3 Reasons to Use a Tile Leveling Tool
Tile installation is a task that requires very specific tools. Everything from diamond blades designed for cutting ceramic and porcelain tile to gear such as tile vibrator leveling machine that is designed specifically for the installation of tiles. In this article we are going to take a look at three reasons to use a tile leveling tool for installing tiles.
Leveling Tile Without a Tile Vibrator
Being 100% truthful, you don't actually require the use of a tile leveling tool. After all, tile of all sorts have been installed for many years with out any specific tools. The challenge though, begins to show up when you reach the limits of how many jobs you can do. You see, installing tile the way it has always been done has limits. Setting the tile, adjusting the tile, and checking the tile for level, then adjusting the tile, checking the tile for level... ...well, you get the idea. Each time you change tasks, you have to put down the current tool, pick up the next tool, then do the task. All of this takes time. And each of the tasks are mandatory for a nice install. Unlevel tile is not acceptable, air pockets behind the tile are not acceptable, and you want to get the job in a timely manner. But even with experience, you can only do these tasks so fast. WHy? because the process has limits.
Installing Tile the Traditional Way Limits You
Successful artisans do great work and are known for the quality of their work. However, if you are like most successful craftsmen, you are always looking for a way to improve your techniques. And, if you can improve your techniques to the point that you increase speed and efficiency, two things happen. 1) you are able to work faster, and 2) you are able to do more jobs in the same amount of time. The traditional tile installation workflow limits both speed and efficiency. Changing tools, doing the task, and checking the quality of the task are all done individually, one at a time. And even then, if the results are not exactly right, each one must be done again. Now that we have established the limitations of installing tiles the way they have always been installed, let's get into the real meat of this article, the 3 Reasons to use a tile leveling tool.
Why Use a Tile Leveling Tool?
The short answer to that question is, "it removes the limits of installing tile the traditional way." How so? Well, that's where our three reason come in. Although these reasons could b expanded to more specific reasons, we are going to focus on how using a tile vibrator directly aligns with the limitations we just discussed.
Speeds Up Tile Setting
The first reason to use a tile vibrator for tile installs is that it speeds up the setting of the tile. Grab the tile, back butter the tile (although some installers actually do not, and we'll comment briefly on this in a bit), place the tile in the proper location. Using a tile vibrator makes this part of the installation price easy because it has a strong suction cup right on the tool. Actually, the tool is a suction cup for lifting tiles made of natural stone, engineered stone, or porcelain tiles. Simply place the suction cup in the center of the tile, and press down on the tool and squeeze the suction lever and voila! You have a good grip on the tile so you can either back butter, or place it directly on the mortar bed. Now, you know that air pockets behind the tile weaken it. With the vibrator though, you eliminate nearly all of the air from behind the tile to get nearly 100% contact! Note what one installer said after using a tile vibrator on a project:
When inspecting the tiles back side, it appeared to perform very well, allowing air to be almost completely removed underneath, improving the tile adhesion to the ground. No need to back butter a tile, since the vibration sets the tile effectively.
Another person made this comment after using the tile vibrator technique to install tile on a job:
Installing large ceramic floor or wall tiles with this tool makes the job easier. In fact it is two tools in one; powerful suction cup for gripping the tile and improving handling and placement and a six speed vibratory tool that quickly settles tiles into the adhesive ensuring a good, secure installation.
As the quote above shows, people that try this new tool, love the way it speeds up the work by making the task easier. But the person quoted above only commented on two of the tools built into this helpful machine. Let's talk about a third built-in tool this machine offers.
Increases Speed of Leveling the Tile
Our second reason for using a tile vibrator to install tile is that it speeds up the leveling process. It's true that the vibrating tile leveling tool incorporates 1) a suction cup tool for grabbing the tile, and 2) a tile adjustment tool for setting the tile (the vibration mechanism). However, setting the tile involves getting it into the mortar at the proper depth and making sure it is level. That is where the third tool comes into play.
Tile vibrating levelers have the level built right into the tool. So, as you are setting the tile and removing the air from behind the tile with the vibration, you are looking right at the level. Remember the repeat step mentioned when we discussed the traditional install process? That step is removed! Well, in actuality it is just sped up so much that it seems like it is removed. Because you are constantly looking at the level while setting the tile, you are able to correct the leveling "on the fly" so-to-speak. And, in some places leveling tile can take more effort. That is, unless you use a tile leveling vibration tool note what one person said after using the tile vibration machine:
It also works wonders on close quarters, where it is very hard to level the tiles.
Yes, being able to do three tasks simultaneously, 1) grip the tile, 2) adjust the tile using vibration, and 3) level the tile on the fly, make this method of tile installation much more effective than traditional methods.
Efficiency Results in Profit Increases
Our final reason to use a tile leveling tool is that the increased efficiency results in higher profits. This is a strong motivator for many installers. But even if you are not motivated by the opportunity to do more jobs in the same amount of time, you still benefit. Why? Because you can use the time that you acquire by working more efficiently, to do something else, even if it is not doing another job. Simply put, If you do the same task, with the same quality, in less time, you in effect give yourself a raise because you did the same task in less time. That means more pay per hour.
Tile Quake Vibrating Tile Leveling Tool
This improved workflow is so effective and makes so much sense that Weha USA has decided to bring you the Tile Quake tile leveling tool that we linked to at the beginning of this article. This tool offers all the benefits mentioned in this article. When you see how it performs, please let us know what you didn't like so we can improve the tool. And let others know what you loved about it so they can benefit too.