How To Cut Ceramic Tile, Tile Cutting guide

Cutting ceramic tile looks hard job. But, it’s not a hard job when you use suitable tools. If you need to cut a ceramic tile by hand or cut a hole in the tile, this content will help you. In this content, you’ll learn how to cut ceramic tile. The tools you use to cut ceramic tile will depend on how many tiles you are cutting and what type of cut you are doing. If you have to cut a few ceramic tiles, a glass cutter will suffice for this. If you want to cut more tiles, you will need a wet saw or tiling tool.

For straight cuts, you need a glass cutter or tiling tool. You need a wet saw for corner cuts, and for curve cuts, you need a tile nipper. A perfect tool can make your job significantly easier. Also, maintenance ceramic tile by using suitable tools.

How To Cut Ceramic Tile

Methods Of Cutting Tile

We divide the method based on cuts and places like cut wall tiles and floor tiles. It is a complete cutting guide to cutting the tile.

  • Cut ceramic tile
  • Cut a hole in tile
  • Cut ceramic tile by hand
  • Cut ceramic tile with a grinder

Method 1: Cut ceramic tile

Straight Cut a ceramic tile: This is an easy method to cut straight cut ceramic tile. Use this method to cut a few tiles.

You will need those tools

Step 1: Measure and Mark the tile: Mark your ceramic tile with a square and pencil. Square is a special ruler. This method is for cutting a few tiles. Mark the tile gently with a pencil.

Step 2: Place the tile: Set the tile down on a plain, sturdy surface and reposition the square. A work table or plywood would work the best for this method.

Move the square off to the side so that It goes right, next to the marked line. It will allow cutting along the marked line without cutting into the square.

Step 3: Score the tile: Scroll down the tile with a glasscutter by your hand. Drag it across the line that you marked—using the square as a guideline. You may have to scroll the glass cutter on the tile for few times to make a shallow cut. Then, cut ceramic tile in place with the glass cutter that you marked.

Step 4. Set the tile: Place the tile over a hanger or tile nipper. Ensure that the hanger or tile nipper is aligned with the line that you scored. Then, press down on the un-scrolling edge of the tile until it goes to snaps. Then remove ceramic tile from nipper.

Step 5: Smooth the tile: Make smooth the edges of the tile with a brick or stone. You can do this job by rubbing the cut edges of the tile back forth across a brick or a stone block.

Straight Cut More Ceramic Tile

It is an excellent method for cutting a lot of tiles. It is also great when you need to cut corner to corner. Use a tile cutter for these cuts if you invest once or rent with someone to save a few bucks.

Just make sure you pick up a tiling tile cutter that’s big enough for the tile you cutting. Then practice cutting on a few spare tiles until you’re comfortable enough with this tiling tool.

Tools and material you’ll need

  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Tiling tool
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Stone & brick

Step 1: Make Measure and Mark the tile: First, measure and mark the tile with a square (ruler) and pencil where you want to cut.

Step 2: Score The Tile: Place the ceramic tile into the cutter. Ensure that the ceramic tile is pushed snugly up to the fence that your marked line is directly under the scoring wheel of the tiling tool.

Apply slight pressure directly on the handle. Slide the wheel forward across the ceramic tile. You should hear a scratching sound or noise, which is a good sign that the tile is scored.

Step 3: Snap the tile: Once you have scored the ceramic tile, move the handle back slightly from the ceramic tile edges and let the breaking feet lie flat on top of the tile. Apply downward pressure on the handle of the tiling tool, and the ceramic tile will snap.

Step 4: Smooth the tile: If the edge of the cuts of the tile is sharp and rough, smooth it with a brick or rubbing stone. Then clean ceramic tile properly.

Corner cut

If you have to cut a lot of tiles for a big job or if you’ll make corner cuts around door jambs or wall outlets, buy one wet saw or jigsaw from an online store, supermarket or rent from your local home center. I recommend you rent a jigsaw to cut ceramic tile with a jigsaw. Unless you envision doing many similar projects in the future, read the instruction carefully before you start using a wet saw or other power tools.

It is also not a bad idea for your best performance to take a few practices before jumping into the project. This method is suitable for a big job.

Tools and material you need

Step 1: Measure and Mark the tile: Use a square to determine how much you need to cut and where from the cut; make a mark with a pencil.

Step 2: Set up the wet saw: The wet saw is not the same. Some of the wet saws are different. So, be sure to follow the instruction closely and learn something. Fill the water tub and turn on the wet saw.

Step 3: Cut the tile: Check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully because the wet saw is not the same. It is a bit different.

For the cleanest and smooth cut, avoid the tile pushing or forcing in the blade of a wet saw. Pour some water on the tile before cutting with a wet saw. Smoothly push the tile and let the wet saw cut your tile. Then remove the tile.

Step 4: Smooth the tile: Clean your tile, then smooth the cutting place the sharp edge by using rubbing stone.

Curve cut

The tile nipper is the best and suitable tool for curve cut. Have patience, as you can successfully cut ceramic tiles this way to make the curve cut.

Step 1: Mark and measure the tile: Draw a curve line with a square and pencil to cut the ceramic tile.

Step 2: Set the tile between the tile nipper: Place the tile close to the edges of the curved line. Pinch the tile with a tile nipper and break off small pieces of tile at a time. Do not break too much at a time. It will risk you breaking your tile.

Step 3: Break a piece of the tile: Break the tile with a tile nipper. Squeeze down the tile nipper handle and brake slowly to get a good grip on the tile. Then, cut tile with a Dremel. Snap the pieces of the ceramic tile.

Step 4: Continue work over the curve line: Continue to break the tile pieces over the curve line until reaching the last line. Break off smaller pieces the closer to you to get the last line for more precision.

Step 5: Smooth the tile: Smooth and refine the line with a rubbing stone or bricks.

Method 2: Cut A Hole In Tile

There are many ways to cut a hole in ceramic tile. To cut a hole in tile using the right tool. Many home improvement enthusiasts typically use a tile saw for the expensive project.

Do you cut a hole in ceramic tile before? If not, take some old tile and practice on it. Then, work with a real job cutting a hole in ceramic wall tiles or floor tiles.

Cut a large hole in ceramic tile

All too often, you’ll need a much larger hole in the tile. On the unglazed side of the ceramic tile. Mark the tile. Start by drilling a hole in the center with a tiny drill bit, just as you want a small hole.

 It should be at least 0.25-inch in diameter and large enough to insert the blade of the hack saw. It will need to be a carbide rod blade of a hack saw. Put the blade in the hole. After that, could you attach it to your hack saw? The ceramic tile needs to be firmly clamped. Slowly saw out of the hole.

You need to take special care on the final stroke to complete the hole since the tile will likely crack. The hack saw will give a clean and smooth edge to the hole.

Cut a round hole in ceramic tile

Mark back of the ceramic tile where you plan to make a round hole. Place the ceramic tile on a scrap piece of MDF board with the backside facing up. Aline the drill bit with the marked line drill a small pilot round hole. Flip the ceramic tile over. Take a round ball of plumbers putty and knead it into 1/2-inch-diameter, 10-inch long roll. Join the ends of the putty to make a circle, then place it around the area where you want to make a round hole.

Press the circle of putty into the ceramic tile to form a seal. Pour the water on the tile when you are drilling. Fill the circle with water. Aline the tip of the drill bit with a pilot hole and hold the drill perpendicular to the ceramic tile. Work with a slow speed; gently apply constant pressure. Work slowly and contend drilling until you have finished cutting a round hole in ceramic tile.

Cut a square hole in ceramic tile

Cut a square hole in the wall tile or floor tile used by the same method. A few simple things need to be done if you want to cut a square hole in ceramic tile.

Select the tool: Two different tools can be used to cut a square hole in ceramic tile. The tile saw and the angle grinder with a diamond cutting wheel are better for a square hole.

Marking the tile: Before marking the tile, you need to remove the screw from the ceramic tile. Mark the tile by pencil and roller where you want to cut the hole. You can use a speed square to mark the tile.

Cutting the tile: Cutting the ceramic tile is pretty straightforward. It would help if you started by cutting the longer. Critical lines on the front of the ceramic tile, after that, cut the shorter horizontal lines.

The shorter lines are tough to cut. You will not be able to cut through the ceramic tile on the front side. Now, you are just going to score it with a tile saw or angle grinder with a diamond cutting wheel.

Flip the ceramic tile over and finish cutting the square hole. You will need to cut the past line finish cutting the hole. Flip the tile before installing it on a wall or floor. Then, clean the tile with a cloth.

Method 3: Cut ceramic tile by hand

How do you cut ceramic tile by hand? When you need to cut a piece of tile. You can cut ceramic without a tile cutter when you know how to cut ceramic tile. Cutting ceramic floor tiles by hand or wall tiles by hand is very easy. A glass cutter will be enough to cut a ceramic tile by hand.

To cut ceramic tile by hand without a tile cutter or wet saw:

Step A: Mark the top of the ceramic tile where you want to cut. Mark is the best way to cut ceramic tile.

Step B: Place a square on the ceramic tile slightly away from the mark.

Step C: Use a glass cutter to score the ceramic tile on top of the cut line. Remember, do not remove the square on scrolling time.

Step D: Place the ceramic tile on a plain solid surface with a wire cloth hanger under the tile aligned with the score mark.

Step E: Press down on either side of the ceramic tile to break the tile along over the scoreline. Remove the ceramic tile from the hanger.

Step F: Smooth the edge of the cut by rubbing the tile with a rubbing stone or bricks.

Method 4: Cut ceramic tile with a grinder

The most effective tool to cut ceramic tiles is a wet saw, tile cutter. But, everyone hasn’t access to have one of these specialties tools. The extraordinary things are, you can also cut tile with a 4-inch angle grinder.

Safety for cut ceramic tile: Do not operate power tools without wearing the proper safety equipment. You need to wear a dust mask, earplugs, safety glass as well.

Also, wear a sleeved shirt and jeans. This safety will protect you from accidentally getting cut by flying ceramic fragments that chip off during the grinding process.

Prepare to cut tile: Cover the edge with masking tape of the tile where you want to cut. You can use a single layer of masking tape or depending on the size of the tile.

The effective method is to draw your marker lines, place the tape on top and trace the lines through the top of the tape. After that, add additional layers if needed.

Cut the tile with grinder

The angle grinder is designed for straight cuts against a tile cutter or wet saw.

Cut the tile directly down into the surface of the ceramic tile. You are making gentle passes across the marking line of your cut while holding the blade of the angle grinder vertically against the ceramic tile, after that, along the mark.

The other way is, hold the blade against an edge horizontally, flush with the face of ceramic tile, working the edge of the blade of the angle grinder down into the ceramic tile slowly to make precise.

Then rounded the edges for drains. After that, work your way around slowly as you grind away a little bit rather than cut down into the ceramic tile.

The straight cuts with a grinder are made by pushing the blade into the ceramic tile vertically and cutting through the ceramic tile over the mark. The last work is cleaning the tile before using it.

by William Jon
Hello, I'm William Jon. I'm a ceramic researcher, ceramic artist, writer, and professional blogger since 2010. I studied at the NYS college of ceramics at Alfred University in the USA about ceramic. I'm a professional ceramicist. Now I'm researching the ceramic products in Wilson Ceramic Laboratory (WCL) and reviewing them to assist online customers.

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