It takes a brave soul to embark on a home improvement project of any type, but doubly so when that project is the laying down and fitting of tile for a floor, a kitchen counter top, a bathroom inset or any number of back splash applications. It takes focus, dedication, patience, persistence and a high level of caution in order to pull off successfully, whether you are new to the Do It Yourself ethos, or if you are a seasoned veteran. Tile work is at the very top of the list of most difficult Do It Yourself home improvement projects around. Make your work easier by putting in the preparation necessary to make the project a success.
When cutting tile, especially, be very careful, ensure that you have the correct tools on hand, and that you keep these helpful tips in mind as you go. They can save you a lot of time, frustration and effort.
The Tools That You Will Need To Cut Tile
Tile Nippers – These are essentially heavy grade scissors or trimmers that are designed to clean off the loose and rough edges of tile pieces, so that they will mesh together when you lay them out. Once you have cut a piece of tile, you will need to use nippers to trim up the edges on all sides of the tile, to ensure that they are free from all rough material and debris. This is one of those areas where being extremely careful here can pay big dividends throughout the rest of the project.
For stone or granite tile, or really any other type of tile, you will need a heavy, professional grade tile cutter that is more commonly known as a wet saw. Due to the high level of friction that is built up when a saw blade cuts through heavy tile, heat build up is almost immediate, and it can be severely devastating to the tile and to the saw. A wet saw keeps everything nice and cool all day long.
You will also need a hack saw for smaller pieces of tile, and for cutting tile at certain angles.
Practice cutting on a few spare tiles to get the feel for the saw, for the nippers and for everything else.
Cutting Straight Tile
Cutting straight tile is about the easiest part of the process. Use your wet saw, and run it through like you would a piece of lumber on a circular saw. Check your measurements carefully.
Cutting Tile On An Angle
Though you can use a wet saw (with the proper attachments) to cut tile on an angle, many craftsmen find it much simpler to use a hack saw, and carefully cut the tile, as needed, on the appropriate angle.
L-Shaped Cuts For Tile
If you need to cut tile in an L-shape to fit certain parts of a counter top, a back splash or the perimeter of the floor, carefully measure out where you need the L-shape to run, and decide if the wet saw, or the hack saw would be more advantageous to use. It all varies by situation. You may get a quicker, straighter cut with the wet saw, but if the size of the L-shape is too small, a hack may be required to get it just right.
Cutting Tile On A Curve
Also, if you need to cut tile on a particular curve, to fit a counter top, or to fit around a plumbing fixture, you will likely have a far better rate of success with the hack saw.