The Proper Tools For Cutting Tiles

While ceramic tile can add beauty to any room in your home, the chances of it fitting perfectly might one in a million. If you’ve ever worked with tiles you already know that the outside row always has to be cut to fit. Cutting ceramic tiles might seem intimidating, but it’s easy if you have the right tools and know what they do.

Tile cutters are tools that don’t need any power to run and are great at making simple, straight cuts. They’re the safest and least expensive type of tile cutting tool, but they’re limited in the types of cutting jobs they can do. Working similar to a glass cutter, a tile cutter scores a line across the tile so that they can be snapped at the line.

The tile cutter is usually a flat metal frame that is padded which holds the tile in place. An overhead arm has the cutting head with a wheel that scores the marked line. The cut edges are a little rough, but you can use a sanding stone to smooth them down.

Tile saws are electrically powered tools that utilize a diamond tipped blade to cut through the ceramic tile. The blade is constantly cooled by a stream of water to prevent overheating. Tile saws are faster and you’ll get much more accurate cuts and the edges will need very little smoothing if any.

Unlike regular table saws, tile saws have the motor and blade overhead. The tiles are placed on a sliding table that is moved by hand back and forth until the tile is cut. If you need your tiles cut at angles, you just simply angle them on the table.

Portable tile saws resemble regular circular saws that you use in carpentry. A diamond tip blade is used to cut through the tile and the saw and you move the saw by hand. You can purchase either wet or dry models, these don’t have the speed or accuracy of standard saws.

For larger stone tiles, brick saws work very well. They heavy duty versions of tile saws and also use water to cool the blade. Both the motor and the blade are overhead mounted using a pivoting frame. And, like with the other saws a diamond tipped blade is used to cut through the material.

The brick or tile is laid on the table and slid under the blade. You have to pull the handle to bring the blade down onto the brick and heavy springs pull the blade back up after the tile is cut. You can use this kind of saw on stones, bricks and the larger quarry tiles.

These types of saws are very expensive and heavy duty definitely means heavy. And, if you’re not going to be cutting big tiles you’d be better off getting a regular tile saw. Brick saws are really more for professional tile and masonry layers.

Remember you should always wear your safety gear when working with any power tool. But, you might want to take precautions and wear goggles even if you’re cutting tiles with a non-powered hand tool. Small chards of tile or glass can easily get into your skin or eyes and cause serious damage.

Work slowly and pay very close attention to where your hands and fingers are in comparison with the blade. If you can, hold the tile in place with a clamp. If you have a safety apron, it’s even a great idea to wear one anytime you’re cutting tiles.