Options for Cutting Ceramic Tile

When it comes to cutting ceramic tile, you have a few options to choose from. In my opinion, some of the options are better than others. Here is a quick rundown on a few of them.

Glass Cutter

Based on my experience, one of the hardest ways to cut ceramic tile is with a glass cutter. I find it difficult because the glass cutters don’t seem to cut into the tile well without using a lot of force. That makes it a particularly challenging tool to use if you don’t have the hand strength needed to score the tile. The upside is that glass cutters are very cheap and will tend to cost you less than $5.

In order to use it properly, you will need to find a flat surface and obtain a metal T square. Put your work gloves and safety goggles on first. Then place the tile onto the flat surface and mark off your cut line. Next, using the T square as a guide, use the glass cutter to score the tile. Once the tile is scored, you’ll need to place it at the edge of a counter and apply downward pressure along the cut line. This should cause the tile to snap along the scored area.

Snap Tile Cutter

If you are working with a tight budget and are focusing on a small tile job, I would recommend that you go with a snap tile cutter. A snap tile cutter is inexpensive, easy to obtain and will get the job done. You can typically purchase one through most major home improvement stores for anywhere from $20 to $100.

Using the snap tile cutter is also a fairly easy process. You place the ceramic tile onto the snap tile cutter’s base and use the machine’s handle to score your desired cut line. Once you have the cut line scored, you’ll want to don a pair of gloves and safety goggles. Press evenly along the cut line until the tile breaks. You may opt to use a wood file to smoothen out any rough edges.

Wet Saw

The most expensive and fastest way to cut ceramic tile is with a wet saw. It is also a perfect tool to use if you need to create circular or specialty cuts in pieces of tile. A good quality wet saw can cost over $1,000. Normally, I don’t mind spending top dollar for a tool, providing that it works and I get my money’s worth out of it. Unfortunately, wet saws are not something that the average home owner uses every day. There are cheaper wet saws available for around $60. Some home owners also opt to rent one. Rental prices vary, so it pays to shop around if that’s the option you wish to go with. Wet saws can also be a bit complicated to use depending on the unit itself.

Tile Nippers and Drill Bits

When it comes to making specialty cuts in ceramic tile, you do have other options besides a wet saw. Those options include tile nippers, which tend to sell for $10 each, and circular drill bits. The drill bits are generally used to make holes in ceramic tiles and can range in price from $20 to $60 each.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys completing home improvement projects with her family.

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