How to Cut Tile Without Chips

how to cut tiles without chips

Angle grinder or “angle grinder” is one of the few universal tools with which you can do different things. In particular, tile cutting is an angle grinder. Except when the tile is already glued, there is a tool with which to cut the tile or make a certain cut, the hole is easier and faster than an angle grinder. Consideration of the reasons for using an angle grinder and recommendations for using a particular cutting method are beyond the scope of this article. Only the cutting methods of an angle grinder are considered here.

It is more convenient to divide cutting methods into several groups:

  • direct cut;
  • figured cut (circles, as a variant of figured cut);
  • burr (cutting edge is not 90º).

Different types of cuts: straight, curly, burr.

Recommendations for choosing an angle grinder

It is preferable to use a small angle grinder with the ability to adjust the speed. Light weight allows more accurate operations. High cutting power is not required. For any operations with tiles, power up to 1 kW is quite enough.

But the rotation speed in some operations, it is desirable to be able to reduce. Reducing the speed of rotation will reduce the likelihood of chips, cracking tiles.

When choosing an angle grinder, it is recommended to pay attention to the possibility of speed control. The figure shows an example of a speed controller close-up.

According to the seat, the angle grinder is optimal for 125 mm disks. In general, you can cut off a circle with any diameter. Reducing the speed of rotation is critical in certain situations, which will be described below. The smaller the cutting wheel, the more jewelry operations can be carried out, on the other hand, a small cutting wheel is inefficient to use for a large amount of work. the wheel will quickly grind. From a powerful, heavy tool, muscle tension quickly appears and as a result, accuracy and accuracy are reduced.

In summary, a medium-sized tool with an adjustable rotation speed is best for working with tiles.

Drive selection

Generally speaking, you can cut off any circle. The question is different, how to cut off with a given level of quality, minimal difficulties and expenses. The first disk that comes to hand can leave too many chips, break tiles or fail quickly. But in case of emergency and without claims to quality, you can cut it like that.

Advice! For cutting tiles, an angle grinder is recommended to use only steel discs with diamond spraying with a thickness of 2 mm or more.

Disks with a smaller diameter diamond wheel are used in machine tools. When used with a hand tool, the likelihood of shock and jerking increases, which leads to damage to the lining, the destruction of the disk.

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Diamond coated discs come in several types:

  • Segmented. The surface of the disk is divided into equal segments. Diamond spraying is applied to the cutting edge. In the process, thanks to the slots, partial cooling of the disk occurs. Note! Such cooling only increases the duration of continuous operation (up to a maximum of 1.5 minutes). Then you need to take the tool and allow the disk to cool (20. 30 sec. At idle). Drives are designed for dry cutting;
  • Solid. A full circle with diamond chips applied to the edge. Designed to work with water cooling. Using such a disk, it is convenient to process the edge of the cut tile; segmented tiles are not suitable for this. The cut after such a disk is more accurate. To cool, you can periodically wet the tile, use a spray bottle or cool more often. The speed will be noticeably lower;
  • Combined. Universal discs for dry and wet cutting. Lose in terms of cooling segmented, in terms of cut quality continuous.

Example of diamond cutting wheels: segmented, solid, combined.

To reduce chips, it is desirable that the height of the diamond spraying is greater than the thickness of the material being cut.

When working, it is important to monitor the status of the disk. At the slightest damage, the disk changes. Otherwise, working with a defective disk will lead to chips, tile destruction or a traumatic destruction of the disk itself. (As an option for minor defects. the appearance of sparking during cutting. There should be no sparking, sparks mean that the metal base is touched, and that means diamond sputtering has been emitted or a metal burr, chips have formed. You can try to grind the defect on stone, plaster, concrete. If sparking continues. it is recommended to change the disk).

Video: How to Cut Tile Without Chips

Disks produced quite a lot of different quality and different purposes. In addition to the types, thickness and height of the spraying, the density of the spraying and the size of the deposited diamond particles are important. For cutting tile, an angle grinder such details may not greatly affect, but when cutting thick floor tiles, dense ceramics, especially porcelain stoneware. the choice of disk may become critical. In these cases, it is recommended to try several discs on pieces of material and choose the best option.

Tile cutting

Before any operations, careful measurements are taken and lines are drawn on the material along which it is necessary to cut off the excess. It is recommended to use markers of a color different from the tile, since a simple pencil does not leave traces on the surface well. It’s even better to gently scratch the fishing line (for example, with a glass cutter), since a lot of dust is formed and when shaking off, you can simply erase the drawn fishing line.

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Direct cut

This is the easiest cut. Any type of angle grinder can be produced regardless of material: porcelain stoneware, ceramics, tile. At the same time, making a perfectly straight cut with a hand-held electric tool presents a certain difficulty. Therefore, they resort to small tricks.

If the quality of the cut does not really matter (closes with skirting boards, for example), then you can cut it with your foot on the tile or put on a rough surface (the tile’s own weight is enough to prevent it from moving during the operation). In any other case, a reliable fixation is required. For this, it is most convenient to use any clamps. The tile or fragment is clamped to the surface with a clamp (table, piece of plywood, chipboard, etc.). For small cuts, you can use a workbench; for cutting along the entire length, a workbench is not very convenient.

Some methods that improve the quality of the cut:

    To obtain an accurate cut along the line, a steel tape or steel corner is attached. You can fix it on the tile with the same clamps. Then cutting is done right around the corner. The drive leads at a slight angle (10. 15º) to the steel mount.

To obtain a direct cut, the tile is cut along a fixed metal corner.

Advice! It is not necessary to completely cut off a piece. It is enough to make a deep incision (2/3 of the thickness is quite enough even when cutting at the very edge), and then break off in any way (put on two drills and press, grab the edge with pliers and break off, etc.).

If there are no features (something interferes, the line is not visible, etc.), then they always cut on their own. If you do not have much experience working with an angle grinder, it is recommended to cut in several passes: the first shallow cut (1. 5 mm) and the subsequent ones with approximately the same immersion.

Figured cut (round holes)

Usually, cutting of round holes is usually distinguished. But the cutting technique of an angle grinder of round holes and any curly cuts is no different. The use of an angle grinder is justified for cutting large holes (over 50. 100 mm). Smaller holes are drilled. a medium-sized angle grinder (discs under 125 mm) is unlikely to cut a hole of less than 100 mm.

Shape Cutting Technology:

    The line of the cut is marked on both sides of the tile. It is recommended to cut leaving a fishing line (up to 2. 3 mm), unless of course a straight cut without chips is required.

We mark the tile on both sides.

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It is cut along the entire contour on both sides of the tile. Segments are cut through and through. And the excess elements break off.

Trimming and grinding at the final stage.

For a curly cut you will need a tool with a decrease in rotation speed.


Most often, the backing is done at 45º to join the tiles at 90º corners. But there can also be other degrees (bay window design, flights of stairs, etc.).

Pay attention! It is very difficult to grind an angle grinder. Without proper experience, you are unlikely to succeed in doing this qualitatively. The fact is that such types of compounds are used exclusively in prominent places. If the place is not visible, then the meaning of such a connection disappears. You can simply connect the end to the tile and that’s it. And in a prominent place there are stringent quality requirements. Therefore, various recommendations to cut immediately in size do not stand up to criticism. There is only one method. rough cutting and manual finishing.

For the operation, an angle grinder with the possibility of reducing speed is recommended.

  1. Preparation of the desired size element. Regular cutting at right angles to tiles in any way.
  2. Gently trim the desired angle. Removing excess ceramic layer without touching the face layer. At the same time, they try to leave a small layer of ceramics (up to 1 mm) in order to avoid damage to the surface coating. There are no preferences for fixing the tiles. Most craftsmen hold tiles in their hands. It’s more convenient to fix it in a workbench.
  3. Manual grinding and bringing the element to the desired form.

Trimming the corner, followed by finishing grinding.

Safety precautions

Angle grinder is a tool for increased risk of injury! In combination with tile work, a large amount of dust and debris flying from under the tool disk is added.

Mandatory use of special equipment:

  • Protective mask (in extreme cases, glasses);
  • Protective suit that completely covers the arms and legs;
  • Protective gloves or gloves.

It is not allowed to work with a faulty tool (backlash, violation of the housing, electrical wires, etc.). It is categorically not recommended to use an angle grinder without a protective cover (only in very extreme cases, taking additional measures of protection against possible destruction of the cutting wheel).

Perform operations with cutting wheels only after physically disconnecting the electrical cord from the network! And the opposite, connect the tool to the electrical network only after you have verified that the disk is installed, securely locked, the key is removed.

Do not use defective drives. Before each use, it is necessary to make sure that there are no defects on the disk and only after that proceed to work.