A Guide for Choosing the Right Tile Trowel Size
Choosing the Right Tile Trowel Size
Installing tile can be a challenging task, especially if you're new to it. With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to know where to start. One of the most crucial aspects of tile installation is choosing the right trowel size. In this FAQ, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the right tile trowel size.
- What factors should I consider when choosing a trowel size for tile installation?
- What is the importance of the tile placement in selecting the trowel size?
- What is the general guide to the size of trowel based on the tile size and placement?
- What are the different types of notches, and how do they affect tile installation?
- What should I keep in mind for a successful tile installation?
One of the most crucial aspects of tile installation is choosing the right trowel size. Various factors such as the shapes and sizes of the trowels, the types of notches, and the tile size and placement should be considered.
Tile placement significantly affects the trowel size selection. For instance, if you're laying tiles on the floor, the mortar bed needs to be thicker to withstand foot traffic. Likewise, if the surface you're laying tiles on slopes a bit, you would need to back-butter or spread out your mud-bed slightly thicker.
How do I know what size trowel to use for tile?
Here is a standard Guideline to help you make the right choice for a trowel based on tile size:
- 3/16″ to 1/4″ V-notch: Mosaics tiles up to 4-1/2″ glazed wall tile.
- 1/4″ x 1/4″ U or Square notch: 4″ to 8″ tile.
- 1/4″ x 3/8″ U or Square notch: 8″ to 16″ tiles.
- 1/2″ x 1/2″ U or Square notch: 16″ and larger.
There are three primary types of notches - V-shape, U-shape, and square-notch. V-shape spreads less thinset than the same-sized square-notch, while the U-notch spreads out more than the v-notch but less than the square-notch. The major difference is how the thinset lies, affecting tile adhesion.
Choosing the right trowel size is crucial for successful tile installation. The trowel size should match the tile size, and the type of notch you use will affect the concentration level of thinset. Also, consider the placement of the tiles and the surface you'll be laying them on to determine the appropriate trowel size.
To really understand which trowel type to use, and how to properly use it...watch the video below from the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).