How to cut the tile at home
How to cut a tile without a tile cutter: a few simple ways
Not every home craftsman has an arsenal of expensive professional tools. But sometimes when laying small tiled surfaces there is a problem, how to cut tiles without a tile cutter, which can cause certain difficulties. In such a situation, a variety of available technology is used, observing the recommended sequence of actions. The material is preliminarily soaked in cool water for 40-45 minutes.
When working with ceramic tiles it is required to perform a variety of types of cuts.
- Preferably cut the material in a straight line. It is taken into account that if there is less than 20 mm to the side edges, then this kind of cut is considered shaped.
- It is also sometimes necessary to cut a round hole of a certain diameter in the tile.
- Make shaped cutouts if necessary.
- To obtain mosaic, small in size elements prefer the method of crushing ceramic tiles into separate pieces. In this situation, lay the material in a dense bag and use a heavy sledgehammer to break it into the necessary fragments.
Cutting tiles with an angle grinder
Most often, the question of what to cut tiles for the floor without tile cutter, solve with such a universal tool, convenient in operation, as an angle grinder, which allows you to perform a variety of dimensions and configuration of the line. smooth curved, complex shaped, clearly delineated straight.
For the tile-cutting operation, it is necessary to prepare:
- angle grinder, which is more commonly referred to as an angle grinder;
- a cutting wheel, oriented for work on solid stone products (you can take the diamond variety);
- A vise, a portable clamp, or another uncomplicated type of clamp to securely hold the tile being cut;
- a compact vacuum cleaner to eliminate dust;
- safety glasses;
- Special tight clothing with long sleeves;
- It is recommended to use a respirator or a cotton gauze bandage.
After determining the necessary dimensions, conducts a precise marking of the tiles. the cutting trimmer line must be applied to the front plane, using a sharp tool to scratch. You can use a construction marker. But it is necessary to take into account that in the process of work, when removing a large amount of dust, the ink line for the trimmer quickly rubs off.
If small cuts are made that are close to the edges of the tile, the material is placed on an even tabletop. It is possible to work on the floor. A piece of plywood is put down to preserve the integrity of the coating.
First cut through the tiled surface, penetrating a few millimeters. Usually during this operation, it is enough to hold the tile yourself, or you can call for help from an assistant. If shaped cuts are made, then before sawing tiles without a tile cutter, the material is securely attached to the countertop with a clamp. If possible, fix it in a vise. For safety, under the sponge is placed pieces of cardboard or cloth.
- Go over the marking several times, penetrating about 3 mm deeper during each pass. This is done until the necessary tile fragment is cut out completely.
- If small cuts are cut, about 20 mm long, the material is cut all the way through to its full thickness.
- When making sharp edge cuts or curved lines it is advisable to mark on both sides. Start with a 2.5 to 3 mm cut along the front side. Then turn the material over and run it from the wrong side down to the same depth. Repeat several times. This method practically does not damage the front side of the tile.
Ceramic cutting tool
On how the ceramic material will be processed, will depend on the quality of tiling. If you’re interested in what you can cut ceramic tile with, consider the following tools first:
Using this equipment, you can perform both standard cutting operations and quite complex procedures. For example, cutting rectangular and circular holes, trimming edges. Each of these tools is used for a specific amount of work. In addition, it has its own functional features, which must be taken into account when starting the process of processing ceramics.
Working with a glass cutter
The simplest, cheapest and lightest tool for processing ceramic products is a glass cutter. It can be of two types: with a small-diameter roller and with a diamond tip. There are almost no special differences in the work between them, but the first tool is more convenient to use. In addition, cutting ceramic tiles with the glass cutter is no different than cutting glass.
Let’s look at the step-by-step instructions for working with this tool:
- First, before you cut a tile with a glass cutter, you need to accurately mark the trimmer line of the cut with an erasable marker or pencil on its glossy side. It is also advisable to use corners or metal rulers. With the ruler on the line, you only need to run the glass cutter once from the far edge of the ceramic piece towards yourself. Trying to distribute the force on the tool as evenly as possible. This way you will have a perfectly straight line for the trimmer line. a recess that weakens the strength of the blade.
- Secondly, you need to position the tile on the table so that the trimmer line of the notch on the product and the edge of the table completely coincide. Next, carefully holding a part of the tile on the table, you need to press on its other edge: the product will break gently and accurately. You can sandpaper the edges after all the work.
