a margin trowel being used to spread thinset adhesive onto a surface

Margin Trowel

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

Tiling can be both a difficult and rewarding job for even the most experienced DIYer. However, many of those difficulties can be avoided by making sure you’re using the right materials and tools. Everything, from the thinset down to the margin trowel, should be planned out accordingly to get the best results.


A margin trowel is a specially designed hand tool that is typically used for both mixing and working thinset mortar into tight spaces and corners. It is one of several types of masonry trowels and is identifiable by its flat nose and V-shaped back. They are typically made from quality steel and have a wooden handle.

Are There Other Types Of Trowels? When Do You Use Them?

There are various types of trowels available for a range of different projects. Choosing the right one just takes a bit of knowledge:

  • For beginners, there are three main categories of trowels: masonry trowels, garden trowels, and float trowels. Each category has several variations available for performing different tasks.
  • There are some common masonry trowel variations used in many DIY projects. The bucket trowel, with its wide blade, is often used for scooping mortar or adhesives; whereas, the gauging trowel has a rounded tip making it useful for measuring portions.
  • Pro-Tip: Keep a plastic bucket on hand for cleaning and transporting your trowels. Use the trowel handle to hang the trowel blade inside the bucket. The remaining mortar or adhesive will run off into the bucket and make clean-up much easier. The bucket can also double as a carrier.