t bet on it.
Go to this sight http://www.johnbridge.com/ and follow his advice.
Ha-ha!! I knew I would hear from you guys on that one.
Buy your son a good face mask. A tile sub-contractor that our family employed for many years died of a respiratory problem caused by inhaling ceramic dust.
You are very generous to help your son establish himself in the business like this.
Should consider renting
You are very generous to help your son establish himself in the business like this.
He is 17 and will get a credit for homeschool with this project.
When my older children were jrs and srs I funded up to 30 credits each at the local college and it was both hs and college credit.
We still have to get through heavy equipment II, Class B and CDL. He is a good worker and an asset to any crew. The voc school is telling me that he is exactly what the local companies will hire, polite, well spoken, and with a good work ethic. I am proud of him.
Although I do agree with you that trades are great for young people, the flooring industry has suffered during this recession/depression. My husband and I have been in it our whole lives and he has now lost his job and I left mine after 15 years to join a more stable flooring supply company. People are not spending money on floors if they can put it off. I will say, that during the Bush years, we made a lot of money. Thank God we are savers because we would be devistated during these “Obama” years. My son is a Fireman/Emt and it has been a fantastic career choice for him. He loves it. Congrats to your son, sounds like a great young man.
As for tools to stay away from: Roberts Tools, and QEP, all made in China and they break very easy.
“I cant help with the tile saw, but any tradesman working on his knees should be wearing the best knee pads available. He will thank you for years to come for the knee pads.”
If nothing else, he must protect his back and his knees. You need to somehow BEAT THE CRAP into him to do so. Both are non-forgiving - screw up once and you’ll have the scar for life (as many of us FReepers, including me, have). Take him to a rehab clinic or have him meet older people who made just one mistake in their career.
It is possible to get him through the “invincible years” without getting hurt, but you have to realize that you are NOT invincible and just because you can pick something up, it doesn’t mean you won’t get injured for life.
“Get the saw from MK Diamond. He’ll cry, but only once.”
I concur. I’ve never heard of them, but that looks like SERIOUS equipment. You buy it once and it probably cuts your time for a job in half.
A very nice birthday or graduation present...
You'd make a hell of a dad or other close relative.
“You’d make a hell of a dad or other close relative.”
Thanks, I have a few that would agree...or will agree, once they’re on their own, and start saying “I can fix that, it’s just the capacitor in the condenser unit”. Right now, I’m more of a pain, but that’s fine - it’s their decades in the future that will be determined by what they learn now. I’m still indebted to a neighbor 10 years older than my parents (deceased now) that took my hand through my learning curve - I’ll NEVER forget him.
I have a lot of experience in this area...let me just say this:
He can make an EXTREMELY good living, if he learns from a craftsman how to do the detail work (showers, tub surrounds, patterns, backsplashes, etc.), in addition to the larger jobs. Guys who are very detail-oriented and meticulous are in such demand I cannot begin to explain it to you. It may take him a little while to get there, but once he gets that reputation he will end up training his own crews to keep up with the work.
Have your extended family let him “practice” in your homes...you could all end up with some great-looking bathrooms & kitchens...LOL!
He is learning on a ground floor room in my house and then moving to a counter in my kitchen. He is then going to work on a friend’s bathroom, and others are interested. I also have four apartments I want tiles, but later.
Thanks for the information. I think that this will be good for him.
Best way to learn is as a helper to an actual tile setter. He won’t need tools until he learns the trade.
DeWalt: way ahead of whoever is second best.