What to cut tiles in home conditions

How to properly cut tiles?

When planning a tile installation, you need to decide what to cut ceramic tiles with. Facing material comes in several variants, and for each type of tile there is a priority way to cut it. Read on to learn how to cut different tiles, and what tools are available for this purpose.

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Tile cutting tool

The quality of tiling will depend on how the ceramic material will be processed. If you are interested in what you can cut ceramic tiles with, then, first of all, pay attention to the following tools:

Using this equipment, you can perform both standard cutting operations and quite complex procedures. For example, cutting rectangular and circular holes, trimming edges. Each of these tools is used for a specific amount of work. In addition, has its own functional features, which must always be taken into account when starting the process of ceramic processing.

How to cut ceramic tiles with a handheld tile cutter?

The handheld tile cutter is the optimal tool for cutting ceramic tiles at home. For one-time applications it is enough to use a glass cutter, cutter and even a nail. But if you are facing a big repair with tiling or ceramic tiles, it makes sense to buy this tool.

What is a handheld tile cutter?

  • The base is the support base for all other elements of the tile cutter.
  • Guides for moving the cutter.
  • Cutter or cutting element. a roller made of hard metal with a sharp edge, mounted on an axis.
  • Handle for moving the cutter along the cutting line.

Such a device has significant advantages in operation:

  • Ease of use because of its uncomplicated design.
  • Using the handle as a lever that optimizes the cutting force.
  • A precise and even cut.
  • Versatile. can be used for both ceramic and glazed tiles.

If you have no experience with the tile cutter, we advise you to first practice on unnecessary, split tiles to learn how to cut tiles evenly and beautifully.

So, how to cut ceramic tiles?

  • Using a marker or pencil, mark the cut trimmer line on the face surface.
  • Use the tile grips, or use your free hand to hold the tile in position relative to the cutting element.
  • Apply a drop of machine oil on the roller to reduce friction and achieve a smooth cut.
  • Raise the handle, bringing the roller into contact with the tile face.
  • Moving the handle smoothly toward you, trying to observe the optimal pressure. Insufficient pressure creates an incision of insufficient depth, and excessive leads to cracks in the face surface.
  • Remove the notched tile from the tile cutter and either place it with the notch along the edge of the table or use a flat block to flatten it so that it snaps along the notch.
  • If necessary, sand the edge with an emery cloth or stone.
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Using an electric plate cutter

This is an expensive professional tool that will cut any tile equally quickly, evenly and accurately. It can be used for straight and 45-degree trimming, drilling holes and cavities, and shaped cutting. Cut strips are less than 5 millimeters wide. Edges of the cut are smooth, slightly rounded.

Some models work with a tile with one side dipped in water, others require only regular wetting along the cut. This method prevents the formation of dust.

Figured carving

The tool consists of a base, a knife and an electric motor, and the cutting process is as follows:

  • Fill the tray with water to the level of the cutting disc, so that it is lowered into it by 2-3 centimeters (for submersible models).
  • The tile is clamped and moved slowly under the cutter according to the marking. The force should be steady in order to avoid chips and jamming of the motor.
  • To cut a corner, repeat the procedure twice in sections with the desired angle.

Like any similar tool, the electric tile cutter requires compliance with safety requirements and the use of protective equipment.

To ensure the quality of the work, the discs that are worn out and the water need to be changed in time.

Limitations of the tool

It is believed that with a manual device of this type you can cut only tiles up to 15 to 16 cm thick. At the same time roller devices give minimum cutting force, rigid carriage provides more impact, and only the most powerful bearing models are able to cope with panels 1516 mm thick.

Manual models are not suitable for tiles and porcelain tiles with embossed surface. If the cutter does not “get” to the bottom of all pits. the glaze layer will not be cut evenly. Consequently, a straight break cannot be expected.

In respect of porcelain tiles the limitation on thickness can be more serious: even the bearing tile cutters do not always cope with panels 15 16 mm thick.

How is an angle grinder better than a tile cutter

Let’s start with the fact that the tile cutter is designed to cut tiles. For each of its variety: thick or thin, more or less durable, you can find a suitable model of tool. The main advantage of the tile cutter is that it gives a smooth cut without chipping. There is not a lot of dust in the process, the risk of damaging the plate is minimal. It is not so with the angle grinder.

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It can cut ceramics, and the result can be very good. But for this you will have to try hard. It is desirable that there was a skill to work with the grinder, otherwise there is a great risk of spoiling the material. The tool will cut any tile if you choose the right cutting disc. You have to be prepared for the fact that during the sawing process will be very noisy, a lot of dust will rise into the air. the line for the trimmer cutter can be chipped.

Nevertheless, home masters choose an angle grinder. The reason is simple: a tile cutter, especially if it is a high-quality and well-done model, is expensive. Buy it for the sake of finishing one room is not profitable. It is cheaper to perform trimming with an angle grinder. You just need to learn how to handle it correctly.

Choosing the right tile cutting tool

Cutting with a manual tile cutter-pincers

For small volumes and uncomplicated cuts, you can use special tongs, with which the cutting of tiles at home is most acceptable. They are not expensive and with the proper skill will allow small amounts of work without much effort.

The product is marked and conducted along the line by the cutting wheel, which is installed on the tongs. The circle used is much larger than the glass cutter, up to 1.5 cm, which allows you to make a deeper cut of the tile surface. After that, it’s much easier and smoother to break. The tongs’ lips are brought to the edge of the tile. The wide plate of pliers, which forms a small corner, is placed over the face of tile, and the central part along the curve line, strictly over the previously made furrow. Gently squeezing the tile with tongs, the excess part is broken off.

These pincers are considerably better than the glass cutter. But it’s also quite difficult to cut thin strips with them. advanced equipment is required for this type of application.

Handheld tile cutter

The principle of operation is the same as with the pliers. A number of improvements can be added that allow you to cut tiles with more precision and much more evenly with less effort on the part of the craftsman. Strong and flat guides will not let the cutting wheel bounce aside, and a special ruler limiter allows you to cut the required number of tiles with the same size without any misalignment. Cutting tiles with a tile cutter allows you to make only straight lines, for shaped cuts it is not suitable.

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We use a simple glass cutter

One common variation is to use a regular glass cutter. Use a ruler (angle) to mark a line for the trimmer cut. A shallow groove is created along this line with a glass cutter. Next, installing the tile along the line of the cut on the corner of the tabletop, a careful pressure is made to break the tile. Such an option may be suitable only for thin wall coverings. Cutting glazed tiles, floor tiles or thick wall tiles with a glass cutter is unlikely to work. It is completely unrealistic to try to cut textured or granite tiles with a glass cutter.

For more information on using the glass cutter, see our article on cutting glass.

angle grinder

Absolutely any shape can be cut with an angle grinder with a diamond wheel. The disadvantage is the poor accuracy and unevenness of the cut, as it all depends on the precision of execution. The edge of the cut can be very crumbly. Cutting tiles with an angle grinder is too dusty, so it is better to perform all the actions on the street.

Electric tile cutting machine

This is a professional approach to the job. In some construction stores or firms you can rent such a machine, and already with the help of it perform all necessary operations. The cut on the tile will turn out perfectly smooth, thanks to the high speed of the diamond disc and water supply to the cut trimmer line. The result is of such high quality that you can flaunt such a cut when laying outer corners, when it is not covered with corners. With the machine you can cut tiles into any desired shape and even match the angle of the cut. However, even renting such a machine is not cheap, not to mention its cost.


A simple tool, but it can help you get a variety of tile shapes. Bite off small pieces, starting from the edge. The method is simple, so be prepared for the fact that you will get sloppy edges and they will have to be further processed.

Now you have figured out how to cut floor tiles, but remember that you can not always do without professional tools, so you can go to a company that specializes in cutting a variety of materials.

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