Ceramic Tiles – How to Cut Ceramic Tiles

I do not think I can remember completing any tiling project where I have not had to cut at least one ceramic tile. Most people get slightly nervous just at thought of doing this so I thought I would write a quick guide to help.

Here is a list of the tools you will need; a chinagraph pencil (get these from your stationery store), steel rule, a platform tile cutter, tile saw, tile nibbler, pencil and finally a G-clamp.

How to Finish a Row – When you get to the end of a row, put the last tile on top of the previous tile and butt it up to the corner. Mark a line for cutting making sure to include an allowance for your grout.

Next take your platform tile cutter and make a straight cut. First of all you need to score the tile with the cutting wheel. Then apply the lever to snap the line along the score line. Now it is simply a case of affixing the tile to the wall.

Please note: It is important that you measure all your end of row tiles separately as the chances are that they are unlikely to be the same size.

How to Slice a Sliver off a Tile – Platform tile cutters whilst great tools are not able to make cuts much smaller than say 15mm wide we use another method to do this.

To take a small sliver off a tile you first score the tile with a hand held tile scorer, using your steel rule as a guide. For best results make sure your score mark is very deep and has penetrated through the glaze of the ceramic tile (this is essential for a clean break).

Using your tile nibbler you nibble away the sliver that needs removing before smoothing the edges with a file to finish.

Cutting a Curved Shape into a Ceramic Tile – You may have occasions where you need to cut a tile so it will fit around a curved object.

Here is who to do this.

First of all you need to cut a piece of paper the same size of the tiles you are using creating a paper template.

Place your paper template in position by butting it up to the curved object. Make a series of small cuts along the edge that rests against the curve to create the desired shape.

Next using your paper template as a guide and chinagraph pencil as a marker transfer the curved line onto the surface of the ceramic tile you are going to cut.

Then using your G-clamp, clamp the tile face upwards (being careful not to mark it). Using your tile saw carefully cut along your chinagraph pencil line. Take your time and do not apply excessive pressure. Once cut you can use a file to get rid of any rough edges then just fit your nicely shaped tile.

You can apply all of the above techniques with all of your tiling projects whether it be affixing bathroom ceramic tiles or tiling your kitchen.

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