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How to Cut Tiles

Updated: Sep 18, 2020


1-Choosing Tile Cutters

Cutting tiles with glass cutters, manual tile cutters, angle grinders and wet saws all have different advantages. 

  • Glass cutters and carbide-tipped pencils are inexpensive. They are more than sufficient when making fairly simple cuts on just a few tiles. 

  • Manual cutters are sufficient for ceramic tiles and straight, accurate cuts. They may take more time but require less skill. They are less expensive than power tools. However, manual tile cutters may be less effective at cutting tile narrower than 1/2 inch. 

  • Angle grinders are ideal for cutting tile that’s fixed to a wall or cutting special shapes, such as circles or squares, at the center of pieces of tile. 

Safety: Take all precautions to avoid breathing tile dust. In addition to wearing eye protection and a dust mask, seal the vents and room from the rest of the house with plastic sheeting and tape. Open windows if possible. Vacuum up the dust after cutting. 

2-How to Cut Tile Without a Tile Cutter

  • There are several methods for cutting tiles by hand without a tile cutter, using a cutting tool such as a glass cutter or a carbide-tipped pencil. 

  • Before using any tool to cut tile, measure the glazed side of the tile to determine where you need to make the cut. Use a straight edge to mark the line with an erasable marker. 

  • Firmly press the edge of the glass cutter or carbide pencil along the line, using a carpenter square as a guide. Do not cut entirely through the tile. 

  • When using a pencil, you may need to make several cuts. 

  • Place the scored tile over a wire hanger on a flat surface, aligned with the scored line. 

  • Press gently on both sides of the tile until it snaps cleanly. 

  • Sand rough edges with a sanding sponge. 

3-Cutting Tile With a Manual Tile Cutter