How to cut a floor tile without tile cutter

Do you know how to cut tiles for the floor at home with improvised tools??

With the development of technology, the popularity of ceramic floors of buildings has increased. Kitchens, bathrooms and corridors are hard to imagine without tile, but for the living rooms are increasingly used ceramic coatings with heating. Floor tiles are easy to care for, reliable, durable and visually appealing. Also, such coverings do not burn, are not afraid of water and do not cause allergies among tenants.

Laying tile on the floor is not too difficult. It deserves attention how to properly cut or saw such material, not “for firewood,” but for the floor. Of course, such precise work under force only to qualified specialists, who use special equipment for cutting tiles. a mechanical or electric tile cutter, equipped with a diamond wheel and water supply directly to the line for trimmer notch. You can cut tiles quickly and easily with this device.

Tile cutters are available mechanical and electric

At home, it is not always possible to use a professional tool for cutting tiles. First, it is not always feasible, since the laying of floor and wall tiles takes a small part of the total repair. Second, the tile cutter has a fairly high cost, but allows you to work only with certain sizes of tile.

With non-standard variants it can not cope. Ceramic floor tiles differ from wall tiles in their thickness, relief, strength and structure. To cut it, you need to put more effort. Folk craftsmen have learned at home to solve such problems with improvised tools and means. It is recommended to use their extensive experience.

Floor tiles can be cut with a tile cutter:

  • threaded lathe cutter with a ruler;
  • glass cutter;
  • A drill bit with a pobedite tip;
  • Metal hacksaw with an abrasive rod;
  • “angle grinder”;
  • drill;
  • jigsaw;
  • an ordinary office knife;
  • tile cutter-pincers.

How to cut tiles without a tile cutter

In the production of various construction works by yourself, there is often a need to cut ceramic tiles at home. To do this, it is not necessary to have a professional tool. a tile cutter. We should say: This is not a permanent job and large volumes, but small batches or even single pieces of product. In such cases, buying an expensive tool does not make sense, it is quite possible to do with improvised means.

  • cut in a straight line. At the same time it is necessary to distinguish where the cut is made. If there is less than 2 cm from the edge of the cutting line, it can be called a curved cut;
  • Round holes in the tiles of different diameters;
  • Shaped cutouts;
  • Mosaic elements. If there are requirements for precise geometric shapes, this type also refers to shaped cutouts. Otherwise, it is actually breaking tiles into pieces. Products are placed in a bag and crushed to the required proportions with a heavy tool (hammer, sledgehammer). The exception may be non-ceramic tiles.

Methods of cutting tiles

The following methods are mostly suitable for cutting tile at home. But are also applicable or limitedly applicable to other types of tile. You can cut tiles without a tile cutter in the following ways:

Angle grinder (angle grinder)

Generally speaking, it is a universal tool. Just as craftsmen once could cut down a house with a single axe, so now with a single angle grinder they can cut out anything. The author has witnessed how to cut an even circular hole with a diameter of 5 cm.

Note! The method is suitable for straight, curved shapes and, if you have a minimum skill with the tool, for curved lines of any configuration.

  • Angle grinder. Any power and any kind;
  • Cutting wheel (stone or diamond);
  • Protective helmet or goggles (mandatory);
  • Protective fully covered suit and gloves (recommended);
  • Respirator (recommended);
  • Clamping. Additionally in some cases (clamp or vice).

Pre-mark the tile, preferably with scratching the line with any sharp tool. As a last resort, lines can be drawn with a construction marker. The work generates a lot of dust and the marked lines can be erased when it is removed.

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Small straight cuts on the edges of the tile can be made by laying the tile on a flat surface on a table or on the floor. First cut a few millimeters into the surface. With this operation, the tile’s own gravity and the friction force are enough to hold the product in place. For deeper passes, you can additionally step on the edge or hold an assistant. At shaped cuts it is better to fasten the product with a clamp to the table top or to fix it in a vice, having put pieces of cardboard or a thick cloth under the jaws beforehand.

floor, tile, cutter

Tip! Place a piece of plywood under the workpiece to avoid damaging the surface of the table or floor.

  • On the outer edge, the marks are repeatedly traversed along the entire length. Deepens to 3 mm in one pass. Repeat the operation until the result is achieved;
  • With small sections, up to 2 cm in length, at once for the entire thickness;
  • The marking is made on both sides. A shallow cut (up to 3 mm) is made along the face. Then the reverse side is cut (up to 3 mm per pass) until the target is reached. This method avoids accidental damage to the face by the cutting instrument.