How to cut ceramic tiles with a handheld tile cutter?
A manual tile cutter is the optimal device for cutting ceramic tiles at home. For one-time applications it is enough to use a glass cutter, cutter and even a nail. But if you are facing a big repair with tiling or ceramic tiles, it makes sense to buy this tool.
What is a handheld tile cutter?
- The base is the support base for all other tile cutting elements.
- The guides for moving the cutter.
- Cutter, or cutting element, is a hard metal roller with a sharp edge, mounted on an axis.
- Handle for moving the cutter along the cutting line.
Such a device has significant advantages in operation:
- Ease of use due to uncomplicated design.
- Using the handle as a lever, which optimizes the cutting force.
- Accurate and straight cut.
- Versatile. can be used for both ceramic and glazed tile.
If you don’t have prior experience with a tile cutter, it’s a good idea to first practice on unwanted, broken tiles to learn how to cut a tile smoothly and beautifully.
So, how to cut ceramic tiles?
- Draw a line on the face with a marker or pencil to trim the cut.
- Fix the tile relative to the cutting element with the special clamps or with your free hand.
- Apply a drop of machine oil to the roller to reduce friction and achieve a smooth cut.
- Lift the handle, bring the roller into contact with the tile face.
- Slowly pull the handle back on itself, making sure to apply the optimum amount of pressure. Insufficient pressure produces a shallow cut, while excessive pressure causes the face to crack.
- Remove the notched tile from the grinder and, placing it with the notch along the edge of the table or placing it on a flat block, break it along the notch by applying a sharp pressure.
- If necessary, clean the edge with an emery or stone.
How to cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder?
- Almost any disc is suitable for single use. However, if you have a large amount of tiling work to do, it is better to buy the most appropriate.
- Optimal choice would be a steel blade 125mm in diameter with diamond coating, thickness not less than 2mm.
- The thinner disc is less stable in handheld operation and can produce an uneven cut, breakage, and tile deterioration.
The following types can be distinguished according to the type of cutting edge:
- Segmented. the diamond coating is on the cutting edge itself. Thanks to the use of segments and slots, it partially cools down during use, and the cutting time increases to 1.5 minutes. The disc is only suitable for dry cutting.
- Solid. has a spray over the entire cutting edge, along the rim. It needs water cooling. periodic wetting of tile or using a sprayer. The result is a very clean cut, better than with a segmented blade.
- Combination. combines the features of the above-mentioned discs. Can be used for both dry and wet cutting. Compared to the segmented ones, they are less cooled and have a poorer cutting quality than the solid ones.
Different types of cuts can be made with an angle grinder:
- Straight. the usual cutting of tiles in half or in unequal parts, on the rectangular parts of any kind of tiles: tile, porcelain tiles, ceramic. To get an even cut, it is good to fix the tile with clamps or, for small cuts, use a workbench.
- Shaped cuts or round holes with a diameter of 50-100 mm. The contour of the cut (circle) is marked on the front and back side, a trimmer line is cut, roughly corresponding to the circle, even if uneven, but not beyond the circle. Then segments are cut inside the circle according to their diameter. The inner segments are broken out with pliers, the edges are smoothed, then sanded.
- Boring. cutting a tile at an angle. In this case, the usual straight line cut is made, then the tile is fixed and the ceramic layer is cut at the desired angle, without disturbing the external cladding.
If you have a lot of work to do and need to cut hard ceramic floor tiles, but you do not have an angle grinder or tile cutter, it is best to use the services of companies engaged in cutting construction materials. The best option. waterjet cutting.
With this method you can create even the most complex shaped elements. The essence of such cutting lies in the fact that the face side of the tile is fed under a high pressure thin stream of water mixed with the finest solid abrasive particles, such as sand. Computer-controlled operation allows even the most complex patterns to be worked on.
Each method is good in its own way. The choice of a particular alternative method depends largely on the amount of work and skills of the master. With these tools, the purchase of a special tile cutter is unnecessary.
How to cut tiles?
Cosmetic or major repairs of the house or apartment. it is quite a large number of various works. Repair in the bathroom or kitchen very often involves replacing or laying ceramic tiles. It is good if the width of the area with tiles is clearly a whole number of tiles and there is no need to make a cut of a row of tiles, but, unfortunately, such a coincidence is quite rare. In most cases you’ll need to cut the tile, adjusting its size.
