How to cut ceramic tiles. Working with an electric tile cutter

With what and how you can cut tiles, working with tools for tiles and ceramics in the home

There are quite a few tools that can be used to cut tiles at home. You do not need to buy an expensive professional tile cutter if you want to cut a small amount of material. Every home craftsman can find a device that is suitable for working with ceramics.

Although cutting tiles is not a life-threatening activity, it is still necessary to take some safety precautions and use protective equipment, because the risk of injury exists. To protect the eyes from dust and possible splinters, it is recommended to wear special plastic glasses. Construction gloves will keep your hands safe from cuts and scratches.

You should be especially careful with floor tiles, t. к. The tile is very hard and cuts may have sharp edges. A respirator is recommended if you do a lot of work that generates dust particles.

means of protection

Is it possible to cut tiles without a tile cutter?

Of course, it was always being cut before the tool was invented. Let’s remember the technology of the forgotten years and use modern tools.

Important! The general principle of cutting tiles is to create a scratch on the cut line. Micro cracks help form the perfect rift when you apply force.

Glass cutter

Every home has such a tool. Even if you don’t have one, don’t despair. When you next organize your pantry or balcony, you will definitely find it. And the inscription “Made in the USSR” will be on it.

The process of cutting a tile is no different than cutting glass. You mark out a piece of fishing line for the trimmer and guide the glass-cutter roller over it.

If you don’t have tremors in your hands, you can work without a guide. By practicing on a few damaged pieces you’ll get the necessary skill.

If your hand can shake. grab any flat object. It can be another tile or a steel ruler.

The main rule is to cut in the direction “toward yourself”, from the rim to the end of the tile. The force must be strong and even throughout the cut.

If you are doing it right, you will hear a characteristic crunching sound. Interruptions in the crunching mean that the trimmer line is not solid. At the end of the cutter should come off the tile with effort.

Important! You make the cut in one pass. If you draw a second groove. the tile will break unevenly.

After scratching, the tiles need to be broken up carefully. No clamping with a wire clamp between the two bars! There are only two ways: against a table or against a nail.

  • Place the tile on the edge of a table or other evenly angled surface. Hold the tile on the table with one hand and press the free edge vigorously with the other. Make sure the broken piece does not fall out of your hands
  • Put the scratched tile on a flat surface, so that under the cut there is some object. For example. a nail

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Press the edges with both hands, the tile will crack evenly on the marking. By the way, this method is very popular for large amounts of work. less time is spent on moving the tile from place to place.

The width of the broken off part of the tile matters. A strip of less than 5 cm will be difficult to break off qualitatively, and 2-3 cm. impossible. For this there are special tongs. a tile cutter.

They can be used to cut and break tiles. True, it goes beyond the concept of “how to cut tiles without a tile cutter” (pliers will have to buy).

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The alternative is to still use a bar and a clamp. Clamp the narrow part on the edge of the table, and break off the wide half with a sharp downward motion (the traditional way).

The alternative to the glass cutter

What to do if you really don’t have a glass cutter at home? To draw a groove, you need a sharp object, harder than the tile. The cutter from the lathe will do (in case you have one at home)?).

You can sharpen the edge of the file with an emery, obtaining a sharp angle. The alloy steel will make a deep groove. Similarly, a pobedite drill bit will do.

The important thing is to hold it in your hands while making a “groove”.

And finally, the simplest option. a construction knife. Unlike a glass cutter, the knife must be scraped through the trimmer line several times.

A circular hand saw

Let’s say right away that this is not the best tool for cutting ceramics. There are special disc tile cutters (including manual ones) with 14000. 18000 rpm. A regular circular saw doesn’t develop even half that speed. And yet, if there is such a tool. for emergency work it can be used.

Always choose a diamond-tipped stone or ceramic disc first. It is not necessary to look for the most expensive (it is simply designed for a longer life), for small volumes economical class is enough.

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Before touching the tile. speed up the shaft to the maximum speed. Do not push hard, otherwise the speed will drop, and the tile will start to burn and crack.

