Tile Cutting Methods: Tile Nipper, Score and Snap Tile Cutter and Wet Saw
Most tile installations require cutting tile to size to fit the space properly (primarily around the perimeter). There are different methods to cut tile and some require more skills and technique than others. The following gives you a basic overview of the most common methods to cut tile and explains when and how to use them.
Before you start cutting your tile, make sure to follow the safety instructions and wear the required safety equipment.
The tile nipper method is an easy way to cut circular or irregular cuts of tile. However, it is not the cleanest or fastest method, so make sure that your tile is not in the most visible area of your house.
How it works: Using a pencil, make a line on the tile to mark the area that you want to cut. Take your tile nipper and start by making very small nips at the edge of the tile. Keep nipping your tile until you get to your pencil line. Make sure to nip extra carefully along that line to prevent the tile from breaking. Once your tile is cut, use a rubbing stone or sand paper to smooth the edges.
SCORE AND SNAP TILE CUTTER
The Score and Snap method is the best option when making straight or diagonal cuts.
How it works: Place the tile in the cutter. Line up the mark on the bottom edge of the tile with the scoring wheel. Apply medium pressure and slide the wheel all the way across the tile, scoring the glaze. It’s best to do this in one motion and not stop and start. Only score the tile once, scoring it multiple times can damage the tile and the scoring wheel. After you score the tile there is a breaker bar behind the wheel that you want to place on the front edge of the tile. Press down and apply pressure until the tile snaps on the scored line.
A wet saw uses a combination of an electrical powered diamond blade and water preventing the blade from overheating. It is commonly used for more precise cuts such as notch cuts for around outlets, cabinets and corners.
How it works: Using a wax pencil, mark the cuts that you want to make on the tile. Then feed the tile slowly into the wet saw with both hands until the tile is all the way through the blade. Water will constantly run to keep the blade cool.
This video demonstrates how to cut tile for a bathroom using a wet saw.
Are you ready to cut tile for your next DIY project? Make sure you have all the tile installation products you need and take a look at our How-To Install Guides that give you step-by-step installation instructions.