Now, there are so many types of tiles and different cuts, one tool or one specific set of rules certainly can’t be applied for all of them.
So, before starting your project, it’s important to figure out how you should proceed and where to invest.
The Must Needed Tools
In this post, we’re going to discuss the two prominent tile cutting tools that you’re obviously going to need for your tile cutting project; at least one, if not both.
Cutting Tile with a Tile Cutter
The one that comes to the mind first in the discussion about tile cutting, because of its ability to get the job done in the easiest manner and the cheapest budget.
If you’re working with thinner and softer tiles like the ceramic or glass mosaic in a small batch and looking for straight cut, this is a splendid option.
- First, you’ll have to measure the tile you’re willing to cut. Take a pencil or sharpie, and measuring tape if needed. Mark the place you want to score. After snapping the first piece of tile, place it over an unsnapped piece for even cut throughout the whole batch.
- Place it on the cutter by precisely aligning the marked spot of the tile with the cutter. Press the scoring scribe’s handle and slide it across the whole tile.
- Now press both edges of the tile piece for it to snap. Snap and you have two new tile pieces!
However, scoring and snapping don’t ensure smooth edges. So, you will have to smoothen out the edges using stone, sandpaper or file.
Also, since you have to snap every tile manually, this cutting process is time-consuming and thus not a very productive way of tile cutting for larger projects.
You can’t also cut thicker porcelain or glass tiles if you’re using a cheaper tile cutter. And this is certainly not the best choice for natural stone tiles.
Cutting Tile with a Wet Tile Saw
Everything manual tile cutter can’t do, the wet tile saw can. Cutting your beautiful thick porcelain and natural stone tiles will be a piece of cake with this. The best thing for big projects where a huge number of tiles have to be cut in the same way.
The water sprayed by the saw’s jet wets the tile to wash away the dust and keep the blade cool through the whole process; this also contributes to the smoother cut you’ll get from using this saw.
- Mark the tile you want to cut using a marker or sharpie. For straight cut, only a little line at one side would be enough; whether for angle cut, the line has to be drawn through the whole tile, from this end to that end.
- Choose a location for your work, put a plastic sheet on the floor since it’s going to get messy. Make sure you’re near a power outlet or have an extension that can be stretched to the nearest outlet.
- Prepare the tile saw by filling its water tray or connecting a water hose to its joint for continuous water supply. If you’re using a water tray, make sure the pump is properly submersed into the water.
- Carefully place the tile on the fence. Align the mark on the tile with the saw blade, fix it to the miter gauge in case you’re trying to go for angle cut.
- Turn the power on. As the blade starts spinning and the jet starts spraying water, gently press the edges of the tile with your hands and run the tile through the blade to achieve the targeted cut.
This tool is expensive and you have to be massively skilled to make the best use of it. The mess created by the dust and water is inevitable.
Also, you must work at a fixed location because wet tile saw bounds to be quite heavy for moving from one place to another.
Tools That You Can Also Use
Manual tile cutters and wet tile saws are essential for cutting tiles, but there are several other tools that can be handy for a specific type of cut.
Cutting Tile with a Hole Saw
Most saws are made for scoring from the edge, but what about the time when you have to make holes in the middle of tiles? Hole saw is the tool for that.
And the best part about this saw is, the diamond blade can cut through any tile regardless of the thickness and nature.
- Take a tile and decide the spot you want to poke a whole through. Then place it on the surface where working is convenient for you.
- Plug the cord to the nearest power outlet and turn the power on. Now carefully bring the blade close to the tile surface to cut the hole.
- This will do the trick for thin tiles. However, in case you’re dealing with the hard stuff like natural stone, do wet the tile before trying to cut through it.
This saw only works for making holes. Also, the cut is going to be very jagged on harder tiles without water, so always be careful about that.
Cutting Tile with a Angle Grinder
Angle grinder is the perfect tool for making easy bavel, curve and angle cuts manually– no matter how crucially detailed the cut is.
The grinder comes with a diamond blade attached to it that can cut through any material, thin glass or natural stone tile.
- Again, marking is our first priority. Decide where to start and how you want the curve/angle to go down, draw lines over the targeted spot using marker/sharpie.
- Place the tile on a surface where it will be convenient for you to make those cuts manually.
- Take the grinder and make sure its blade is not all ready to run before turning the power on. After making sure it’s all good, plug the cord, turn the power on and start the grinder.
- As the blade starts spinning, gently score it through the beginning point of the marked line and follow the line accordingly throughout the whole cutting procedure.
The manual behavior of the tool does help you achieve easily the curve cut you want, but it has some drawbacks as well. As it’s all dry, and the material’s thickness or the grinder blade’s sharpness does matter when it comes to the level of smoothness the edges achieve after the cut. Also, the process is pretty messy because dust and debris are always flying around.
So, these were all the essential tools you can use for cutting tiles. Just got to decide first what cut you want, on which tile you want, and how far you’re going with the project; then just pick the tool that fits your need the most and you’re good to go.
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