How to cut a tile so that the resulting cut is flat and neat? Ceramics is not soft wood or malleable metal. Ceramic tiles cannot be cut with a knife or saw. There are special tools for cutting tiles, but in their absence, you can also use the tools available in every household, taking into account the specifics of the material to be cut. Here’s how to cut ceramic tiles with the greatest loss of time and effort.
How to make a curve
Sometimes preparing tile for laying around pipes or plumbing. Then the question arises. how and with what you can shape-cut a tile without tile cutter.
Processing is carried out in several ways:
How to get by with just pliers? To this end, a line is drawn for the trimmer. Facilitate the task by scraping it with a nail. Then take the tool and start breaking off unwanted material in small pieces. Cutters with carbide clamps do the job best.
Awkward areas and shaped notches are made with pliers
As for the drill, here are used regular drills for contour sketching, and then nail the excess with the same wire cutters. A more effective way to make holes of any diameter is to use special nozzles: feather, ballerina, crown, etc. д.
If you have extensive work and need to cut hard ceramic floor tiles, but do not have either an angle grinder or tile cutter, it is better to use the services of companies involved in cutting construction materials. The best option. waterjet cutting.
With this method you can cut with your own hands even the most complex shaped elements at home. The essence is that on the face of the tile a thin stream of water, mixed with the finest hard abrasive particles, such as sand, is delivered under a high pressure. Computerized control of the process allows you to work even with the most complex patterns.
In this article we considered several ways how you can cut tiles at home without tile cutter. Each method is good in its own way. The choice of a particular alternative method depends on the amount of tile work and the skills of the craftsman. With these tools do without the purchase of a special tile cutter.
Choosing the right tool for tile cutting
Cutting with a hand held pliers
For small volumes and uncomplicated cuts, you can use special tongs, with which the cutting of tiles at home is most acceptable. They are not expensive and with the proper skill allow small amounts of work to be performed without much effort.
The product is marked and spent on a line a cutting wheel, which is installed on the pliers. The circle used is considerably larger than the glass cutter, up to 1.5 cm, which allows for a deeper cut on the tile surface. The cut is then much easier and smoother. The edge of the tile is reached with the tongs’ lips. The wide plate of pliers, which forms a small corner, is placed over the face of the tile, and the central part is curved strictly over the previously made furrow. Gently squeezing the tile with tongs, breaking off the excess part.
Such pliers are much better than a glass cutter. However, even with them it is difficult to perform a cut of thin stripes. For such purposes, more advanced equipment is required.
Hand held tile cutter
The principle of operation is the same as with the pliers. A number of improvements are added that allow you to cut tiles with greater precision and much more even with less effort on the part of the master. Strong and flat guides will not let the cutting wheel bounce to the side, and a special ruler limiter allows you to cut the required number of tiles of the same size without any slanting. Cutting tiles with the tile cutter allows you to make only straight lines, for curved cuts, this option is not suitable.
Using a simple glass cutter
One simple option is to use a regular glass cutter. With the help of a ruler (angle), a line for the trimmer of the cut is outlined. Along this line, a shallow groove is made with a glass cutter. Next, placing the tile along the line of the notch on the corner of the countertop, a careful pressure is made to break the tile. This option may be suitable only for thin wall coverings. Cutting glazed tiles, floor tiles or thick wall tiles with a glass cutter is unlikely to work. It is completely unrealistic to try to cut textured or granite tiles with a glass cutter.
For more information on the proper use of a glass cutter, see our article on glass cutting.
Using an angle grinder with a diamond wheel, you can cut absolutely any shape. The disadvantage is the poor accuracy and irregularity of the cut, as it all depends on the accuracy of execution. The edge of the cut can crumble a lot. Cutting tiles with an angle grinder. it is too dusty, so it is better to perform all the operations on the street.
Electric tile cutting machine
This is already a professional approach to the case. In some construction stores or firms can rent such a machine, and already with the help of it perform all necessary operations. The cut on the tile will turn out perfectly straight, thanks to the high revolutions of the diamond disc and the supply of water to the cut trimmer line. The result is of such high quality that you can exhibit such a cut when laying outside corners, when it is not covered by corners. With the machine you can cut tiles into any desired shape and even match the angle of cut. However, even renting such a machine is not cheap, not to mention its cost.