Be sure to wet the place of the cut! If possible, arrange a constant supply of water with a thin tube.

angle grinder

Originally, this tool was used only for cutting marble and cutting porcelain tiles.

However, the owners of compact angle grinder quickly unraveled the possibilities of electric tools. Unlike a handheld circular saw. the angle grinder has a rather high RPM, so the cut will be cleaner.

It is much more comfortable to hold in your hands. You can cut small coated ceramic tiles.

And yet there are a few secrets, how to properly cut tiles with an angle grinder some of these tips see in this video.

  • A thinner disc should be used if possible. Let it wear down faster. but it will not decrease the rotation speed. you can get a perfect cut
  • Hold the tool correctly. The angle grinder when processing tiles should be kept “upside down”. That means that the blade should rotate away from you. If the handle of your angle grinder is not repositioned to the other side. it will be uncomfortable to work

Attention! Always fit the blade guard, it is strictly forbidden to work without it! Even a strong steel blade can crack, and the consequences are most unfortunate.

  • The movement of the blade along the cut is “toward yourself”. That is, in the direction of rotation. This way there will be fewer chips, especially on fragile porcelain stoneware
  • The right cutting table. In the illustration you can see that there is a slit in the place of the cut. Do not put the tiles on the edge of the table, the support must be at both halves. Be sure to secure both sides with clamps with soft footrests
  • It is not necessary to cut through tiles in one pass. It is better to make several passes, each time plunging deeper. The main thing is not to lose revolutions. Therefore, do not put too much pressure
  • Again, you need to wet the cutting point. You should not pour water continuously, splashes might get into the electric motor. It will be enough to abundantly moisten the cut trimmer line before each pass.

Working with the glass cutter

The easiest, cheapest, and easiest tool to cut ceramic products is the glass cutter. It can be of two kinds: with a roller of small diameter and with a diamond tip. There are virtually no particular differences in the work between them, but the first tool is more convenient to use. In addition, cutting tiles with a glass cutter is no different than cutting glass.

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Let’s consider step by step instruction of work with this tool:

  • firstly, before cutting tiles with the glass cutter, it is necessary to precisely mark the trimmer line of the cut with an erasable marker or a pencil on its glossy side. It is also desirable to use corners or metal rulers. With the ruler in place, you only have to cut once from the far edge of the ceramic piece towards yourself. Trying to distribute the force on the tool as evenly as possible. That way you have a perfectly straight trimmer line. a recess that loosens the strength of the blade.
  • Secondly, you need to position the tile on the table so that the trimmer line of the notch on the product and the edge of the table completely coincide. Next, carefully holding a part of the tile on the table, you need to press on its other edge: the product will break softly and accurately. The edges can be cleaned with emery paper after all work.

And what disk to cut a ceramic tile with an angle grinder?

  • Practically any disk will do for a single use. However, if you have a large amount of tiling work to do, it is better to buy the most appropriate.
  • The optimum choice is a steel disc, 125 mm in diameter, with diamond coating, min. 2 mm thick.
  • The disc of a smaller thickness is less stable when working in manual mode, it can create an uneven cut, collapse and damage the tile.

According to the type of cutting edge, it is possible to distinguish such types:

  • A segmented disc, where the diamond coating is on the cutting edge itself. Due to the presence of segments and slots, partial cooling occurs during operation, and continuous cutting time increases up to 1.5 min. Only use this blade for dry cutting.
  • Continuous. has a spray on the entire cutting edge, along the rim. It requires water cooling. periodically wetting the tile or using a sprayer. The end result is a very clean cut, better than using a segmented disc.
  • Combination. combines features of the above-mentioned discs. Can be used for both dry and wet cutting. Compared to the segmented ones, they cool worse and have worse cut quality compared to the solid ones.