Recommended for difficult cuts: on edges or curved cuts. The fact that with this method there is a lot of dust, the consumption of the cutting blade, time and labor costs. An ordinary straight trimmer line can be cut in much simpler ways.

Electric jigsaw

If neither a tile cutter nor angle grinder is available, an electric jigsaw may be appropriate. A tool underestimated by many!

Please note! Similarly, you can use a hand jigsaw with a rock saw. But the cutting speed will be much slower.

  • Electric jigsaw. Of any power;
  • Stone saw;
  • Safety glasses (recommended).

Sawing in a straight line only. Sawing too rounded cuts is problematic, the saw gets stuck. Not thick (wall) tiles can be sawn well. It is very difficult to cut porcelain floortiles in this way. It is suggested that you soak the material beforehand to make it a little easier.

Recommended when it is necessary to cut curved sections with large radii of curvature.

A glass cutter or any pointed tool

Only tile can be cut with this method. And only in a straight line. Another limitation. the pieces must not be smaller than 2 cm in width.

  • Glass cutter. Instead of the glass cutter, you can use any tool with a pointed cutting edge. Preferably, the cutting tool should be made of hard materials: diamond, beater, etc.д. As an example of cutting tools: drills, lance drills, utility knife, etc;
  • A metal ruler or any straight metal rail. In the extreme case of any material. But then you will need to be very careful scratching the line for the trimmer cut, because you can cut through the ruler and the scratch will go sideways on the tile.

To get a clean cut without chipping or running to the side, you must apply the scratch carefully. It is enough to scratch the top, glossy layer.

Tip! Pay attention to the beginning and the end of the scratch when applying the risk. Often the very beginning and the very end of the scratch are not deep enough. It is related to the lack of pressure and psychology. At the very beginning we only try it on and the pressure is lower. At the very end, there is an acceleration and the risk is “blurred. This can cause the break in these places to go sideways.

When making the notch with the knife, make several passes to get a deep notch.

The scratch effect depends on the hardness and sharpness of the tool used. If the tool is hard and sufficiently sharpened (glass cutter with a sharp roller, lance-shaped sharpened pobedite drill bit, etc.), then one pass is sufficient.д.) one pass with good power is enough. If the tool is blunt or made of soft material (utility knife), several passes are required. The groove should eventually be deeper than the glossy layer.

  • A sharp, even angle. Take the tile with two hands on different sides of the risk. The impact should be sharp at a distance of 5 cm.10 cm against the corner at the back of the product. Before doing so, aim well, so that the blow will come as precisely as possible to the place of the break. The angle can be anything, the main thing that it must be sharp and hard (metal corner, wooden bar). For convenience, it is desirable that the corner of the tile is 10 centimeters above the surface. Otherwise it’s possible to catch the surface with the hand, the impact will go sideways and the tile will break not along the ridge;
  • On a solid rod. The tile is laid on a long, solid rod with the back side, aligned on it at the spot of the risk. Then it is sharply pressed on both sides with two hands. The rod can be any. flat, with a diameter of about 8 to 15 mm (drill, round pencil, etc.).д.). Preferably, the length should be at least 2/3 of the break length. Parts can be broken out rather than through the entire length of the tile;
  • Between the clamps. The method is suitable both for breaking through the whole tile and for breaking out large parts. The approaches are different, but the essence is the same. It is necessary to fix the product between two clamps on a place of a break. This can be two bars or thick plywood. You can make a small machine: two sheets of plywood fastened at one end with self-tapping screws, the tile is placed inside, with an effort to push them apart. The main thing is to ensure that there are even, sharp edges and the accuracy of installation of the material on the line for the trimmer risks. After installing the structure with our own weight and pushing sharply on the protruding edge.
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And what disk to cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder?

floor, tile, cutter
  • Practically any disc is good for a single use. But if you have a great number of facing works it is better to buy the most suitable one.
  • The best choice will be a steel disc with 125-mm diameter, with diamond coating, no less than 2mm thick.
  • The disc of smaller thickness is less stable when working in manual mode, it can create an uneven cut, collapse and spoil the tile.

