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   Articles | How-Tos | Ask the Expert   

Cutting Tile

There are two ways to cut tile. The first way is fairly manual but has the virtue of being inexpensive. The second is much more expensive but is far more flexible.

Method 1:

This method uses a tile scoring device (Fig. 1) that resembles a glass cutter. Most of the kits come with a jig that you may use to score a straight line (Fig. 2). After the line is scored, you follow with a pair of special pliers (Fig. 3) to put pressure on the tile in order to snap it along the line (Fig. 4) you scored. The only problem with this method is that it is not possible to stop the cut halfway down the tile. You could probably get away with tile nippers (Fig. 5) if you did not have much to take off. Tile nippers work just like their name. You "nip" off a bit at a time. Be careful though, if you take too much at once you might break the whole tile.

Method 2:

Much easier but more expensive. This method involves a diamond wheel wet-saw (Fig. 6). These saws range in cost from $100 to $500 or more. The saw used in these pictures is a relatively inexpensive one but if you aren't making a living installing tile it is probably fine. The saw works by "cutting" the tile with an abrasive disk. The blade and workpiece are kept cool by circulating water into the work area. The more expensive saws have a pump dedicated to this purpose. The inexpensive saws depend on the "blade" to bring water up from below.


Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3


Fig. 4


Fig. 5


Fig. 6

 



 


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