Different types of cuts can be made with an angle grinder:

  • Straight. a normal cut in half or in unequal parts, on rectangular pieces of any kind of tile: tile, porcelain tile, ceramic tile. To get a clean cut, it’s a good idea to clamp the tile with clamps or, for small cuts, use a workbench.
  • Curved or circular in diameter from 50-100 mm. Marks the outline of the cut (circle) on the front and back, cut a trimmer line that roughly corresponds to the circle, albeit uneven, but not outside the circle. Then the segments inside the circle are cut to the diameter. Using pliers, you break out the inner segments, align the edges, and then grind.
  • Boring. cutting tiles at an angle. In this case the usual straight line cut is made, then the tile is fixed and the ceramic layer is cut at a desired angle, without violating the outer facing.

Diamond glass cutter

The easiest cutting of ceramic tiles at home is done by means of a glass cutter. If you don’t have a tool with a diamond cutting part, a roller glass cutter will do. You can’t cut tiles along a curved line with a diamond or a roller, it would be tiring to work with such a tool if you have a large amount of tiling. But for a leisurely installation on small areas the glass cutter is quite suitable. The advantage of this tool in the affordability (2-3 dollars). the purchase of glass cutters will not shake even a modest family budget. If the question arises about what to cut ceramic tile without unnecessary costs, the glass cutter diamond is just the thing.

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Cutting a tile with a glass cutter is simple. The process resembles working with tile tongs, with the difference that the tile break is done on the edge of the table (as described in the section about cutting tiles with an angle grinder).

With a steady hand, the diamond glass cutter can be replaced by an ordinary concrete drill bit for a drill or peorator with a pobedite tip.

Tile cutting with an angle grinder

This tool is attractive because almost every home has it available. The procedure of cutting with an angle grinder is not particularly difficult, if you use a diamond disc for its equipment. Nado:

  • Make a marking.
  • Turn the tool on.
  • Guide the cutting disc along the marked line in the “away from you” direction.

Important! Among the advantages of such a solution note the wide design possibilities. with an angle grinder you will perform even shaped cuts of the desired shape. But at the same time the edges can be jagged and sloppy, and in addition, vigilant attention to safety precautions must be paid so as not to injure yourself.

How to properly cut tiles with an angle grinder, you can learn from the clear video example.

Safety Precautions for Cutting

The safety rules when working with cutting tools are as simple as possible, but it is essential to follow them because your health and even life depend on it. When using non-electric tools, gloves and goggles are the basic safety precautions. Gloves will help avoid cuts from the sharp edges of the material, and goggles will prevent splinters and dust from getting into the eyes.

When working with an electric tool, angle grinder or tile cutter, special attention is paid to safety:

  • It is strictly forbidden to change or clean the cutting disk if the machine or angle grinder is plugged in. The equipment must be completely de-energized.
  • When cutting with an angle grinder, the cutting blade must not be sunk into the porcelain stoneware by more than one-third. When working with the tile cutter the depth of the wheel is allowed not more than half of it.
  • The angle grinder must have a protective cover and the tile is cut in the direction from yourself.
  • Use protective clothing made of thick material and do not leave any exposed areas on the body. When the cutting wheel is heated, the spray particles may bounce off and leave burns on the body.
  • It is important to use gloves made of thick cloth. Practice shows that knitted gloves are not suitable and can cause injury. Often, if the tool is mishandled, the disk or locknut will catch the glove threads and can twist them.
  • There must be no loose clothing straps or clasps and if you have long hair you must hide it in a hat.

Since power tools create noise and often a lot of dust, goggles, headphones, and a respirator are mandatory protective equipment.

Cutting oblique lines and shaped edges

The shape of the cutout is preliminarily marked on the slab. It can be a corner or even a rounded edge to install the tiles in the place of the protrusion of the wall or pipe outlet. After that either on the electric machine carefully and partially cut out all the excess, or use tongs.

For the second variant it is necessary to draw carefully with a cutting wheel along the cut line. After that, using pliers or pliers, literally chew off a piece of tile, until they reach the edge of the limiting line. You can use coarse sandpaper or an emery board to make an even edge.

Even if the shape cutting is done on an electric machine, sometimes you have to finish the trimmer line with pliers.

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