How to properly cut porcelain stoneware with a manual tile cutter

Electric tile cutter

If you have a large amount of work, then the fastest and highest quality cut comes from an electric tile cutter. They use a diamond wheel and supply water to the cut to cool and remove dust. The cheapest types of amateur class can be found on sale for 3-4 thousand rubles.

ways to cut tiles at home

Any process of laying ceramic tiles is not complete without cutting it. There will be a lot of it especially if you use some kind of non-standard layout, for example, diagonally. In the last article, we talked about which layout is better to choose in order to get uniform and beautiful cuts everywhere. Now we will talk about how to properly cut tiles at home.

As you know, the tiles are made of baked clay, which is covered with glaze on top. It’s hard to break it with your hands, but if it lies on any unevenness, then it easily cracks from a small load. To simplify this process and make the required break line, you need to loosen the top layer of the glaze. that is, cut it, and therefore make efforts to break.

There are 3 main ways to do this:

  • Special tool. manual, electric tile cutter or special tongs.
  • angle grinder.
  • Other handy sharp tools.

properly, porcelain, stoneware, manual, tile

Let’s talk in more detail about each tile cutting method.

How to choose the right disk by tile

For cutting, metal discs are used with diamond plating along its edges. But they are different: for concrete, brick, stone. Tiled discs do not have any holes, the soldering on them is uniform and smooth. Discs for concrete have slots on the solder, and will chip when vibrated. If you cut ceramic tiles with them, then these chips can fly into the face.

Cutting tiles with a manual tile cutter

  • The tile is inserted into the tile cutter, and the markings on it are aligned with a special mark.
  • The handle is lowered and held away from you. It must be driven at the same speed and even pressure so that the roller cuts the glaze to the same depth. It will be enough to run the roller once. If driven several times, the breakage may turn out to be of poor quality.
  • Next to the roller there are special paws that lower and break the tiles into 2 parts, after a sharp push on the lever. At the same time, all tile cutters have a metal tubercle on their platform, and soft pads along the edges. When you press on the edges of the tile with your paws, maximum tension will be created at the notch, if you correctly align it with the backing, and it will evenly break off.

It is difficult to explain this in words, so it is easier to watch a video that shows how to cut tiles correctly with a tile cutter:

High-quality tile cutters allow you to cut even tiles with a thickness of 10 mm without problems. It doesn’t matter at what angle you cut it: at least 45 degrees, at least 30.

How to cut porcelain stoneware

It is believed that porcelain stoneware is the hardest material from which floor tiles are made. You can trim it in the same way as a regular tile.

Sometimes simple floor tiles are more difficult to cut than porcelain stoneware. There is a hardened tile, on which, after cutting with a tile cutter, the notch on the glaze is almost invisible. And even a diamond disc on an angle grinder does not take it. the incision turns out to be torn, like after a tractor. In such cases, you need to use an angle grinder, and file a 2-3 mm groove on the back to mark the place of the break.

We cut the tiles with an angle grinder

Sometimes there are cases when you need to cut a narrow strip of tiles 0.5–2 cm, and an ordinary tile cutter does not take it, because his legs are too wide.

In such cases, you need to draw an incision with a pencil and make a cut with an angle grinder with a diamond disc. But if you try to cut it off in one go, the narrow strip will break off in parts. Therefore, you need to smoothly and without pressure walk the angle grinder along the markings to get an incision with a depth of about 2 mm. You need to walk along the mowing line with a disc, and not directly along it, then the width of the already narrow strip will not decrease.

Using the same method, you will cut off a narrow strip by running the same seam several times. The second and next time you can drive the angle grinder faster, but try to press it to the opposite side, then there will be no chips.

It is better to do this work by weight, so the vibration will go into the hands. When you already see that the strip will soon fall, it is advisable to put something soft so that it does not break.

Cutting tiles with an angle grinder with a special diamond-coated disc on tiles

Be sure to wear glasses when working with an angle grinder.

How to Cut Porcelain Tiles With a Tile Cutter

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We make a drink at 45 degrees

Ceramic pencil skirting is best for protecting the sharp outer corners of tiles

If you are using a professional electric tile cutter, the tilting platform there makes it easy to make a 45-degree angle on the tile bevel, but not everyone has such a tool. It is easy to make such an angle on your own using the same angle grinder “by eye”. The disc is guided along the line of the cut, with the disc tilted slightly inward.

How to cut tiles without a tile cutter

If you only need to cut a few tiles, it doesn’t have to be spent on a tile cutter. You can use the tools at hand:

  • Glass cutter.
  • Drill. It should preferably be with a victorious tip, as it will scratch the tile better.
  • Nail.
  • Construction knife.

Attach a metal ruler to the notch and draw once with a glass cutter or drill. A deep scratch should remain on the enamel. If you use a knife, but will need to carry out several times.

Place the tile at the corner with the cut and press down on the edges with a sharp motion. The cut will not turn out perfectly even, unlike the tile cutter, but you will not have to spend extra money either.

To make cutting ceramic tiles easier, many craftsmen soak them in water for about 1 hour.

How to cut porcelain stoneware with an electric tile cutter

In the recommendations on how to cut porcelain stoneware tiles at home, you can read that it is convenient to do it with a wet cutter. This is the name of the electric type tile cutter, for which a diamond cutting disc is used. To cool it down, water is supplied to the part during the cutting process (hence the name of the device).

There are two types of equipment: with the upper and with the lower supply of tiles. The first ones make the cut as accurately as possible and are more expensive. For household chores, budget devices are more often purchased that feed parts from the bottom.

Devices of any type make it possible to make cuts not only straight, but also curved. To cut a piece of porcelain stoneware tiles, do the following:

  • We outline the cutting line.
  • We fix the part on the bed using special clamps. If you have to make a curved incision, you will have to hold it with your hands.
  • We start the device. First, we select the minimum speed of the disk, so the part does not deform.
  • Increase the cutting speed gradually. Make sure that the element does not move from vibration.

An important point. The product should be stacked so that the cutter starts to cut its front side. That is, on equipment with an upper cutter, the part is laid face up. On a bottom disc appliance, place the tiles face down.

Cuts made with such equipment are more accurate and better than with a mechanical device. It is especially appreciated by beginners because it is able to completely neutralize the so-called shaking hand factor. In addition, the device allows you to cut fragments less than 6 mm wide, does not generate dust or noise. The main disadvantage of the device is the high price of quality models.

Cut off the plate without chips

Porcelain stoneware belongs to the materials of increased strength. There are practically no pores in it, it does not absorb water and does not crumble. It is very difficult to even scratch it. Therefore, home craftsmen have the question of how to cut off porcelain stoneware without chips and is it possible at all. It must be admitted that theoretically this is possible, but in practice it turns out very rarely. often, small chips remain on the cut, which have to be sanded.

To keep them as small as possible, experienced craftsmen advise following these recommendations:

  • Cut the part from the top side. Most material chips appear where the cutter exits the plate.
  • The smaller the thickness of the selected cutting disc for the grinder, the lower the likelihood of chipping.
  • Reduce torch speed at the start and end of the line of the cut.
  • When working with a mechanical tile cutter, apply more pressure to the lever than when cutting a regular tile.
  • Make a cut slightly to the right of the intended mowing line so that it remains on the cut piece. Then it will be possible to remove unwanted chips with a sander.

It is very important that the tool is of high quality and suitable for the material of choice. Otherwise, it is almost impossible to get a beautiful cut without chips. If, nevertheless, they appear, which happens most often, the defects should be sanded down. You can use sandpaper or a diamond sponge.

The best option is a grinder with a special attachment. This is the so-called turtle or flexible diamond circle. They are distinguished by the diameter of the particles deposited on the surface of the diamond coating. The turtle can only work with a grinder, the model of which provides for the ability to regulate the number of revolutions. If it is higher than three thousand per minute, the nozzle may fly off the axis.

How to cut porcelain stoneware with a tile cutter

The principle of operation of the tool is somewhat similar to the glass cutter. There, too, there is a cutting roller that moves along the guides. In addition to it, there is a bed on which the part is laid, a lever and guides. It is very important that the diameter of the cutting element matches the height of the tile.

In addition, when choosing a device, pay attention to:

  • The base of the device. The metal from which it is made must be thick enough so that the base does not vibrate or bend during the cutting process.
  • Strength of guides and supports.
  • Smooth movement of the carriage. It is desirable that special bearings provide this.
  • No backlash when advancing the carriage. If it is available, it is impossible to make a straight cut.

Tile cutters vary in length and it is best to choose a long model. This will make it possible to cut porcelain stoneware of different sizes, not only along the side, but also diagonally.

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To cut off a piece of porcelain tiles with your own hands along a straight mowing line, you need to follow these steps:

  • Place the tile cutter on a solid, level base.
  • On the product we outline the line of the cut.
  • We lay the part on the bed so that the trajectory of the roller goes exactly along the basting.
  • We make an incision by pressing on the carriage and moving it away from us.
  • We release the handle and break the part with strong pressure.
  • We grind the cut to remove possible chips.

Working with a mechanical tile cutter is very simple, even a novice master can handle it. There are, however, some disadvantages that you need to be aware of:

  • A fragment already 6 mm wide cannot be cut in this way.
  • It is also impossible to chamfer or make a curved cut with a mechanical tile cutter.
  • If the cut falls on the edge under the glue or the surface of the material is ribbed, there is a very high probability of chipping.

Tools for cutting porcelain stoneware

Before determining how and how to cut porcelain stoneware at home, you should understand its features. It is a composite material that successfully combines the properties of natural stone and ceramics. It is made by pressing a mixture pre-fired at high temperatures. The result is a highly durable and wear-resistant material. In the production process, it can be given a wide variety of colors and textures.

The surface of ceramics is matte, glossy, structured, etc. Consider this when choosing a cutting method.

You can cut a fragment of a tile using various tools:

  • glass cutter;
  • electric tile cutter (aka wet cutter);
  • mechanical tile cutter;
  • angle grinder;
  • waterjet cutting attachment.

The latter method is not used in a home workshop, since it is assumed that special expensive equipment is available.

How to cut porcelain stoneware with an angle grinder without chips

Almost every home craftsman has an angle grinder, or an angle grinder. Therefore, it is she who is most often cut porcelain stoneware. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to make such a cut without chips, but it is quite possible to minimize their number. For this, it is very important to choose the right disc. He must have:

How To Cut Porcelain Tile-using a tile cutter

  • high-quality diamond dusting;
  • marking confirming that the device is intended for cutting porcelain stoneware;
  • the minimum possible thickness;
  • continuous cutting edge.

An angle grinder is a potentially dangerous tool, so safety rules should not be neglected. You should take care of the means of protection. The kit includes:

  • Respirator, as a lot of dust is generated when cutting.
  • Safety goggles to prevent possible exposure of disc fragments to the eyes.
  • Special clothing.
  • Earplugs or ear muffs to protect your hearing from loud noise.

It is not recommended to neglect protective equipment, even if it is planned to cut several plates.

Cutting porcelain stoneware tiles correctly with an angle grinder is quite simple if you follow the instructions:

  • Preparing a place to work. Lay a substrate on the leveled surface, which will protect the base. You can choose penoplex, polystyrene, etc.
  • We put the part on the base with the front side up, mark the section of the cut on it. So that there are fewer chips, we glue a strip of masking tape on it, draw a cutting line along it.
  • We put a metal corner on top of the tile along the cut path, fix it with clamps. This will allow you to make an accurate cut. This must be done when cutting products with a large thickness.
  • We start the angle grinder. We cut the part at a time, direct it “away from ourselves.” To get an even edge, cut off the fragment so that the marking line is preserved on the product. It will be removed during the sanding process, and the tile will retain the specified size.
  • We remove the masking tape, if necessary, we grind the end of the part.

If the plate is thin or you do not need a perfectly straight cut, you can simplify your work. an angle grinder does not make a cut, but only a cut. After which the fragment is broken off with a sharp strong movement.

It is very convenient to use a grinder to cut porcelain stoneware tiles. First of all, because it is the most affordable of all the devices that can be used. They can make cuts of various shapes, including any curved. However, the angle grinder is traumatic, you need to work very carefully. It is very dusty and noisy.

How to cut porcelain stoneware with a glass cutter

This is the easiest tool to use. It also gives a minimal effect. Using a glass cutter, you can cut off porcelain stoneware, but provided that its thickness is small. This is how the wall cladding is most often cut. The glass cutter cannot cope with floor tiles.

There are two types of tools: with a carbide roller and with a diamond cutter. The latter option cuts better, but fails faster. Its cost is higher than that of a roller analogue.

With a glass cutter, you can make a straight or curly cut. In the latter case, you will also need special nippers. To cut the tiles in a straight line with the mowing line, proceed as follows:

  • We lay the cladding on a flat base. Determine where the cut line will go.
  • We take a ruler, lay it along the future cutting line of the cut and press it with our fingers.
  • Gently, but with strong pressure, draw the line along the ruler with the tool. We try to scratch a deep enough groove at a time. Otherwise, chips cannot be avoided.
  • We put the part on the edge of the table or workbench and press firmly on its edge. So that the liner splits along the intended mowing line.
  • Grind the edge if necessary.

If you want to make a curved cut, a line is cut with a glass cutter. Then you need to take nippers and use them to remove sections of the tile. The closer the cut is to the mowing line, the smaller the pieces should be chipped off. The edge with such processing will turn out to be sharp and not entirely even, so it must be sanded.

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There are many ways to cut porcelain stoneware tiles. All of them are quite effective. When choosing the best option for yourself, you need to take into account the presence or availability of special tools and your own experience when working with them. If you do not have the skills, you should think about an electric tile cutter, it is more expensive, but allows beginners to make even cuts.

Tool selection

For curved cutting, a manual tile cutter is not suitable. Only a waterjet, an angle grinder, a jigsaw and, if you have the appropriate skill, an electric tile cutter can cope with this task.

A non-specialized tool does not allow you to trim properly. Therefore, it is advisable for a home craftsman to use a combined approach: most of the modules, the edges of which will be hidden by a plinth or corner, should be trimmed with an angle grinder or manual tile cutter, and those that will be visible should be taken to the workshop for cutting with an electric tile cutter or a waterjet machine.

Due to the absence of pores, porcelain stoneware is an extremely hard material, therefore, to cut it, you need to choose the right tools and equipment. It is faster and more convenient to use power tools, manual cutters are suitable only for small volumes of work.

Nippers

Nippers can break off the edge of a small width. within 1-1.5 cm.To make the cut more even, you can first walk on the tile with a glass cutter.

How to Use a Manual Tile Cutter Beginners Guide

How to cut porcelain stoneware so that there are no chips

In order to avoid the appearance of chips on the front surface of porcelain stoneware tiles, two rules must be observed when cutting it:

  • Start cutting from the front as chips are most likely when the tool comes out of the material.
  • When using a power tool with a cutting blade, the rotation speed of the latter at the beginning and end of the operation is slowed down.

Material features

Raw materials consisting of clay, kaolin, quartz sand, feldspar and mineral additives are pressed under high pressure and then sintered at high temperatures. The resulting material has practically no pores and has a hardness equal to that of corundum (7. 8 on the Mohs scale). It is inferior in hardness to only a few materials such as diamond, sapphire, ruby, etc. At the same time, thin tiles (3 mm and thinner) are quite fragile.

Note! Cutting material of such hardness will not work with manual glass cutters, stone canvases and jigsaws. They can only be used as an auxiliary tool.

Let’s look at two ways to cut tiles at home. The methods have limitations, which will be discussed below, as well as ways to get around these limitations. Acceptable results can be achieved with them, but it is better to cut porcelain stoneware on professional equipment. Only he will give a guaranteed result in an acceptable time with a relatively large amount of work.

Waterjet cutting

An expensive installation is used that supplies a thin stream of water (with a diameter of tenths of a millimeter) under significant pressure with the addition of crumbs from a solid material. The cut is performed quickly and efficiently, but such equipment is available only to large workshops.

Ballerina

This tool is used to make large-diameter holes in porcelain tiles.

It resembles a compass: it has a center drill and one or two cutters on the legs set aside.

The distance between the center drill and the cutters, and accordingly the diameter of the hole to be made, are adjustable.

That is, the ballerina, unlike the crown, is a universal instrument.

  • In the middle of the planned opening, a hole is made with a diamond drill for the ballerina’s centering drill. The impact mechanism on the drill is not activated at the same time. it will damage the tile.
  • The ballerina is installed in the drill, her centering drill is inserted into the prepared hole and a circular groove is cut out with a cutter to half the thickness of the tile. The impact mechanism is also not applied.
  • Flip the tile over and remove the remaining material from the other side.

When working, the drill is cooled with water.

The sliding of the drill on porcelain stoneware at the beginning of drilling is avoided in different ways:

  • scratch out a hole with an acute angle of the file;
  • sticking paper tape;
  • put a mark with a clerical proofreader;
  • use a jig. a bar with a guide hole for a drill, pressed against the tile with effort.

General recommendations

When using an angle grinder, be sure to use protective equipment:

  • a suit that covers the legs and arms;
  • goggles (better than a mask);
  • protective gloves or mittens;
  • respirator (required for a significant amount of work).
  • The ability to cut an element of almost any shape. For a curved cut, you need good skills in working with the tool;
  • The ability to trim tiles already laid in place;
  • Tool availability.
  • injury risk;
  • it is very difficult to obtain geometrically accurate cuts;
  • high labor intensity of obtaining a clean cut without chips;
  • low speed of work;
  • a lot of dust and noise.

With an angle grinder, you will not be able to get a perfect cut the first time. To obtain accurate cuts without chips, they cut with an indent from the line of 2-5 mm. Then they are brought to the required size by grinding. This is a rather time-consuming operation and takes a lot of time, therefore it is recommended to carry out only with elements that will be in a conspicuous place.

Or use a trick, as in the video below: