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Installing Your Own Granite Tile? Here's a Rundown of the Tools You Need

Whether you're installing backsplash or floor, granite tiles are relatively simple to install if you have the right tools.

One of the first steps to successfully installing granite tile is to assemble the appropriate everything you need. The installation is a multi-step process, and different tools are required for different tasks. Before taking on your granite tile project, spend some time familiarizing yourself with all the tools you'll need.

Stone polisher: This handy tool uses a series of pads that range from fine to coarse and is used to smooth out rough or sharp edges. Pick a nice sunny day for this part so you can polish your tile outside and avoid a mess in your home.

Tile saw: You don't have to be an expert stone mason to know you're going to have to cut at least some of the tile for your project. The tiles placed along the wall will most likely need to be trimmed, so either rent or invest in a high-quality tile saw to get the job done right. If cutting is performed with a saw, always use a wet saw with continuous water bath to avoid generation and breathing of tile dust.

Level: Once your pieces are ready to go, you'll need to make sure your surface is even. It's best to use a level before you start the tile-laying process.

Circular saw: You'll need to cut out the plywood base and cement backer board to serve as the foundation for your tile. Make sure you have a sharp blade (and a spare) for this part of the project.

Drill: Having a drill is half the battle, and it will come in handy if you need to drill holes through the tile to run wires or plumbing. You'll need to charge it the night before you use it to make sure it's ready to go.

Notched trowel: This tool is a necessity for spreading tile adhesive on your prepped cement board surface.

Float and sponge: To fill in the cracks of your granite tile, you'll need to use a grout float to force the grout into the seams. Then simply wipe off the excess with a damp sponge to make sure it doesn't dry on the tile.

Before you get started, organize tasks, breaking out your materials list into sections. This will assure that you only have to make one trip to the hardware store. For example, make a shopping list with headings like "mixing," "cutting," "setting," and "cleanup." Materials in each section will likely be located near each other in the store, which will save you time.

Don't be afraid to ask questions at the home improvement store. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just embarking on your first project, it's always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the tools you'll use.

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