Perfecting the art of cutting tile is essential for any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer. You may want to tile a floor, a shower, a backsplash or an accent for any room in your home. Chances are, you’ll be cutting tile to fit around the room, to accommodate the faucet or cabinets and to customize a personal creation. We’ll discuss how to cut tile using a tile cutter and a tile saw.
Tools of the Trade: Tile Cutter versus Tile Saw
- A tile cutter needs to be wider than the tiles. Measure the size based on making a diagonal cut from corner to corner.
- Make sure the tile cutter has a rotating guide for making cuts at different angles.
- Always fill a tile saw reservoir with water before cutting
- Practice cuts using scrap tiles first.
- Buy enough tile to accommodate waste, whether you’re using a tile cutter or saw.
- Mark the glazed tile surface using a pencil, making a tick where a cut begins and ends. Adjust the guide on a tile saw for the correct measurement.
- Slide the lever on the tile cutter so the blade is closest to you. Place the tile glaze side up on the cutter or the saw, making sure the tile sits snug against the stop or guide.
- Score a tile by moving the cutter lever so the steel wheel is on the tick mark at the edge of the tile, then pushing down on the lever and dragging the wheel across the tile with even pressure. Then push down on the lever and apply pressure to both sides of the score line, and snap the tile in two.
- For a saw cut, turn the saw on, move the tile gently into the blade and let the blade to all the work cutting the tile.
- For L-shaped notches, use a tile cutter to score both sides of the tile, and tile nippers to snap along one of the lines and hope the piece breaks cleanly along the second line. If not, that’s why you’ll have more tile than you need, for mistakes.
Finishing the Cut
Use a sharpening stone to smooth out the cut edge of a tile, unless it will be hidden under molding.
To learn more about the aesthetics of installing tile, read our two blogs: Install a Tile Backsplash in Your Kitchen for a Fresh New Look and The 4 Secrets to Beautiful Tile Accents in Your Home.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with renovating your bathroom or kitchen. From tile cutters to tile saws, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.