How to cut a tile with a nail. Tile wet cutter

How to cut a tile without a tile cutter

In some cases, especially for beginners, the question of how you can cut tiles without a tile cutter arises acutely in finishing work? Sometimes the desire to do without special equipment is justified, as the area of finishing is very small. Therefore, you can now learn how to do without a special tile cutter.

The principle of cutting ceramic tiles

In order to understand how and what to cut the tile without tile cutter it is necessary to understand how it is cut and what are the cutters. If the device is mechanical (handheld), it uses a wheel with pobedite tips as a knife. And here, the electric units have discs with a fine diamond coating.

In the case of mechanics, the cutting is not complete. the pobedite wheel makes only a strip up to 0.2-0.3 mm deep, after which the tile is simply broken using mechanical force. The electric machine cuts the tile completely, and there you can change the angle of the disk, cutting an edge at 45ᵒ.

The denser the ceramic structure, the more difficult it is to make a mechanical cutting. the tile can break in the wrong place, where the line for the trimmer was held. And here the diamond disk of pobedite machine can cut a 3-5 mm wide strip and it remains whole. Based on this information, you can figure out how to cut tiles without a tile cutter.

Using a glass cutter

So, if you do not have a mechanical or electric special device, you can use a pobeditovye or diamond glass cutter, provided it is sharp enough. But here you can only make rectilinear recesses about angular (rotary) variants you will learn below.

First of all, mark the panel. put a marker or pencil two marks, which will correspond to the correct cutting. Take a short level or a very level rail, apply to the set points with an indentation of 1.5-2 mm. On each of the marks, check that the wheel or cone aligns exactly with them when you press the rod against the guide.

the trimmer’s line run in one pass with a vertical pressure (not very strong). it is usually enough to pass the glazed surface so that the break occurred exactly on it. Place the tile on the edge of a table or stool so that it coincides with the made recess, and sharply press on both sides. The result should be two pieces of the required size.

But how do you cut a tile if you need to separate only a narrow strip, because pushing on the other edge will simply be impossible? For this trimmer line is made in the same way as described above, but the strip itself will have to break off with wire cutters or pliers in small fragments.

If the ceramic is too thick (floor), in such cases, after the passage of the glass cutter tile can be put on a stool, to stand on it the knees and sharply hit two palms on the dangling side. It is also possible to clamp the finger in a vice by placing bars on both sides of the line and also break off by tapping.

Using an angle grinder

And how to cut tiles, if the line for trimmer cutting will not be straight, and in the form of an angle or even an arc? For this you can use an angle grinder (angle grinder) and a diamond disc. Only here it is important to consider the thickness of the circle. the smaller it is, the better the edge and there will be no chips coating.

The larger the diameter of the disk, the thicker it is, so if the diameter of 150-200 mm, its thickness will be 2.5-3.0 mm, with 115-125 mm. 1.0-2.5 mm, respectively. Consequently, in such cases, even for a large angle grinder, it is better to use small circles.

To avoid chips as much as possible, the forward movement should be in the direction of the face, but not from it. In addition, to cut a corner, one line for the trimmer can be made with a glass cutter and the other with a diamond disc.

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If you’re wondering how to cut ceramic tiles with an arc without a tile cutter, for example, to bypass the toilet drain, you know that you can use the same diamond disc on an angle grinder and glass cutter. To do this, draw a marker on the surface of the desired curve and go over it with a glass cutter. so there will be fewer chips.

After that, chopped to the made recess that part that will go in the waste (strips no more than 15-20 mm wide). Then carefully break off these fragments with wire cutters or pliers. Level out any remaining irregularities with an angle grinder.

These methods were used at a time when there were no tile cutters at all (at least in the USSR), but instead of angle grinder used abrasive wheel in the machine. And now the lack of a special device is not such a dilemma, as complex lines can be made with a diamond disc on an angle grinder, as discussed above.

Briefly about the types of tiles

For wall and floor tiling are used mosaic tiles, glazed or porcelain tiles. In the case of the first, as a rule, it is enough to have a construction knife or scissors at hand to cut the grid of the cloth formed at the factory. For cutting larger samples requires a power tool or a hand-held tile cutter. Consider what you need to know about the facing material before sawing tiles with an angle grinder.

