To ensure you get a clean and professional finish it’s important to have the right tools for cutting tiles. It’s a skill perfected by the professionals but not impossible for any DIYer. Here’s a few tips and tools you’ll need to get that perfect cut finish on any tile.
What you need to start:
– Gloves, Googles, Ear Defenders, and a Face Mask
– Tile Markers
– Tile Cutter
1 – Electric Cutter
Wet cutting is a popular method of cutting tiles. Water is sprayed on the blade to limit the dust and cool the blade as it cuts. These cutters use a diamond blade. And the water ensures a clean cut and a longer lasting blade. This style of cutter has a very low risk of cracks or breakages. These types of cutters are perfectly suited to granite, marble, hard porcelain and natural stone.
As mentioned above, these types of cutters use a diamond edged blade to ensure a clean cut and these come in a variety of sizes, styles and widths. Electric wet cutters are normally supplied with a diamond blade suitable only for ceramic tiles, but it’s always best to check what the blade is suitable for before starting your project.
2 – Angle Grinder
The ever faithful angle grinder. An extremely useful tool, capable of cutting just about anything, but also a tool which must be used carefully and with the correct precautions.
The high speed of an angle grinder introduces heat and the potential for cracking and chipping when the incorrect blade is used to it’s important to use a good quality diamond blade and also suitable PPE.
3 – Rail Cutter (Score & Snap)
A rail cutter is the most commonly used type of tile cutter. These cutters use a cutting wheel similar to a glass cutting wheel and are perfectly suited to tiles up to 8 or 9mm thick. Various different wheels can be fitted and these can be swapped to suit a variety of different types of tile material. Check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure which wheel you need.
Rail cutters are only suitable for cutting in straight lines so you will probably need an electric cutter or angle grinder for any awkward angles, corners or curves.
To cut a tile manually, the tile is first measured and marked and is set onto the bed of the rail cutter and the wheel lined up with the mark. Pressing down firmly on the wheel, the cutting wheel is then pushed along the line in a smooth firm action. Then the handle can be used to press down on the scored line to snap the tile along the line.
Any rough edges along the line of the cut can be filed using a tile file.
4 – Nippers
Tile Nippers are a very useful accessory for anyone laying tiles. Nippers can be used to cut small tiles for tight areas, or sharp corners. They work well for mosaics and glass tiles. Rough edges can also be filed to smooth them off.