How to Cut Dry Tile

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Many tile jobs utilize a power wet saw to quickly cut through tiles cleanly and safely. Occasionally, a wet saw is not a good choice, especially for making small cuts and around fixtures. Dry saws are especially good for cutting through the softer ceramic tiles, but they are also able to cut through other types as well. Dry saw blades fit into standard hacksaw mounts and are available at most hardware or home improvement stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw with tile-cutting blade
  • Fine-edge stone file
  • Measure and mark the lines for cutting on the tile, using a tape measure and pencil. Check your measurements carefully to be sure that they are accurate before cutting the tile to size.

  • Place the tile on a solid work surface and allow the edge for the cut to hang over the side. Depending on the size and thickness of the tile, aim for 1/2 to 1 inch overhang if possible. Press down on the tile, keeping it steady it while cutting.

  • Score the beginning edge of the tile with a hacksaw with a tile-cutting blade attached, using a few short strokes. This will give you a notch to help hold the blade in place and allow for longer strokes to cut through the tile. Start from the outside of the tile and work your way in toward the work surface to avoid unnecessary pressure on the unsupported tile. Use steady and gentle strokes for cutting, and adjust the tile position if needed to complete the cut.

  • Observe the placement of the tile to verify it was cut properly and fits in place as desired. Small adjustments to the cut are possible using a fine-edge stone file, but large imperfections require making cuts to a new tile.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a template on paper of the exact shape of the cut required. Place the paper template onto the tile for drawing the pencil line exactly.
  • Avoid cutting too quickly through the tile or it may cause it to break.

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References

  • "Ultimate Guide to Ceramic & Stone Tile: Select, Install, Maintain;" Editors of Creative Homeowner; 2006
  • "Smart Guide: Ceramic Tile, 2nd Edition: Step by Step;" Editors of Creative Homeowner; 2009
  • Photo Credit saw on metal image by terex from Fotolia.com
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