How to cut tiles: tools and methods of cutting

How to cut tiles

Tile is a type of finishing material that has many advantages. Strength, fire resistance, long service life, ease of maintenance and excellent appearance contribute to the expansion of its scope. In the process of facing walls and fireplaces, finishing floors, covering garden paths, protecting facades and socles of buildings, the question inevitably arises – how to cut ceramic tiles? There are many cutting tools, but to choose the most suitable one, you should familiarize yourself with the features of each of them..


  • Tile Cutting Tools
  • How to cut with a glass cutter
  • Tile Cutting Rules
  • Grinder tile cutting
  • How to cut tiles with nippers
  • How to cut porcelain tiles?
  • How to make round holes?
    • Hole Saw Tile Cutting
    • Ballerina application
    • Tile is a burnt ceramic plate, most often covered with glaze. Cutting is necessary for a perfect fit, to create all kinds of compositions or various technological holes for plumbing equipment, communications, etc..

      Tile Cutting Tools

      For cutting ceramic or tile, you can use a tile cutter, roller glass cutter, wire cutter, grinder, ballerina, hole saw. Let’s consider these options in more detail..

      How to cut with a glass cutter

      Glass cutter allows both straight and curly tile cutting.

      Glass Cutter for Tile Cutting

      Glass Cutter for Tile Cutting

      • with a pencil or marker, marking of tiles is laid, which is laid on plywood;
      • pressing the tile with the left hand, we draw the tool in the given direction once. With uniform pressure, a groove appears;
      • we put a wooden glazing bead under the plywood. Pressing lightly on the tile from two sides, break it.

      It is important! The glass cutter should be kept at an angle of 90 degrees. Note that the cut line should be no closer than 1 cm from the edge of the tile. To obtain a perfect result, experts recommend soaking the tile before working in water for 1 hour.

      Tile Cutting Rules

      The tile cutter can be manual or electric. Manual used for cutting tiles with a thickness of not more than 6 mm.

      Manual Tile Cutting Technique

      Manual Tile Cutting Technique

      • with a felt-tip pen we put a cut line on the surface;
      • we lay the tile on the base of the tile cutter, combine the wheel with the line;
      • hold the tile with one hand, and with the other – make a single pass according to the mark;
      • to separate the “wings” of the instrument, it is necessary to install at the base of the handle (at the level of the lower third), pressing the handle with the thumb of the left hand, gently hit it with the palm of your right;
      • if necessary, process uneven edges with a grinding stone.

      It is important! For thin tiles, you can use a manual tile cutter with a corner made of plastic, but for cutting a tile thicker you need a metal tile cutter.

      The electric tile cutter is ideal for cutting any tile.

      The diamond blade allows you to get an even cut with slightly rounded edges. Such a tile cutting machine will do its job not only accurately, but also as quickly as possible..

      Electric tile cutter

      Electric tile cutter

      • work should be in safety glasses;
      • tiles with pre-marked markings are laid on the platform, advancing under the blade;
      • during operation, the tile should be pressed firmly to the platform.

      It is important! Observe the fluid level in the pan needed to cool the disc. Do not forget to change the water, as she quickly becomes clogged with tile chips.

      Grinder tile cutting

      The grinder is used to obtain straight and curly cuts. If you compare it with an electric tile cutter, the advantage is its compact size and the absence of the need for installation. However, cutting the tool is not very accurate – it is unlikely to be able to avoid subsequent grinding.

      The technique of working the grinder

      The technique of working the grinder

      • wear glasses, a respirator, gloves and headphones;
      • Having fixed the diamond wheel, turn on the grinder for a while, so that the disk picks up speed;
      • make an incision along a given path.

      It is important! When thinking about the problem of how to cut a tile with a grinder, remember the safety precautions – there should be a casing on the grinder that protects against disk splitting. Keep the work area clean, invite a partner with an industrial vacuum cleaner, because there will be a lot of crumbs.

      How to cut tiles with nippers

      Nippers are indispensable if you need to get an irregular shaped incision, for example, when fitting tiles around pipes, platbands, a furnace.

      Extremely accurate fracture can be achieved using carbide nippers. The top clip is optimal for cutting a glazed surface, the bottom is for holding tiles.



      • the contour is applied to the smooth side of the tile;
      • start “biting off” small pieces from the edge;
      • set the pliers clamps parallel to the line, while only part of the clamp should be in contact with the mark, otherwise it will be difficult to control the process.

      It is important! There is no need to rush when working with wire cutters – “bite off” slowly from the edge to the center.

      How to cut porcelain tiles?

      If working with ordinary tiles, as a rule, does not cause problems, then how to cut porcelain tiles is a question that can lead an inexperienced master to a standstill. Porcelain tile is a solid material that requires a special approach. Hand tools will not help here, “heavy artillery” is needed.

      It is most convenient to work electrically with a tile cutter, which cuts porcelain tiles gently and accurately. You can cut it with a grinder, but it will not be easy to achieve perfect quality edges.

      How to make round holes?

      Dividing tiles into parts and making cutouts of different sizes and shapes during decoration is often not enough. But what if round holes are required? And there are helpers for this.!

      Hole Saw Tile Cutting

      A hole saw is good for cutting round holes, which means it is indispensable for laying tiles around pipes and water taps. The tool easily cuts not only soft but also hard tiles. Perhaps, of the minuses, it is worth noting the duration of the process in time and the likelihood of thermal shock for tiles.

      Hole Saw

      Hole Saw

      It is important! To avoid thermal shock, the tile should be moistened with water from time to time. This not only cools it, but also extends the life of the working tool.

      Ballerina application



      For making round holes, it is allowed to use a ballerina, which is convenient in that the cutters are manually adjusted, i.e. the hole will be a strictly specified size. The only negative is that the edges will not be very smooth, so grinding is necessary. In general, a ballerina is ideal for metal, but if there are not so many tiles, you can use it.

      Now cutting tiles will not be a problem causing panic – after all, choosing the right tool for cutting depending on the goals and materials used will not be difficult.


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