Types of tiles and cutting behavior
Glazed tiles are the most common. Its cutting is largely similar to that of the glass. Mark furrows to be made from the front side. If at hand there are only pliers or a weak tile cutter, then facilitate the cutting of thick floor ceramics can be used with an angle grinder. This is done by duplicating the trimmer line of the cut from the front to the back. The angle grinder carefully makes a groove about half the thickness of the tile. After that it is already much easier to break it.
Breaking is better to produce, having set the tile along the entire line of the cut on a flat surface, a corner of the countertop or a metal corner. Look at the tile cutter for an example and how the support on the cut line is implemented on it. There is a small flat along the entire length of the ledge and somewhat beveled edges of the surface on the sides of it.
If you need to cut porcelain tiles or any textured tiles, there are very few options. For such a purpose, you can use only tools with a diamond disk, which cuts through the entire thickness of the tile.
Cutting with an angle grinder or machine is always done on a flat surface without tearing the tile away from it. Otherwise, you could easily chip the material in a situation where the cutting disc gets stuck in the cut.
Safety when cutting tiles for floors and walls
Every master knows that when laying tile products can not do without cutting them. Performing this rather complicated process it is necessary to adhere to certain safety rules.
To avoid damage by tile particles that can fly in different directions, the master must be protected by special clothing, technical goggles, work gloves, also the use of earplugs is desirable, since the process is relatively noisy.
All working tools must be in good condition, especially pay attention to electrical devices, exclude the possibility of water. It is important to work in a well ventilated place.
How to cut tiles with your own hands
Let’s consider options for cutting tiles with their own hands at home. There are many ways, but the main one is a tile cutter.
But if such a tool is not available, it can be replaced, for example, by a glass cutter, an angle grinder with a diamond disk, an electric jigsaw or special tongs-glass cutter.
Let’s look at each in more detail to understand their convenience and availability.
Manual tile cutter
The first option. a manual tile cutter. Before starting to work it is necessary to prepare the device: to make sure of absence of damages, to check smoothness of running of the cutting wheel (if necessary. to grease with machine oil).
Before using a handheld tile cutter, you need to properly prepare it and make sure that there is no damage to the device.
It is also important to fix the tile well, using the special grips provided on the device, if not. the tile should be fixed with the left hand, the cut should do the right.
For a more accurate result, you need to use a ruler and a marker to draw the line for the trimmer. All prepared. you can get to work. First, you need to raise the handle of the tile cutter so that the cutting roller touches the face of the tile.
With moderate pressure we make a cut. Note that too little pressure will not give the desired result and the break can be uneven, too strong. will leave along the line of the cut on the front side chipped, which will significantly worsen the appearance and require additional processing.
IMPORTANT! Make the cut in one longitudinal motion, this will eliminate unnecessary grooves, uneven breakage and cracks.
After that, we put the tile on a flat surface, lifting one edge that is more distant from the line of the cut, and make a sharp even pressure breaking.
You can use a nail or a bar. To do this, put a nail under the tile (you can replace the wooden bar) and with equal pressure to the sides to make a break. The irregularities should be ground with sandpaper.
Also the best option when cutting tile products will be a glass cutter. The necessary tools: a glass cutter with a thin disk, a marker, a metal ruler, a nail, and sandpaper. It should be noted that this kind of cutting is not the most popular and convenient, but for a small amount of work in principle will do. Before starting the procedure, it is important to make sure that the work surface is flat and hard.
The tile should be placed upside down, using a ruler and marker to mark out the intended place of the cut, without removing the ruler cut the tile with a glass cutter, making several times. Pay attention that it is necessary to carry out accurately along one line and with the same pressure.
The groove should turn out one and even. The pressure must be the same throughout the cut line, so the edges will eventually be flat. Make the cut as described in the above method. Using sandpaper is necessary to grind the seams of the product to give an aesthetic finish to the product.
It should be noted that this option is suitable for wall tiles no thicker than 6 mm.
IMPORTANT! To observe the technology as precisely as possible, because its violation will lead to sloppy edges and chips.
Use an electric plate cutter (water saw)
The next option will have to those who often work with tiles, because the device is quite expensive. an electric tile cutter (or a machine for trimming tiles, or a water saw).