Ceramic products are characterized by high hardness and strength. These can be solid or two-layer samples (with a decorative coating). The main disadvantage of the materials is their brittleness. From a point mechanical load, the blade can burst, and the edges can chip off during cutting. These points are important to bear in mind when selecting a tool.


A simple tool, but it will help you get a variety of tile shapes. Bite off small pieces, starting at the edge. It’s a simple method, so be prepared for sloppy edges and extra work to be done on them.

Now you understand how to cut floor tiles, but remember that you can not always do without professional tools, so you can contact a company that specializes in cutting a variety of materials.

Using an electric tile cutter

This is an expensive professional tool that will cut any tile equally quickly, evenly and accurately. With its help, cutting in a straight line and at an angle of 45 degrees, drilling holes and recesses, as well as shaped cutting is available. The strips you cut off are less than 5 millimeters wide. The edges of the cut are smooth, slightly rounded.

Some models work with one side of the tile dipped in water, others require only regular wetting along the cut. This method prevents the formation of dust.

The tool consists of a base, a knife and an electric motor, and the cutting process is as follows:

  • The tray is filled with water at the level of the cutting disc, so that it is lowered into it by 2-3 centimeters (for submerged models).
  • The tile is clamped and slowly moved under the cutter according to the marking. The force must be uniform to avoid chipping or the motor jamming.
  • To cut a corner, repeat the procedure twice in sections with the desired angle.

Like any similar tool, the electric tile cutter requires the implementation of safety requirements and the use of protective equipment.

For quality work, it is necessary to change worn discs and water in time.

How to cut a tile

The following methods are mainly suitable for cutting tiles at home. But also applicable or limitedly applicable to other types of tile. You can cut tiles without a tile cutter in the following ways:

Angle grinder (angle grinder)

Generally speaking, this is a universal tool. Just as in the past craftsmen could cut down a house with a single axe, so now with a single angle grinder they can cut out anything. The author has witnessed how to cut an even round hole with a diameter of 5 cm.

Please note! The method is suitable for straight, shaped types and with minimal skill with the tool curved lines of any configuration.

  • angle grinder. Any power and any kind;
  • Cutting wheel (stone or diamond);
  • Protective helmet or goggles (mandatory);
  • Protective fully covered suit and gloves (recommended);
  • Respirator (recommended);
  • Clamping. Optional in some cases (clamp or vise).
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Pre-mark the tiles, preferably with a line scratched with any sharp tool. As a last resort, it is allowed to draw the line with a construction marker. The work generates a lot of dust and marked lines can be erased when it is removed.

Small straight cuts on the edges of the tile can be made by laying the tile on a flat surface on a table or on the floor. First cut a few millimeters into the surface. In this operation, the tile’s own gravity and the friction force are enough to hold the product in place. For deeper cuts, you can additionally step on the edge or hold a helper. When making curved cuts, it is better to clamp the workpiece to the table top or clamp it in a vice by placing pieces of cardboard or a thick cloth under the jaws beforehand.

Tip! Put a piece of plywood under the product to avoid damaging the surface of the table or the floor.

  • On the outer edge of the marks pass several times along the entire length. Deepen up to 3 mm in one pass. Repeat the operation until the result is achieved;
  • With small cuts, up to 2 cm in length, immediately to the full thickness;
  • The marks are placed on both sides. A superficial cut (up to 3 mm) is made on the face. Then cut backwards (up to 3 mm per pass) until the target is reached. This method avoids accidental damage to the face of the cutting tool.

Recommended for difficult cuts: on edges or curved cuts. The fact is that with this method there is a lot of dust, cutting blade consumption, time and labor costs. The usual straight trimmer line can be cut with much simpler methods.


If you do not have a tile cutter or angle grinder, an electric jigsaw may be available. Underestimated by many!

Please note! Similarly, you can use a hand jigsaw with a saw on the stone. But the cutting speed will be much slower.

  • Jigsaw. Any capacity;
  • Jigsaw for stone;
  • Safety goggles (recommended).

Sawing in the usual way. Too rounded cuts are problematic to cut, the saw sticks. Not thick (wall) tiles can be sawn well. It is very difficult to cut porcelain floortiles in this way. Soaking the material beforehand is suggested to make it a little easier.

Recommended if you must cut curved sections with large radii of curvature.

Glass cutter or any pointed tool

Only tiles can be cut with this method. And only in a straight line. Another restriction is that the pieces must not be less than 2 cm wide.

