How to Cut Travertine

installed travertine tiles
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 180-300
What You'll Need
Wet saw for tiles
Angle grinder with diamond blade
Extension cord
Sawhorse or workbench
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Carpenter's square
Math compass
Rags or sponge

Travertine is a great choice when beautifying your home, whether inside or out. After you decide that travertine is your tile, you'll have to know some things about it, like how to make it fit in the space you wish to update. Cutting travertine tile is much like cutting any other tile. Here are the steps that will help you to complete your project with little extra effort.

Step 1 - Prepare Tile to Be Cut

Measure the space the tile will be installed in and then transfer the measurements to the travertine using a pencil. You can get accurate lines and measures if you use a carpenter's square or a straightedge. If you're cutting a circular cut, use a compass to mark your line. Measure the area twice and verify the measurements are marked accurately on the tile before cutting. This will save you some time and frustration and create less waste.

Step 2 - Cut the Tile - Straight Lines

If you're cutting straight lines, a wet saw is the best tool for the job. You could purchase a wet saw if you expect to do more tile work in the future, otherwise you can rent one from most home improvement stores or borrow one from a friend or neighbor. With the power off, place the tile square on the saw using the marks provided on the base, lining the mark up with the blade. Turn the saw on and progress the tile very slowly through the blade to keep the tile from chipping. If you're cutting an angle cut, make the first cut and turn off the saw, move the tile to the other mark and make the second cut meet with the first cut. Whenever using power tools, wear safety glasses and gloves and keep your fingers clear of any moving parts.

Step 3 - Cut the Tile - Angle and Round Cuts

If you have to cut the travertine for a round or angled cut, use an angle grinder. Make sure the angle grinder is equipped with a diamond blade for a clean and easy cut. This tool can also be found in the rental department of home stores. Make sure you have measured and accurately marked the travertine and then place the tile on a flat surface like a workbench or sawhorses. Be sure that the tile does not wobble on the surface. Wear safety glasses and gloves, turn on the angle grinder and slowly cut the tile, chipping away at what you wish to discard, but being careful to not chip the tile you wish to use.

Step 4 - Finish

When you're done cutting each tile, be sure you clean all the pencil marks off the ones you're using. Because of the porous consistency of travertine tile, the pencil mark may be absorbed into the surface, making it difficult to remove. If you find this to be an issue with your tiles, use some acetone to help clean out the pores that have absorbed the pencil.