How to Use a Tile Cutter

A clean and right fitting of a tile is extremely essential to leave a wonderful impact on the installation. The tool used for the cutting part plays a significant role on the finishing of the overall installation. There are many tools available in the market for tiling job. If you are planning for a do it yourself tiling job, you need an efficient tool to cut according to the perimeter of the room to fit perfectly around the corners.
A porcelain tile or a glass mosaic can be cut in various methods using different tools. Diamond blades, tile cutters, tile nippers, tiling accessories and wall tiling battens are something you can use to execute the job. But, if you need a safe and reliable tool to perform the job effortlessly a tile cutter will be an ideal choice for you. There are usually two types of Tile cutters –manual tile cutter and electric tile cutter. As the name says, the manual tile cutter is used without electricity to cut ceramic, porcelain, extruded tile, gres porcelain in a straight line. So, it can give an excellent finishing look with safety. But how to use manual tile cutter? What are the safety measures to keep in mind while operating it? Let’s check it out!

Who should Use a Tile Cutter?

Tile cutter has many advantages over other cutting tools. It is incredibly fast and is the cheapest way of cutting where we don’t need any external agent like electricity or water.  Built to use for professional as well as beginners, it can be precisely used if you are performing a tiling job for the first time.  This tool can give clean and bright finished edges and hence can be utilized for professional use. With easy adjustment of cuts, you will able to perform the tiling job as the way you want. It is a safe alternative to any other tools, so the job can be done by anyone if they read through the manual or follow the instructions.

How to Cut Tile with a Tile Cutter

If you are planning on cutting tiles manually since it’s cheaper, easier and safer, then a manual cutter tile is perfect for making straight cuts on ceramic tile; however, it should be kept in mind, it cannot be used for stone or for making tiny cuts or combination cuts.  

1. Purchasing the tile cutter: You need to buy a Tile cutter that is wider than the tile you need to cut. If you need to perform a diagonal cut, you need to measure the dimension from corner to corner and purchase a tile cutter wider than that. Also, many tile cutters have a rotating guide to help you cut at different angles.
2. Practice the cut: You can practice the cut by using some inexpensive or scrap pieces of tiles. This step is especially for the beginners and professionals can directly skip to step 3.
3. Marking for the cut: Use a pencil or some sort of mark to highlight the cut on both the sides of the tile from the beginning to the end.
4. Slide the level: Basically, you need this to perform the task easily. On the tile cutter, you need to slide the level so that the blade comes close to you.
5. Placing the tile: Place the tile between the blades of the cutter with the glaze side up. You have to ensure that the marking are perfectly over the guide line. You can even cut many tiles similarly by adjusting the protractor gauge. Make sure it’s against the side of the line and tighten it properly.
6. Moving the level: Adjust and move the lever so that the tungsten or carbide wheel is over the marked line. Push the lever down on the edge of the tile with equal pressure continuously. This will make the marking edge weak enough to cut easily.
7. Cutting it into two: Apply pressure on both the sides of the score line by pushing down the lever. Now, this the weakest point to be cut in two pieces easily.
8. Make the sides smooth: Use a sharpening stone or sand paper to smoothen the sides of the cut edge. In the moulding process, if the cut edge remains hidden you don’t need to smoothen it.
And that is all it takes to use a manual tile cutter to cut tiles!

How to Cut Tiles Using a Power Saw

1. Prepare for Tile Cuts with the Saw
Cutting tiles by means of hand-tools is risky and difficult so for bigger jobs, a lot of time and effort can be saved by using a water-cooled tile saw, available at lease at about $45 per day. While it appears daunting for a beginner, power saw tool can be mastered rather easily so long as a few fundamental principles and safety measures are followed.
While preparing to use the tile cutter, familiarize yourself with the equipment.
Water is used to both cool the blade and keep down the dust. Fill a large bucket with clean water and carefully set the pump on the bottom. The pump is connected to a hose that pours water directly on the blade and work surface. Try a couple of practice cuts first.
Use the measuring marks on the platform to set up each cut.
2. Make the Cuts
To make each cut, make sure your hands are out of the way before slowly sliding the platform with the tile through the blade.
The water-cooled saw works great for straight or angle cuts, but it’s essential for compound cuts. In our project, we cut a piece to go around the shower drain, making three cuts on the piece. These cuts would be nearly impossible with hand tools.
Remove any excess material left in the corners with hand nippers.
Once most of the cuts are made, determine how the cut pieces will fit together.
The next tricky part is making cuts on a piece to accommodate the toilet drain. Use the scoring tool to make this cut, and then set it on some wood or other hard surfaces to snap off the cut
3. Finish Setting the Cut Tiles
Set the cut tile in place around the toilet drain.
Complete setting the remaining tiles carefully, using the spacers to ensure uniform spacing.
Some tiling jobs may take a few days to complete. When you get to a stopping point each day, scrape up any mortar that isn’t covered by a tile so you can start to clean the next day. If any thin-set mortar gets on the tile surface, wipe it off before it dries.
The next step in the tiling process is grouting the seams. Important: Allow at least 24 hours for the mortar to dry before walking on the installed tiles or starting the grouting process.
Pro Tip : When setting tiles, don’t let thin-set mortar sit more than about ten minutes before placing a tile. If that happens, the mortar will dry and have to be removed and replaced before placing the tile.

Tile Cutter: Safety Measures

Using a tile cutter is usually safe over any other tools for tile cutting. But you need to adopt some safety measures to avoid the risk of unwanted hazards.

  • Use a protective gear or something to protect your face from pieces of the cut tiles to enter the naked eyes.  
  • Also, if you are using an electric tile cutter you need to follow some more precautions.  You have to keep it away from the water.
  • While performing the job you need to stay alert and inspect your tile properly to complete the job flawlessly.

A tile cutter is the best alternative for the widely used Diamond blades. A tile cutter is quite beneficial for experts as well as beginners. With cheap cutting, you can be assured that the job will be done comparatively faster. So, now you can cut any type of tiles or glass carefully and accurately by using this inexpensive tool.

Emily Floate

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