Tools for Building Patios
Learn what a notched trowel is -- and how to use one for setting tile -- in this article about the tool geared to novices. I mention a few other types of "trowel" in the article to distinguish them from this more highly specialized tool.
Getting the job done right is greatly facilitated by having the right tools on hand for the project. When setting tile (e.g., for tile patios), the margin trowel is a specialized tool that you should not be without. Learn from a mason what makes margin trowels so special – and why you should have one if you're laying tile.
You don't really want to try to clean grout off a tile patio using a kitchen sponge, do you? There are specialized products called "tile sponges" that make the task easier for you (and who doesn't like "easier?"). This type of sponge can come with special features like hydrophilia.
How to Use a Grout Float
If, upon hearing the term, "grout float," you say to yourself, "I didn't know grout could float," then you desperately need to read this article, my friend! You'll learn all about how "float" is used in the construction industry. You'll also receive a quick introduction to different kinds of floats.
"Polymeric sand? What the heck is that? Is he going all scientific on me?" Yes, I can hear the chorus of moans out there. But really, the reasons for including this product here are pretty straightforward. This article tells you what polymeric sand is, what its purpose is, and where you can purchase it.
How to Use Caulking Guns
If you have lived in a cold climate, the very words "caulking gun" may send a shiver up your spine. I remember, as a child, helping my dad winterize the house in that most depressing of months, November. This involved slapping up the storm windows and caulking around them. You'll find the prospect of caulking a tile patio a happier one, as it marks the completion of a creative project.
What are Tile Spacers?
Here's a nifty little item you may never have heard of (if you "have a life") unless you A. have done tile work in the past or B. are one of those walking encyclopedias who like to lord it over the rest of us. Obscure or not, though, tile spacers jump into the limelight when there's a tile patio to be laid.
Professional mason, Joe Norton recommends modified thinset mortar as a tile adhesive product for outdoor tile patios. But don't be mortified: Joe explains precisely what he means by "modified thinset mortar" in this article. He also instructs us about mixing it, where to buy it, and how much we will need.
Important Tools for Building Patios: Paver Cutters
The very thought of having to cut pavers may cause you to waver on the idea of building a paver patio. But Joe Norton supplies us with ample reassurance that there are tools out there to get the job done with a minimum of angst. He discusses 3 tools commonly used for cutting pavers, including the "guillotine"....
Use a Guillotine to Cut Pavers
French Revolution buffs will love this one. There's actually a tool used to cut pavers called a "guillotine." Those who want tools that are easy to use (a no-brainer, right?) will also love it -- because, as Joe explains, the guillotine makes life a lot easier when building a paver patio.
How to Cut Tile
Cutting tile can be scary. Firstly, many of us are (rightly) leery of power tools, so using a wet saw might be a non-starter. And once a cut is made, you're stuck with the end result (disconcerting to beginners). A mason puts our minds at ease here by explaining using small cutters and wet saws.
Electric Cement Mixer
Mixing concrete is gruesome work. You can make the job go more smoothly by having tools on hand with helpful features. Do yourself a favor by using an automatic cement mixer. Joe reviews Kobalt's electric cement mixer in this piece, helping you decide whether buying one will be worthwhile for you.
How to Install Edging for Pavers
Just as there are edging products that we use to enclose lawns and flower beds, there are, likewise, edging products used to enclose paver patios. Joe talks about some of the types of edging used in such undertakings at the end of the tutorial, after first showing how to install paver edging. DIYers will be relieved to know it is really quite...
Muriatic Acid Safety
Muriatic acid is handy to have around on jobs that involve concrete, mortar, etc. This powerful product can be used to clean surfaces at the end of the job. Muriatic acid is not something to use carelessly, however; learn about precautions to take with it here.
Using Muriatic Acid to Clean Cement
Find out how to clean globs of cement off a patio, walkway, etc. In this tutorial, the example used is cleaning a stone wall, but the advice is just as relevant for cleaning cement off any masonry materials.