  • Glass cutter. Any tool with a pointed cutting edge can be used instead of a glass cutter. The cutting tool should preferably be made of hard materials: diamond, beater, etc.д. As examples of cutting tools: drills, lance drills, utility knife, etc;
  • Metal ruler or any straight metal rail. As a last resort, any material. But then you will need to be very careful to scratch the line for the trimmer cut, because you can cut through the ruler and the scratch will go sideways on the tile.

To get a sharp cut without any chips and deviations, it is necessary to apply the notch accurately. It is enough to scratch the upper, glossy layer.

Tip! Pay attention to the beginning and the end of the scratch when applying the ridge. Often the scratch is not deep enough at the beginning and at the end. This is due to insufficient pressure and psychology. At the beginning we only try it on and the pressure is low. At the very end, there is an acceleration and the risk is “smeared. This can cause the notch to go sideways in these places.

The depth of the scratch depends on the hardness and sharpness of the tool used. If the tool is sufficiently hard and sharpened (glass cutter with a sharp roller, lance-shaped sharpened pobedite drill bit, etc.).д.), it is enough to make one pass with a good pressure. If the tool is blunt or made of soft material (utility knife), several passes are needed. In the end the groove should go deeper than the glossy layer.

  • Against an even sharp corner. Grab the tile with both hands from different sides of the risk. Sharp blow from a distance of 5.10 cm against the corner on the back side of the product. Before doing so, aim well to hit the point of rupture as precisely as possible. The angle can be anything, as long as it is sharp and hard (a metal corner, a wooden bar). It is desirable for convenience, that the corner has risen above a surface of centimeters on 10. Otherwise, there is a chance that when you hit the surface with your hand, the impact will go sideways and the tile will break off the notch;
  • On the hard stick. The tile is placed on a long hard bar, with the back of the tile aligned with the mark on it. Then sharply pressed on both sides with two hands. The pin may be any. flat, about 8 to 15 mm in diameter (a drill, a round pencil, etc.).д.). Preferably, the length should be at least 2/3 of the fracture length. It is possible to break out parts, not through the entire length of the tile;
  • Between the clamps. The method is suitable both for breaking off through the whole tile and for breaking out large parts. The approaches are different, but the essence is the same. It is required to fix the product between two clamps at the breaking point. It can be two bars or thick plywood. You can make a small machine: two sheets of plywood fastened at one end with screws, the tile is placed inside, pushing them apart with force. The main thing is to ensure that there are even, sharp edges and the accuracy of installation of the material on the line for the trimmer risks. After installation we additionally clamp the construction with our own weight and push sharply on the protruding edge.
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Drill with nozzles

Strictly speaking, a drill is not suitable for cutting a strip. The drill and various attachments will cope with drilling holes of different diameters in the tiles.

Holes of small diameter under the dowels are made for the attachment of shelves, cabinets, decorative elements. Large holes are needed for bypassing pipes, meters, etc.

To work with ceramics it is better to use not an ordinary drill bit, but a lance-shaped tile drill bit, commonly referred to as a “feather”. It easily penetrates the glaze layer and the top layer of the ceramic, and digs into it so that it passes the tile without chipping the surface.

When you have passed the ceramic, replace the “feather” with a concrete drill bit and continue the work.

Diamond tipped crowns are excellent tools for drilling holes for outlets, switches, meters, and so on.

How to make a rounding

Occasionally, tiles are prepared for laying around pipes or plumbing. Then the question arises. How to cut a tile without a tile cutter.

Processing is carried out by several methods:

How to make do with pliers only? A trimmer line is drawn for this purpose. Make the task easier by scratching it with a nail. Then take the tool and start breaking the unwanted material into small pieces. Carbide pliers do it best.

Awkward areas and shaped cuts are made with pliers.

As for the drill, then here the usual drills outline the contour, and later the same cutters break off the excess. The more effective method of making holes of any cross-section. Use special attachments: feather, dancer, crown, etc. Д.

Cutting the floor tiles

Options, how to cut the floor tiles, too, abound. For disposable work, the tools that are available in the home device will be useful. It should be noted right away that these options are suitable for cases where masonry is done with ordinary ceramic or tile material. In the case of porcelain tiles. will have to go to the store for an industrial tile cutter. For cutting a tile floor tile technology is the same as for the facade.

As for the tools, and their list is no different from the one for the wall material.

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