7 Tips on How to Cut Tiles

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cutting ceramic tilesTiles make for a great look and feel on walls, floors, backsplashes and elsewhere in your home. However, unless you’re awfully charmed, it is pretty unlikely that the size of the area you want to tile just happens to work out perfectly to fit in the tiles as bought. It is almost certain that some tile cutting will be involved. Some aspiring DIYers are put off by this prospect, however cutting tiles need not be a daunting or intimidating job. If you have the tile cutting tools to do the job, cutting tile can be a relatively easy job. Here are some tips on ceramic tile tools and techniques to help show you how to cut tiles with ease and success.

7 Tips on How to Cut Tiles

1. The tools you’ll need.

  • Chinagraph pencil
  • Steel rule
  • Platform tile cutter
  • Tile saw
  • Tile nibbler
  • Pencil
  • G-clamp.

2. At the end of a row, when only a partials tile will fit, put the last tile on top of the previous one and butt it up to the corner. Mark a cutting line. Be sure, though, to allow space for your grout.

3. With your platform tile cutter, make a straight cut. Begin by scoring the tile with the cutting wheel. Afterward, apply the lever to snap along the score line. Then you affix the tile in its place.

4. It is important to measure all the row ending tiles separately. Given variables in grouting and distances, especially in older homes, it is unlikely that they will turn out to be the same size.

5. To slice a sliver off a tile, first score the tile with a hand held tile scorer, using your steel rule as a guide. For best results, ensure that the score mark is very deep. It should have penetrated through the glaze of the ceramic tile. This is essential to achieve a clean break. Use the tile nibbler to nibble away the sliver to be removed before finishing it off by smoothing the edges with a file.

6. To cut a curved shape into a ceramic tile, start by cutting a piece of paper the same size as the tiles. The idea is to create a paper template. Place this paper template in position, butting it up to the curved object. By making a series of small cuts along the edge that rests against the curve, you can create the desired shape. Using the template as a guide, mark the curved line onto the surface of the ceramic tile with the chinagraph pencil.

7. Use the G-clamp to fix the tile in position, facing upward, being careful not to scratch it. With the tile saw, cut along the chinagraph pencil line. Approach this job carefully, taking your time, and be sure not to apply excessive pressure. Once it is cut, use a file to rid the tile of of any rough edges and it is ready to fit.

Hope these tips on ceramic tile tools and techniques help show you how to cut tiles with ease and success to achieve your dream home improvement projects.