The most effective, as trimming is carried out in a straight line and the groove is obtained by optimal depth, the break is made with a special device, which eliminates chips and cracks, this way you can trim a large number of tiles.
This method will be more simple and convenient, but the thing is more expensive, compared to the rest, given in the article.
We mark the tile in the same way (ruler and marker), put it inside the device and use the cutter with the same pressure to run the line for the trimmer, then using the pressure provided by the device, we make a break.
This device allows you to cut both thinner wall tiles and thicker floor tiles. The angle grinder is water-cooled, which prevents the disc from overheating and allows for a comparatively dust-free cutting process.
Angle grinder with a diamond disc
Those who do not want to bother with manual cutting tiles, but do not have the opportunity to buy a professional machine, you can use an ordinary angle grinder with a diamond disc. This method is very dusty, it is recommended to perform it in a respirator.
When cutting tiles with an angle grinder, wear a respirator to protect your respiratory system from dust.
It should be noted that this method will not be under everyone’s power, because the angle grinder in the hands to hold firmly and very firmly to make an even cut. We mark with a marker or a pencil a tile, put it on a wooden surface (which is not sorry, because the cut will be through and it will have to be thrown away later), we cut along the marked line, gradually deepening.
Technologies of complex, shaped cutting of tile material
Quite often when installing tiles there is a need to cut complex in configuration elements from the solid material. You may also need to cut porcelain (floor) tiles. Let’s look at the most popular options for fragmentation:
Cutting tiles in an “L” shape
Since the tile cutter or angle grinder can cut tiles only in a straight line, there are difficulties with the L-shaped cut. The easiest solution is to divide the tiles into several rectangular parts with their subsequent installation on the wall or floor. However, in this case there will be a noticeable, unsightly extra seam.
Such a defect can be easily avoided. it is necessary to trim the long side with a tile cutter, and the short side. with an angle grinder. The same technique is used to cut outside corners. When making their marking, you should prudently subtract 2.6 mm for the grout joint and 1.35-1.8 mm for the indentation from the wall surface.
There is another way to make an L-shaped cut. Any acceptable way to make a curved cut of the glaze surface, and then make a gradual breaking off of the excess pieces with ordinary pliers. After completion, the remaining irregularities are rubbed down with an emery or abrasive stone. In this way you can make semicircular notches on tiles adjacent to various pipes.
Competently cut ceramic granite floor tiles
It is reasonably believed that the floor tile is the most durable and hardest of its counterparts. Despite this, it can be cut in the same way as a simple tile.
Another thing is cutting a special, hardened tile. Using a tile cutter is ineffective here, because the glaze is almost not scratched. Even a diamond disc angle grinder does not take such a tile. you get a badly torn notch. The hardened tile material should be cut from the back side, where a groove is filed down with an angle grinder disc of 2.3-3.1 mm, defining a line for the notch trimmer. Then, the tile is placed on the edge of the table face down. The cut groove must align perfectly with the edge of the workbench or table. Sharp, strong pressure on the edges ensures that the tile splits exactly into the groove.
We make a 45-degree saw cut of the tile edge
Many tile professionals make filing of tile edges (45 degree angle) for decorative appearance of outer corners in order not to install ceramic corners additionally. But in places where there is a risk of slipping and falling on the floor, it is better to install special curbs-pencils to prevent dangerous injuries.
Forming a 45-degree edge angle is quite easy with a special electric tile cutter model, because it has a special inclined platform that makes it possible to make beveled edges of the tiles. However, only professional masters have such a tool. Making an edge angle at home is relatively easy with an ordinary angle grinder, so to speak, “by eye”. It is necessary to carry out a slightly inwardly inclined disc along the cut line. If you need a correction, it can be made with an abrasive bar.
In principle, high-quality cutting ceramic tiles can be performed by anyone, especially after acquiring the basic skills of such work. When such practice was not, tile material is recommended to buy with 12-16% reserve, designed for unsuccessful attempts at self-cutting.
Quite often, the construction stores themselves provide services for cutting or sawing ceramic tiles to the required dimensions and shapes. However, here you need to know exactly the required dimensions.
Ways of quality cutting ceramic tiles: the right tool, sequence of actions, tips from experts updated: May 15, 2017 by author: