How to Cut Tile

Learn how to cut tile like a pro, plus the techniques and tools you need to get the job done.

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Cutting tile may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tile-cutting tools and a little patience you'll be a tile pro! There are various ways to cut tile as different types of tile, including glass tile and porcelain tile, require different cutting tools and materials. Learn how to cut ceramic tile withand how to smooth tile edges with our step-by-step process. Building sleek backsplashes and tiling corners never looked so good. 

Tile-Cutting Tools and Materials

  • Ceramic tile
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Straight edge
  • Tile cutter (available for less than $30 at your local home improvement store)
  • Rubbing stone
  • For larger jobs, you may need to rent or buy other tools such as a wet saw, regular tile nippers, or double-wheeled tile nippers.

Instructions for How to Cut Tile

  1. Use a ruler to measure where your ceramic tile needs to be cut. Mark with a marker and straight edge. 
  2. Slide the tile into the tile cutter, glazed side up. Line up your cut mark with the guideline. 
  3. Use light pressure to run the carbide wheel along the surface of the tile to slice through the tile glaze. It should just score the tile, not slice it completely. Be sure to only score your ceramic tile once.
  4. Ensuring the tile hasn't shifted, press the lever down directly over the score line using even pressure. This should split the tile in two. 
  5. If the tile edges are rough after being split, use a rubbing stone to smooth uneven edges.
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