How to cut floor tiles at home

How to cut a tile without a tile cutter: a few simple ways

Not every home craftsman has an arsenal of expensive professional tools. But sometimes when laying small tiled surfaces there is a problem, how to cut tiles without a tile cutter, which can cause certain difficulties. In such a situation, use a variety of available technology, observing the recommended sequence of actions. The material is preliminarily soaked in cool water for 40-45 minutes.

When working with ceramic tiles is required to perform a variety of types of cuts.

  • Predominantly cut the material in a straight line. It is taken into account that if there is less than 20 mm to the side edges, then this kind of cut is considered shaped.
  • Also sometimes it is necessary to cut a round hole of a certain diameter in the tile.
  • Make, if necessary, shaped cutouts.
  • To obtain mosaic-like, small-sized elements, the preferred method is to crush ceramic tiles into individual pieces. In this situation, lay the material in a dense bag and with a heavy sledgehammer break it into the necessary fragments.

Cutting tiles with an angle grinder

often than not, the question than to cut tiles for the floor without tile cutter, solve with such a universal convenient tool in the work, as an angle grinder, which allows you to perform a variety of dimensions and configuration of the line. smooth curved, complex shaped, clearly delineated straight.

For the tile-cutting operation, you must prepare:

  • Angle grinder, which is more commonly called an angle grinder;
  • Cutting wheel, oriented to work on durable products made of stone (you can take the diamond variety);
  • a vise, a portable clamp or another uncomplicated kind of clamp to securely hold the tiles being cut;
  • a compact vacuum cleaner to remove dust;
  • safety glasses;
  • gloves;
  • Special tight clothing with long sleeves;
  • It is recommended to use a respirator or a cotton gauze bandage.

After determining the necessary dimensions, conducts a precise marking of the tiles. It is necessary to apply the line for the trimmer of the cut on the face plane, using a sharp tool for scratching. A construction marker can be used. But it should be taken into account that in the process of work, when removing a large amount of dust, the ink line for the trimmer quickly rubs off.

If small cuts are made, which are close to the edges of the tiles, the material is placed on an even tabletop. It is possible to work on the floor. A piece of plywood is placed on the bottom to maintain the integrity of the coating.

Cut through the tiled surface first, penetrating a few millimeters. Usually during this operation, it is enough to hold the tile yourself, or you can call for help from an assistant. If shaped cuts are made, then before sawing the tiles without a tile cutter, the material is securely attached to the tabletop with a clamp. If possible, it is fixed in a vise. For safety, cardboard or cloth pieces are placed under the sponges.

  • Pass by the markings several times, deepening during each pass at about 3 mm. Such actions are performed until the necessary tile fragment is cut off completely.
  • If small pieces are cut, about 20 mm long, the material is cut all the way through to its full thickness at once.
  • When making complex edge cuts or curved lines, it is advisable to mark on both sides. Carry out on the front side of the notch at first 2,5-3 mm. After that, turn the material over and pass from the underside to an identical depth. Repeat this step several times. In this way the face side is practically not damaged.

Cutting technology for tile flooring in the apartment

In order to make it easier to cut a tile, you must properly prepare the material. Softening of ceramic tiles at home is achieved by soaking in water for half an hour. This simple procedure gets rid of dust, reduces fragility and increases the pliability of the material. After that, it is not difficult to cut it even with an ordinary office knife and glass cutter.

The main thing when cutting with these tools is accuracy and precision of movement. Act calmly and consistently:

This option is more suitable for cutting thick tiles

  • use a flat surface of the floor, table or stool;
  • Put the tile on it face up, make the necessary marks and use a ruler and pencil to draw a line for the trimmer;
  • Apply a ruler to the line until it is fully aligned;
  • Make a clean cut along the ruler, pressing down firmly on the glass cutter;
  • tap along the notch;
  • under the notch trimmer line, you can put a drill bit underneath and, by gently pressing on the edges, break the tile. If you place the tile along the cut groove on the edge of the tabletop and gently press it down, you’ll also get a good result;
  • If you cut the tile well, it will break exactly along the line.

Cut with a box cutter using a similar technique. The only difference is that the cuts must be made in one line several times in order to deepen the groove.

It should be noted that these methods are not suitable for cutting thick tiles. In such cases, you need to duplicate the face cut with a groove on the inside.

Tile cutter pliers

This is a small budget option for cutting tiles. On one side is a wheel for cutting, and on the other side is a cross plate. It is quite easy to cut ceramics with it. You will need a ruler with a right angle on one side.

Pliers are used for simple cutting

  • Mark the desired distance on one side of the tile on the front side.
  • Along the line of marking from the far edge of the tile towards yourself, a cut is made once with medium pressure. The result is a visible strip.
  • The transverse plate of pliers should be placed on top of the face side, so that the line for the break trimmer passes strictly in the center of the plate.
  • At the last stage, with the smooth compression of the pliers, the tile is broken in an even line.
  • In the case of cutting thick tiles, it is recommended to also make a small groove on the inside 2-3 mm deep.

In the process of installing tiles faced with the need to cut tiles, make shaped cutouts in order to bypass bulges and pipes. The curved cutting is also possible with the glass cutter, however. in this case special wire cutters and emery paper are needed additionally.

Cutting tiles with a tile cutter. pliers: instructions

On this way of cutting I want to stop in detail. This is the tool I used.к. I had a very small volume and a budget tool price of 8-15 was good enough for me.

When marking, you need to take into account the size of the gap between the wall and the tiles you want to cut and the size of the seams between the rows. Reduce the length by the sum of these dimensions. For example: if you have a distance of 150 mm between the laid tile and the wall., the gap in the seams is 2 mm. and 3 mm. the gap between the cut tile and the wall, then 150-2-3=145 mm. Let’s make a marking with a width of 145 mm.

Make a single cut at the marked points with the cutter with medium pressure in the direction from the far edge towards yourself. As a result of the cut, you should see a visible stripe cutting through the glazed outer layer, like on the photo below.

Position the tongs along the cutting line, gripping the tiles as shown in the photo above. Put the sponge with the support from above on the glazed layer, put the straight sponge from below. the line for the rip trimmer must run clearly through the center of the upper support jaw.

Smoothly squeeze the pliers until a complete break, while the cut section should not be very high from the surface, so that after separation and fall, it will not break.

When cutting very strong or thick (e.g. flooring) ceramic, I use the following technique.

After cutting through the front glazed layer with a cutter I mark the place of the break from the back side, as on the photo below.

On the marked line on the reverse side I cut a groove 2-3 mm deep with an angle grinder.

floor, tiles, home

The breaking point is loosened up a lot and the direction of the break is obtained.

And then I separate the part to be cut off. Even narrow strips with a width of 1-2 cm can be cut with this technique.

Sometimes it is necessary to trim the tile not in a straight line, but, for example, along the radius in the case of adjacency to the riser, or to select a certain segment. In this case I make a preliminary marking and slowly with pliers or wire cutters select the tile to the required size.

Then the place can be sanded with an emery stone or coarse abrasive paper to create a neat smooth surface.

Keep in mind, all recommendations are only for glazed ceramic tiles and will not work for stone, faora or unglazed ceramics.

Advice: If you are trying to cut tiles for the first time. buy 4-5 more pieces. After acquiring certain skills it is no problem to make nice, even cuts.

To many people the question of how to cut tiles may seem complicated and is the destiny of very, very cool specialists. In fact, knowing what to cut the ceramic tile, and how to cut it, all the difficulties disappear, and the whole process can be accomplished on their own, without the involvement of outside experts. After a little practice, you will find that it is easier than you think.

And what disk to cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder?

  • For one-time use almost any disk will do. But if you have a lot of tiling work to do, it is better to get the most suitable one.
  • The optimum choice is a steel blade 125 mm in diameter with diamond coating, thickness not less than 2 mm.
  • The thinner disc is less stable in handheld operation and can create an uneven cut, breaking and damaging the tile.

The following types can be distinguished according to the type of cutting edge:

  • segmented. the diamond coating is on the cutting edge itself. Thanks to the segments and slots, the partial cooling occurs during operation, and the continuous cutting time increases to 1,5 min. This disc is only used for dry cutting.
  • Continuous. has a spray over the entire cutting edge, along the rim. It requires water cooling. periodically wetting the tile or using a spray gun. The result is a very clean cut, better than with a segmented blade.
  • Combination. combines the above-mentioned types of discs. Can be used for both dry and wet cutting. less cooling than segmented tiles, and with poorer cut quality than solid tiles.

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

  • Straight. the usual cutting of tiles in half or in unequal pieces, on rectangular pieces of any kind of tile: tile, porcelain tile, ceramic tile. To get an even cut, it is good to fix the tile with clamps or, for small cuts, use a workbench.
  • Circular cuts or round holes with a diameter of 50-100 mm. Mark the outline of the cut (circle) on the front and back side, cut a line for the trimmer, approximately corresponding to the circle, even if uneven, but not beyond the circle. Then the diameter is cut into segments inside the circle. Using pliers, the inner segments are broken out, the edges are smoothed, then sanded.
  • Barking. cutting a tile 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 disturbing the outer facing.
  • The electric jigsaw is quite fast and the quality of the cut is quite satisfactory. Speed and accuracy depends on the grit size of the saw. the higher it is, the faster the speed is, but the poorer the quality of cut. The fine-grained jigsaw for ceramic tile cuts cleaner, but slower.
  • Usually an electric jigsaw is used, but for particularly critical moments, where you need a very complex shape and high quality cut, a hand tool is used. Its speed is many times slower, but the quality is much higher.
  • It should be taken into account that it is possible to work with any jigsaw only with wall tiles of small density. The jigsaw is not suitable for porcelain tile.

So, how to saw tiles with a jigsaw?

  • Prepare the workplace. a flat table on which the majority of the tiles to be cut will be placed, clamps to secure the tiles, a marker or a pencil for marking.
  • Soak the tiles in cold water for 1-2 hours.
  • Start cutting ceramic tiles at low speed, applying medium pressure.

When working with a manual jigsaw, the technique remains the same as with the electric jigsaw, but the cutting is done manually, with a special saw with a diamond coating and much longer. In general, working with a jigsaw takes more time, but it gives a great result.

How to cut a tile?

A cosmetic or major repair of a house or apartment. it is quite a large number of different works. Repair in the bathroom or kitchen very often involves the replacement or laying of ceramic tiles. It is good if the width of the area with tiles is clearly a whole number of tiles and there is no need to do the trimming of a number of tiles, but, unfortunately, such a coincidence is quite rare. In most cases you will need to cut the tiles, adjusting its size.

How to cut a tile so that the resulting cut was flat and neat? Ceramics are not soft wood or malleable metal. Ceramic tiles can not be cut with a knife or saw. There are special tools for cutting tiles, but in their absence, you can also use the tools available in every household, taking into account the specifics of the material to be cut. Here’s how to cut ceramic tile with the least amount of time and effort.

Tile cutting with a tile cutter

The easiest and most reliable way to cut ceramic tiles is to use tile cutters. Tile cutters can be manual or semi-automatic. The latter are usually used in large construction companies and are designed for processing large amounts of raw material. We are more interested in handheld tile cutters. they are compact, extremely easy to use, obypechivsya smooth and clean chipping, no noise and no dust and debris.

Even if you do not know how to cut tiles with a tile cutter, you can master this process in just a few minutes and one or two ruined tiles. The construction of the tile cutter itself is extremely simple: a base frame, on which two guides are mounted, and a lever with a handle and a cutting wheel sliding along them.

The rules for cutting tiles with a tile cutter are very simple:

  • the tiles are carefully marked beforehand with a normal marker or a pencil;
  • carefully placed in the tile cutter so that the line for the marking trimmer coincides with the guide line on the bed;
  • While holding the tile in place with one hand, move the lever with the other so that the cutting wheel is at the end of the marking line closest to you;
  • With a little pressure, run the cutting wheel along the entire line of the marking. The amount of pressure varies for different types of tiles, so it’s quite possible that you’ll ruin a couple of tiles until you find the right mode. (It is recommended to make the cut in one pass. so you get a more even and accurate split);
  • By turning the lever handle, lower the petals near the base of the handle and press the lever to split the tile in two.

Methods of cutting the tiles

There are special tools for cutting tiles. However, at home it is possible to cut tiles without a tile cutter. You can use devices for one-time work, others will cope with facing on an industrial scale. And also differentiate between devices, depending on the type of tile.

Cutting ceramic with an angle grinder

This angle grinder can cut both ceramic and tile at home. The tool in skilled hands will make not only a straight line for the trimmer, but also a shaped one. To begin with, you need to prepare:

  • Tile.
  • An angle grinder or angle grinder.
  • Cutting and sanding discs.
  • Protective equipment. Mask or goggles are a must, and a respirator and overalls are put on as needed.
  • Vise or clamps.

Use a pointed object to make a preliminary marking. An indelible marker can be used. Lines drawn with a simple felt-tip pen will wipe off the mirror surface.

On the table, where you plan to cut tiles, you need to lay a piece of plywood or other material so as not to spoil the surface.

For shallow cuts, the tile can be held in place without holding it. Its mass and the friction force of the underside with the table is enough to keep it in place. For more serious recesses, the help of a partner may be required if the tile cannot be secured with the foot.

Curvilinear cuts will require the tiles to be fixed in a vise, it should be shifted on both sides with a soft cloth or cardboard to avoid scratches.

For a good fit, it is necessary:

  • Deepening to produce gradually, in one pass, cutting 2-3 millimeters in depth.
  • Make small cuts to the full thickness at once.
  • To prevent the disc from accidentally touching the face, it is advisable to make a marking on both sides. Then make one continuous cut on the glossy side, finish on the inside.

It is better to make shaped edges with an angle grinder, and straight edges. with other, simpler tools. This will avoid the cost of purchasing diamond discs, as well as the dust that rises when working this way.

Cutting with an electric jigsaw

If you do not have at hand an angle grinder, then there may be another electric tool. When speed is not important, you can also use a regular jigsaw with a stone blade. Cutting tiles with such a device does not differ from the processing of any other material. Only a special saw and preliminary soaking of tiles will be required.

The jigsaw is not effective for very thick tile. It is good for wall coverings and cutting out pieces with a large radius of curvature.

Glass cutter or any pointed object

This is another way to cut tiles without a tile cutter. Such a tool only works on tile and in a straight line. There is also a limit to the width of the piece to be cut. at least 20 millimeters. To do this, you will need the tool itself or a similar device. As it is used diamond or pobeditovye drills. Sometimes a good utility knife can be used.

The ruler, which will be making the cut, it is necessary to have a metal one, because the wooden one can be spoiled if the knife will be torn from the cutting line.

The cut should be made slowly and carefully. Particular attention should be paid to the initial and final pressure on the tool. It is usually insufficient at such times. If you do not cut through the edges well, the break in these places will be uneven.

In order to cut ceramic tiles at home, you can use improvised means. The drill or knife must be drawn several times along the trajectory until the upper layer of the tile is cut through. The number of starts depends on the hardness of the tool.

The notched tile can be split in several ways:

    Taking the tile on both sides on both edges of the notch, clearly, from a distance of 10-15 centimeters hit the edge of the table. The corner itself must be straight and rigid. The blow must be applied carefully, without hitting the surface with the palms of your hands.

  • You can put a flat rod under the entire length of the tile along the notch line. It should protrude a few centimeters beyond the edges. It is necessary to press sharply on both edges with both hands. If the length of the piece of tile is large, carry out this operation in several steps.
  • For breaking in clamping devices, the tile should be wrapped in cardboard and clamped between the jaws along the line of the break. You can make a homemade clamp from two metal corners or wooden bars, fastened with bolts or pins.

Drilling technique

The process begins with the selection of drills or bits of any diameter. Any drilling tool will do, electric or manual. For drills it is desirable to have a speed control. It is important for safety of cutting tools, because the high speed quickly shrinks the tips. And also in this case the probability of chipping of enamel increases.

The holes are made with special sharp-angled drills. However, they are very expensive. But it is possible to drill through a surface of any hardness, and the service life of such a tool is long. The use of inexpensive lance-shaped tile drills is suitable for occasional, low-volume work. One tool is enough for twenty holes, if it is used on tile. It is recommended to use diamond core bits only as a last resort.

For the production of large round openings, you can use a crown with a spraying or ballerina.

Manual tile cutter

This tool allows you to cut a tile in a straight line or diagonally with a cut width of 5 millimeters or more. It can be used to cut floor tiles and porcelain tiles. Its design consists of a base and a carriage with a diamond blade. a wheel that slides on the runner. For greater depth of cut, its diameter is larger than that of the glass cutter. The knife can be replaced as it wears out. When choosing a tool, it is advisable to buy a mechanism with bearings, which will ensure smooth sliding of the cutting mechanism.

For breaking off the notched strip, a flat metal strip is attached to the base along the edge, and a small T-shaped lever behind the cutting blade. It is he who presses on the tile after the cut.

The cut of a tile begins by aligning the material on the base according to a marked line. Then it is firmly fixed. the carriage is driven by hand, making a single cut. The tile is then split into pieces by pressing on the handle. This method sometimes results in small chips, which are masked with grout.

Tile types and cutting behavior

The most common is glazed tiles. Its cutting is much the same as for glass. It is necessary to mark grooves from the front side. If you only have pliers or a weak tile cutter at hand, you can facilitate the cutting of thick ceramic floor tiles with an angle grinder. To do this, a fishing line for the trimmer of the cut is duplicated from the front to the back. Angle grinder carefully made a furrow about half the thickness of the tile. After that, it’s already much easier to break it.

It’s better to cut by placing the tile along the entire cut line on a flat surface, a corner of a tabletop, or a metal corner. Look at the tile cutter for an example and how the support on the cut line is implemented on it. There is a small flat along the entire length of the ledge and slightly beveled edges of the surface on the sides of it.

If you need to cut a porcelain tile or any textured tile, you have very few options. Only tools with a diamond disc can be used for this purpose, which cuts through the entire thickness of the tile.

Cutting with an angle grinder or a machine always takes place on an even surface without tearing off the tile from it. Otherwise, you can easily chip the material in a situation where the cutting disc gets stuck in the cut.

Cutting oblique lines and shaped edges

The shape of the cutout is marked out on the board beforehand. It can be a corner or even a circular to install the tiles in the place of the protrusion of the wall or pipe outlet. Then either use an electric bench to carefully and piecemeal cut out the excess material, or use pliers.

For the second option, you should carefully draw the cutting wheel along the cut line. After that, using pliers or pliers, literally nip off a piece of tile, until you get to the edge of the bounding line. To make an even edge, you can use coarse sandpaper or a nail file.

Even if the shape cutting is performed on an electric machine, sometimes it is necessary to finish the line for the trimmer with pliers.

Particular attention should be paid to safety when working with an “angle grinder

If you want to make holes and semicircular lines of the cut at home, use a drill with special attachments, wire cutters with carbide clips.

To make holes in the tiles use a special attachment to the drill

The peculiarity of working with tongs is to “bite off” fragments of ceramic along a pre-drawn contour. Remember, only small pieces should be separated. In any case, after such procedures it is important to make sanding.

Figured cutting

Often, the tile has to be cut not in a straight line, for example, fitting under the sink, toilet or pipes. Below we will tell you about what to cut the floor tiles at home, fitting it to the shape of various structures.

If your question is how to cut floor tiles at home, obtaining a hole of a certain diameter, it is worth using a tool with a photo. ballerina. It is a circular drill, which provides for adjusting the diameter of the hole to be cut.

If you want the cutting of floor tiles in this way to be as accurate as possible, then use a special tripod for the drill.

The only disadvantage of the drill is that it is only enough for 20 holes in tile.


A simple tool, but it will help to get a variety of tile shapes. Bite off small pieces, starting from the edge. The method is simple, so be prepared to get sloppy edges and they will have to be treated additionally.

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