According to the type of cutting edge we can distinguish such kinds:

  • Segmented. the diamond coating is on the cutting edge itself. Due to the segments and slots, partial cooling occurs during operation and continuous cutting time is increased to 1.5 minutes. Such a disc is only used for dry cutting.
  • Solid. has a spraying over the whole cutting edge, along the rim. It requires water cooling. periodically wetting the tile or using a sprayer. The result is a very clean cut, better than with the segmented blade.
  • Combination blade. combines the features of these discs. Can be used for both dry and wet cutting. Compared to the segmented ones, they are cooler and have a poorer quality of cut than the solid ones.

Different types of cuts can be made with an angle grinder:

  • Straight. the usual way of cutting tiles in half or in unequal parts, on rectangular pieces of any kind of tile: tile, porcelain tile, ceramic tile. To get an even cut, it is good to fix the tile with clamps or, for small cuts, use a workbench.
  • Shaped cuts or round holes with a diameter of 50-100 mm. Mark the outline of the cut (circle) on the front and back, cut a line for the trimmer, approximately corresponding to the circle, even if uneven, but not beyond the circle. Then the diameter is cut into segments inside the circle. Use pliers to break out the inner segments, smooth out the edges, then grind.
  • Boring. cutting a tile at an angle. In this case, the usual straight line cut is made, then the tile is fixed and at the desired angle it is cut from the ceramic layer, without disturbing the outer facing.

Figured carving

To circumvent pipes, sinks, toilets and door trims, it is necessary to cut semicircular notches. This can be done at home like this:

  • Using a ballerina and a drill stand. Diameter is limited by the bar and adjusted by hand. The resource of one device is enough for 20-30 holes in the tile.
  • For bends of small diameters, you can use wire cutters. This method allows you to make not only semicircular cutouts. The cut must begin at the very edge, with minimal increments. Both of these methods require a certain skill in working with the tool, but even then you can not achieve smooth edges, you need additional processing.
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The use of any method of working with tiles is due to the need to purchase an expensive tool. In the case of work that is small in volume and does not require cutting particularly complex patterns, you can use the available devices.

Cutting with an angle grinder

Angle grinder so versatile power tool that it is difficult to imagine the repair of the room without it. With an angle grinder you can also cut tiles. For this you need to have a diamond disc in your arsenal. You can also use a stone disc.

On the tile to apply the marking of the cut with a nail or awl. It’s better to do it from two sides: on the front of the tile, on the glaze, and on the inside of the surface. The cutting itself is best carried out in several stages. Start with a 2 to 3 mm deepening on one side and then go over the other side in the same way. And keep doing this until the tile splits in two. With this approach, the risk of tile splitting is minimized.

Experienced craftsmen can use an angle grinder to make a shaped tile cut, and even rounded holes.

How to make a rounding

From time to time the tiles are prepared for laying around pipes or plumbing. Then the question arises. How to cut a tile without a tile cutter.

Processing is carried out by several methods:

How to get by with pliers only? For this purpose, a line for the trimmer is drawn. Make the task easier by scratching it with a nail. Then take the tool and begin to break off unwanted material into small pieces. The carbide-tipped cutters do it best.

Make awkward areas and curved cuts with pliers.

As for the drill, then there are ordinary drills outline contour, and later the same pliers break off the excessive. A more effective method of making holes of any cross-section. Use special attachments: feather, dancer, crown, etc. Д.

The glass cutter

How else to cut tiles without a tile cutter if you don’t have an angle grinder? If you have a glass cutter, you shouldn’t have any trouble. This is probably the easiest and most accessible way. It works on the same principle as a mechanical tool, but all operations are performed with your own hands.

Better to use a diamond tip or a tungsten-cobalt alloy roller.

Using a handheld glass cutter:

  • To cut the material, you must first draw a trimmer line across the face.
  • Apply a ruler and place the glass cutter on the far side of the tile.
  • Press down and in one firm movement guide the trimmer line. No more tries. Do not apply too much pressure to the cutter.
  • Knock with a wooden handle the resulting notch.
  • Position the tile so that one side is overhung.
  • Press down on the edge of the tile and break it along the dashed line.

If you manage to make a deep enough incision, the edge will turn out flat and accurate, without any chips on the front side.

Glass cutter. the easiest and most affordable way to cut tiles at home

Such a tool is not reasonable to use with large amounts of work.

Particular attention should be paid to safety when working with the “angle grinder

If you want to make holes and semicircular cutting lines at home, use a drill with special attachments, wire cutters with carbide clamps.

To make holes in the tiles use a special attachment to the drill

The peculiarity of working with pliers is “biting off” fragments of ceramics along a pre-drawn contour. It should be remembered that only small pieces should be separated. In any case, after such procedures it is important to make grinding.

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