Flooring & Stairs

How To: Cut Tile

A little patience, along with a little practice and a score and a snap, and you're a tile cutter. While the task can seem daunting at first glance, the execution is not as difficult as you might think. With a few tools at your disposal and a smidgeon of confidence, you can learn how to cut tile without much worry. Follow these steps and you'll be doing it the right way.

Measure and mark the tile. Measure the size of the tile you need to cut, and transfer the dimension to the glazed surface of the tile, using a felt-tip marker. Position the tile on the cutter, aligning the center line of the cutter with the axis on which the tile is to be cut. The top of the tile should be held flush to the fence at the top of the cutter to keep it square to the cutting wheel.

Score the surface. Using the lever to which the cutting wheel is attached, draw the cutter across the surface of the tile, exerting a firm, even pressure to cut through the glaze. Make only one pass with the cutter.

Snap the tile. Different snap cutters have different means of snapping tile. Some have a heel at the rear of the lever that has the cutting wheel at its toe, others the reverse. Whatever the design of your cutter, use the surface to apply pressure to the score line. In combination with a bead built into the base of the cutter, the pressure will cause the tile to snap in half.