How to cut tiles – with or without a wet saw
When tiling a floor, wall, or even a kitchen backsplash, chances are you’ll have some awkward gaps to fill along the way, especially when you get to the edges.
If you are a seasoned DIYer this will not faze you and you will have your wet saw ready and waiting to cut the tiles to the size you need. However, if you are new to this area and don’t know where to start using tools, or if you really want to avoid using wet saws and other power tools when cutting tiles, take comfort in your mind. you, you can always finish this job successfully, yourself.
Philip Ash of Pro Paint Corner said: âYou can most definitely cut all types of tile yourself, it’s just about having the right tools for the job, trusting yourself to be safe with it. sharp machines and paying attention to details to make sure you cut them correctly. . ‘
âThere are many types of tiles and many different machines that will work on them. In my experience, a wet table saw is an invaluable tool for cutting most if not all types of tile as these types of saws cut very straight and smooth. It can be used for ceramic, glass, porcelain and natural stone tiles. You can rent a wet table saw for your specific project or choose to purchase one, but if you choose the latter option, keep in mind that these saws come in several sizes, depending on the size of the tiles you are using. you will cut. Adds Ash.
You can use a manual cutter for straight cuts on porcelain and natural stone / slate tiles, then an electric cutter for more intricate designs such as right angles and curves in mosaic tiles or a tile plotter for them. small and thin tiles.
Security Notice: With all tile cutting methods, be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves. Do not touch the blade and keep your fingers away from it. Make sure that there is no danger, do not wear loose clothing and also keep children away. Finally, go at your own pace.
Can you cut tiles without a tile cutter?
If you want to cut tiles without a wet saw or even without a tile cutter, you can use a glass cutter / pencil or carbide tipped pencil. Tile cutting with a scribe can be successfully performed on thinner glass tiles in particular:
- Measure where the tile is to be cut using a pencil next to a metal ruler, draw a straight line across.
- Hold the metal ruler over the cut line to ensure a straight cut. Holding at a 45 Â° angle, use the tile cutter against the side of the ruler, apply pressure and cut into the glaze.
- Do not aim to cut the entire tile.
- Use a long, thin object under the marked tile, such as a pencil, and apply pressure to each end of the tile and snap it in half.
- Pay attention to sharp edges after cutting. If the cut is not clean and the edges are slightly rough, use a file to smooth the edges.
How to cut tiles with a manual tile cutter
A manual cutter is used for straight cuts, they take longer to use than power tools, but they are a cheaper and easier to use alternative if you are just starting out. They have a handle that works on a rail, allowing you to make a smooth cut, much like with a paper guillotine.
- To measure where the tile needs to be cut, place a tile on the last solid tile and mark with a pencil where the overlap is, this is where you need to cut.
- Make sure you leave enough room for the grout joint and the movement joint. Movement joints should not be grouted, the use of a sealant would be recommended.
- Place the tile in the tile cutter, square it on the plate, and line up the tile cutter and the pencil mark.
- Press down firmly on the handle of the cutter and push forward on the tile to draw a line.
- Press and apply pressure to either side of the tile and it will snap into two pieces. Some knives will have an all-in-one circuit breaker built in, just put the clamp on the tile and squeeze the handle to snap the tile.
- If the cut is not clean and the edges are slightly rough, use a file or rubbing stone to smooth the edges.
- For smaller or curved pieces, use tile pliers to cut small pieces to get the size or shape you need.
How to cut mosaic tiles using a manual tile cutter
Mosaics seem to be the scariest tiles to approach because they are delicate and beautiful. However, whether you are plain or fancy, you should also be able to get a good clean cut on smaller tiles using a manual cutter. No wet saw in sight.
- Place the tile in the cutter and mark the row of tiles in the center. We like to start with the second row.
- Start the cutting wheel at the bottom, applying pressure with the handle as you move up the row, bottom to top.
- Once marked, you will want to use the handle to add even pressure to the tile to snap.
- If the handle is too thin, you can use a small piece of wood underneath to maintain even pressure.
- Snap one tile at a time, taking your time for a clean finish.
- Finish the job by marking the back to release the support.
How to cut tiles with a wet saw
For experienced DIY enthusiasts, a wet saw will make cutting tiles easier. Wet saws / electric cutters are used for right angles, curved edges and thicker tiles such as porcelain and natural stone. You can use it indoors, but outdoor use is less messy.
- Make sure the electric cutter has water in the tray as the blade will overheat; it also reduces the amount of dust produced during cutting.
- For curved edges, mark the area to be cut with a pencil and draw several lines up to the curved mark. This is because a tile cannot be rotated while it is being cut.
- Using the electric cutter, cut the number of lines up to the curved mark so that it looks like a comb.
- Trace the outline of the curved mark with a tile scribe to mark and cut into the glaze.
- Using a tile pliers, separate small pieces at a time up to the curve and file until smooth.
Be careful when cutting tiles.