How to Cut Ceramic Glass

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Things You'll Need

  • Ceramic glass tile

  • Grease pencil

  • Utility knife

  • Gloves

  • Safety glasses

  • Tile nippers

  • Bucket

  • 60-grit sandpaper

  • Glass scoring tool

  • Straightedge

  • Picture wire

  • Tape

  • Wet saw

  • Diamond-encrusted blade

In most tiling projects, ceramic glass will need to be cut at some point, whether it's to fit a tile into a space correctly, to resize edge tiles, or to trim tile to fit around drains or outlets. Three different tools are commonly used to cut ceramic glass: tile nippers, glass scoring tools, and wet saws. Since wet saws are relatively expensive, try renting one from your local home improvement store instead of buying one yourself.


Tile Nippers

Step 1

Mark where you need to cut your tile with a grease pencil. Score the mark with a utility knife. Put on gloves and safety glasses, as tile can become very jagged once cut.

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Step 2

Hold the tile over a bucket to catch the broken pieces. Place the nippers on the mark starting at the edge of the tile, compress the nippers until they break through the tile, and continue moving inward. You want to take small bits of the tile out at a time; if you try to nip off too large a piece, the tile may break. Be extra careful, as you get closer to the mark you made, to avoid over-trimming your tile.


Step 3

Smooth any jagged edges or pieces with 60-grit sandpaper.

Glass Scoring Tool

Step 1

Mark where you want to cut the tile and set the straightedge along this mark.

Step 2

Hold the glass scoring tool at a slight angle and score the glass.

Step 3

Place picture wire on a flat surface and tape the wire down to ensure it will not move when the tile is placed on it. Set the piece of tile on the wire; with the wire under the line you scored onto the tile, the score should be facing up. The wire will slightly raise the tile off your surface, allowing the tile to break along the score.


Step 4

Place your thumbs on either side of the score. Apply equal pressure to either side, and the tile should snap.

Wet Saw

Step 1

Use a diamond-encrusted blade with the wet saw.

Step 2

Mark where you want to cut your tile with a grease pencil.

Step 3

Place the tile onto your saw and align the mark you made on the tile with the center of the blade. Do not place the tile right up to the blade until the saw is turned on.


Step 4

Turn on the wet saw, making sure water is flowing to allow the blade to cool. Push the tile gently up to the saw blade. Cut the tile, making sure to apply steady pressure on either side of the cut.


Use tile nippers only for small or thin tiles.


When using the wet saw, wear safety glasses and gloves to avoid injury. Always be aware of where your fingers are placed on the tile; do not place your fingers anywhere near the blade of the saw. A wet saw is also very loud; consider using earplugs.