How to cut tile?
Construction and renovation

How to cut tile?

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When installing ceramic tiles, cutting them is unavoidable. It’s not an easy task, but the tiles will never perfectly fit the dimensions of the room. When buying tiles, always count a 5 to 10% allowance in case the tiles get damaged. Cutting tile doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful at all. See how to cut tile so that you don’t damage the tiles.

Cutting tiles with a glass knife and tile pliers

The most commonly used method of cutting ceramic tiles is the glazier’s knife or stylus. The glaze must first be marked in the appropriate place, and then the tile scratched along the marked line. The glazier’s knife will disturb the texture of the tile and allow you to break off the required element of the tile in one, vigorous movement. The unbroken remains can be removed with tile pliers and the edges of the tile and any irregularities can be filed with a tungsten file. This is the simplest and least demanding method of cutting ceramic tiles.

glazurnik mierzy płytki
Photo by Michal Jarmoluk from:

Cutting tiles with the help of tile guillotine

To properly cut tile with a specialized tile cutter, popularly known as a guillotine, you must first, like with a glazier’s knife, measure and mark the spot where you want to divide the tile. Tile cutters are built similarly to table saws, which are also sometimes used to cut tiles. It has a cutting wheel with which you scratch the tile along the marked line, this will break the structure of the tile just like a glazier’s stylus. Then we press the foot of the guillotine against the tile to break the tile in half. To even out the edges of the tile after cutting, use an angle grinder with a diamond disc, but this must be done with great care so as not to chip the tile.

glazurnik układa płytki
Photo by Michal Jarmoluk from:

Cutting tiles with a saw with diamond blade

The most expensive, but also the most professional method is wet cutting of tiles with a saw with diamond blade. There are two types of wet saws available on the market

  • saws with a fixed blade – when using them we have to move the tile along the cutting edge, while the blade remains in one place
  • saws with a movable blade – while cutting tiles with this model of saw, the tile is stationary and we control the blade

The cutting blade in both types of saws is water cooled, thanks to which dust and dirt do not rise from the tiles during cutting, which makes it possible to keep better order during tile laying. When cutting tiles with the saw, we have the ability to bevel the edges of the tiles at a 45 degree angle, which will make them meet in the corners after installation. The diamond blade is the only type of blade that can cut through tile smoothly. Other blades can chip the tile or the saw itself can chip and dull.

What should I pay special attention to when cutting tile?

Cutting ceramic tiles is a very precise procedure that requires special care. If we are not careful enough when cutting tile, the tiles can crack, chip or scratch and lose their shine. In addition, for cutting tiles we always have to use tools designed for this purpose, so as not to damage both our equipment and the tiles.

Home renovation is always associated with a lot of fuss and mess. If we want to do the renovation on our own, we have to reckon with the fact that when we do not deal with it professionally, the renovation will take more time. Tile cutting and tiling is one of the most stressful renovation jobs for amateur finishers, but with the right equipment, a little patience and a steady hand, it’s not difficult at all.

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