How to cut tiles without a 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 difficult to imagine without tile, but for living rooms are increasingly using ceramic coverings with heating. Floor tiles are easy to care for, reliable, durable and externally attractive. Also, such coatings do not burn, are not afraid of water and do not cause allergies among tenants.

Installation of tile on the floor does not represent any particular difficulties. Attention deserves 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. With this device you can easily and quickly cut tiles.

Tile cutters are available mechanical and electric

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

It may not cope with non-standard options. Ceramic tiles for the floor differs from the wall tiles in their thickness, relief, strength and structure. To cut it, you have to apply more force. Folk craftsmen have learned at home to solve such problems with the help of improvised tools and means. It is recommended to take advantage of their extensive experience.

Floor tiles can be cut with:

  • a threaded lathe with a ruler;
  • a glass cutter;
  • drill bit with a pobeditovye tip;
  • hacksaw for metal with an abrasive rod;
  • “an angle grinder;
  • drill;
  • jigsaw;
  • a regular box cutter;
  • 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. Let’s say right away: We are not talking about constant work and large volumes, but about small batches or even piecemeal products. In such cases, buying an expensive tool makes no sense, it is quite possible to do with improvised means.

  • To cut in a straight line. In doing so, it is necessary to distinguish where the cut is made. If there is less than 2 cm from the cutting line to the edge, such a cut can be considered a shaped cut;
  • Round holes in tiles of different diameters;
  • Figured cutouts;
  • Mosaic elements. If there are requirements for precise geometric shapes, this type also refers to shaped cutouts. Otherwise, it is actually crushing the tile into pieces. Products are placed in a bag and with the help of a heavy tool (hammer, sledgehammer) they are crushed to the necessary proportions. The exception may be non-ceramic tiles.

Glass cutter. basic rules and little secrets

But before proceeding to the process itself, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basic rules of cutting tiles, as well as with small secrets that will allow you to qualitatively and evenly cut the desired piece of tiling

  • On the surface of the facing material with a straight ruler and a marker, conduct a marking.
  • Use the glass cutter to cut the place according to the markings.
  • Set the tile on the table, so that the line for the trimmer cut was at the level of the edge of the table.
  • Lightly press the cut piece away.

But there are still some tricks that will help cope with the task at hand perfectly.

  • The cut with the glass cutter should be made once, starting from the farthest edge and working towards yourself.
  • if it is necessary to make the cut trimmer line as even as possible, place a nail or match under it before pressing on the surface of the facing material. Press on both sides of the marking line.
  • Before you work on cutting tiles, you need to hold them in a basin with cold water for at least 1 hour.

Waterjet cutting

If you have a lot of work and need to cut hard ceramic floor tiles, but you do not have any angle grinder, or tile cutter, it is best to use the services of firms engaged in cutting construction materials. The best option is waterjet cutting.

Even the most complex shaped elements can be created with this method. The essence of this cutting is that on the face of the tile is fed at a high pressure thin stream of water, mixed with the finest solid abrasive particles, such as sand. Computer-controlled operation allows even the most complex patterns to be worked on.

each method is good in its own way. The choice of a particular alternative method depends largely on the amount of work and the skills of the master. With these tools, the purchase of a special tile cutter is unnecessary.

Figured carving

To circumvent pipes, sinks, toilets and door trims, it is necessary to cut semicircular cutouts. At home it can be done as follows:

  • With the help of a ballerina and a tripod for a drill. Diameter is limited by the drill rod and adjusted manually. The resource of one device is enough for 20-30 holes in tiles.
  • For bends of small diameters you can use wire cutters. This method allows you to make not only semicircular cutouts. The cut should start from the edge with the minimum step. Both of these methods require a certain skill in working with the tool, but even then you can not get a straight edge, you will need additional processing.

The use of any method of working with tiles is due to the need to purchase expensive tools. In the case of work that is small and does not require cutting particularly complex patterns, you can use the tools that are available.

Cutting with an angle grinder

Angle grinder is such a versatile power tool that it is difficult to imagine the repair of the room without it. Tiles can also be cut with an angle grinder. You will need a diamond disc in your arsenal. You can also use a stone wheel.

On the tile you need to mark the cut with a nail or awl. It is better to do it on both sides: on the front of the tile, on the glaze, and on the inside of the surface. It is better to make the cut itself in several stages. First with an indentation of 2. 3 mm on one side, then also on the other side. And continue to do so until the tile splits in two. With this approach, the risk of tile cracking is minimized.

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


The folk way to work with ceramics. pliers. The pliers can make a curved cut, remove a small fragment of ceramic and touch up the existing cut. The advantage of this option is that the quality and accuracy of the work depends on you. Manual work should be done slowly.

Mark the contours of the cut with a marker. Grab small fragments of ceramic with the pliers and bite them off. You move towards the contours you have planned. Do not try to bite off too much, you can only ruin the tile’s.

It is recommended to take advantage of the invaluable experience of experts

To cut the material when performing tiling work at home, it is necessary to have the following tools:

  • even surface;
  • A guide ruler with a right angle on one end, the so-called “angle grinder”;
  • bit with a pobedite tip;
  • glass cutter, office knife;
  • “tile-cutting pliers”. miniature pliers with a tile-cutting wheel on one side and a transverse convex plate on the other;
  • a drill with “crown” nozzles;
  • jigsaw with diamond wire;
  • “angle grinder”.

It is important to remember that before cutting the tile material should be prepared. If you soak the ceramic tile for thirty minutes before working with it, you can solve the problems of dust, brittleness, and increase its malleability.

To qualitatively cut a piece of tile, you need to make a clear groove on the glossy surface and then break it with a quick confident motion. You can do it without difficulty with the help of various tools: glass cutter, drill with a pobeditovym tip, a knife for cardboard and a guide ruler. The procedure in all cases will be the same:

The glass cutter is the most readily available tool for cutting tiles

  • lay the tile on a flat surface with the inside side down;
  • Make the necessary markings and draw a clear line for the trimmer with a pencil with the help of an “angle”;
  • Draw a groove along the ruler, pressing with medium force on the glass cutter or drill bit;
  • Put a drill bit under the notch trimmer fishing line, press on the tile from both sides and break it. In another option, you can break the tile by placing it on the edge of the table along the cut line and pressing sharply on it.

Using “pliers with a wheel” to break tiles is much easier, because they are specially designed for this purpose. It is enough to drive the cross plate from the top so that the cut groove runs exactly in the center of the pressing plate, and then squeeze the pliers. This produces a quality cut.

Clamp the tile with the pliers in the center on the marked line and press down on the handles

At home you can make enough suitable tools for cutting tiles, if there is no possibility to use special tools. For example a 6 or 8 mm diameter hammer drill bit can be ground like a pencil on a diamond disc. The main thing in this: not to chip off the pobedite layer and make the edge without edges. The rounded shape of the tip makes it possible to make deep cuts when it is applied to the “angle” side.

All of the above methods are suitable for cutting wall tiles, but when working with thicker floor tiles with a dense structure, it is necessary to resort to the help of other tools.

For example, it is advisable, along with improvised tools to use “angle grinder”. In this case to complete it, the most suitable discs for cutting granite with a smooth crown and diamond discs that allow you to quickly cut through tiled material.

The process of cutting with an angle grinder is quite simple and accessible even to non-professionals

The sequence of work can be as follows:

  • Firstly, you need to draw with a glass cutter or a special drill a sufficiently deep line for the trimmer. To do this, you can spend a few times on the outer surface.
  • Then, using an “angle grinder” you need to start cutting carefully along the outer edge of the notch. At the same time it is desirable to go no deeper than 3 millimeters. Carrying out such a procedure 2-3 times, you can get a quality cut.
tiles, tile, cutter

Cutting floor tiles can be carried out in another way:

  • On the glossy surface we also draw a groove with the same hand tools.
  • We turn the tile over and make an incision on the inside exactly at the outer marks with an “angle grinder”.
  • After breaking, it is recommended to sand the edges with sandpaper.

Straight and curved tile cuts can be made with an “angle grinder” with a diamond disc. The productivity of such work is comparable to an electric tile cutter. Although the quality of the cut with the “angle grinder” is inferior, but if you want to carry out mobile work of great volume, this tool is indispensable. After the cut, additional sanding activities will be required.

How to cut a tile

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

Angle grinder (angle grinder)

Generally speaking, this is a universal tool. Just as in the past craftsmen could cut down a house with a single axe, so now with a single angle grinder can cut out anything. The author has witnessed the cutting of an even circular hole with a diameter of 5 cm.

Note! The method is suitable for straight, shaped types and, with minimal skill with the tool curvilinear 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);
  • Clamp. Optional in some cases (screw clamp or vice).

Pre-marking the tile, preferably with a line scratched out with any sharp instrument. As a last resort, lines may be drawn with a construction marker. A lot of dust is generated during work and marked lines can be erased when it is removed.

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 millimetres into the surface. In this operation, the own gravity of the tile and the friction force is enough to hold the product in place. For deeper passes, it is possible to additionally step on the edge or hold a helper. For shaped cuts it is better to fix the product with a clamp to the table top or clamp it in a vice, previously placing under the jaws pieces of cardboard or a thick cloth.

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

  • On the outer edge, the marks are passed several times along the entire length. In one pass, deepen up to 3 mm. Repeat the operation until the result is achieved;
  • For small sections, up to 2 cm in length, all at once for all thickness;
  • The marking is applied to both sides. A superficial cut (up to 3 mm) is made on the face. Then cut backwards (up to 3 mm per pass) until the target is reached. Such way allows to avoid accidental damage of the face side by the cutting instrument.

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


If there is no tile cutter or angle grinder, an electric jigsaw may be available. Underestimated by many!

Please note! A hand-held jigsaw with a stone saw can be used in the same way. But the cutting speed will be an order of magnitude slower.

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

It is sawn in the usual way. Too rounded cuts are problematic to cut, the saw gets stuck. Not thick (wall) tiles are good for sawing. It is very difficult to cut porcelain floor tiles using this method. To make things a little easier it is suggested to soak the material beforehand.

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

A glass cutter or pointed instrument of any kind

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

  • Glass cutter. Any tool with a sharpened cutting edge can be used instead of a glass cutter. The cutting tool should preferably be made of hard materials: diamond, beater, etc.д. As an example of cutting tools: drills, lance drills, utility knife, etc;
  • Metal ruler or any straight metal rail. As a last resort, made of any material. But then you will need to be very careful to scratch the cut trimmer line, as you can cut through the ruler and the scratch will go sideways on the tile.

In order to get a sharp cut without any chips and deviations to the side, it is necessary to apply the scratch accurately. It is enough to scratch the top, glossy layer.

tiles, tile, cutter

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

When applying the risk, the knife makes several passes to get a deep scratch.

The depth of the scratch 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 sharpened pobedite drill bit etc.), the scratch should be applied carefully.д.), one pass with good effort is enough. If the tool is blunt or made of soft material (utility knife), it will require several passes. Eventually the groove should deepen below the glossy layer.

  • Against a level sharp corner. Take the tile with two hands on different sides of the risk. struck with a sharp blow from a distance of 5.10 cm against the corner on the back side of the product. Aim well beforehand, so that the blow hits the breaking point as precisely as possible. The angle can be anything, as long as it is sharp and hard (metal angle, wooden bar). It is desirable for convenience, that the corner should be elevated over the surface of about 10 centimeters. Otherwise there is a probability to hit the surface with the hand, the impact will go sideways and the tile will break not along the line;
  • On a hard rod. Tiles are laid on a long hard stick with the back side facing the tile, and aligned with the place of the risk. Then sharply press on both sides with both hands. The pin can be any. flat, with a diameter of about 8 to 15 mm (a drill, a round pencil, etc).д.). Preferably at least 2/3 the length of the break. You can break out parts, but not through the entire length of the tile;
  • Between the clamps. The method is suitable for breaking through the entire tile as well as for breaking out large pieces. The approaches are different, but the essence is the same. It is required to fix the product between two clamps at the breaking point. It 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 tiles are placed inside, pushing them apart with force. The main thing is to ensure that there are even sharp edges and the accuracy of installation of the material on the line for trimmer risks. After installation, you additionally clamp the construction with your own weight and sharply press the protruding edge.
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