Properly Use A Tile Cutter Properly Use A Tile Cutter
Since rooms are seldom perfectly squared, using a tile cutter is an invaluable way to save a lot of time when you are laying tile. Here is what you need to know to use one the right way.
Before You Cut
Before you start to cut you need to measure and mark where the tile will be cut. You can use carpenters chalk or a straight ruler to mark it. This is important to ensure the tile will be cut evenly.
Line It Up
Line the tile up with the arrow on your cutter. You’ll want to press and secure the guide against the tile. If you need to cut several tiles at the same time just leave the guide in place to ensure an even cut for all the tiles.
It’s best to practice cutting with a few scrap tiles before you attempt to cut the good tile. This will give you a better idea of how the cutter works and will help you learn the best techniques possible.
Score the Tile
Once you’ve practiced cutting and understand the way the cuts will work, you can go ahead and score the tile. The tile cutter will have a scoring wheel. Place the wheel on the outside edge of the tile and push down lightly as you pull the wheel towards you until you have scored the whole tile.
Breaking the Tile
Once the tile has been scored, you can pull the handle on the tile cutter until it is on top of the tile. Press down on it and break the tile along the scoring.
If you’ve never used a tile cutter before, try to get some scrap pieces of tiles in different materials and consistencies. Some tiles are thicker and denser than others. This can affect how even the cut will be. So be sure to practice before you start trying to cut the tile you are trying to lay. You certainly don’t want to damage of shatter the good tiles.
It’s a good idea to make sure the tile cutter is in good order and the wheel is sharp. If the wheel has dulled it can shatter the tile.
To ensure the wheel moves smoothly and the sliding arm moves easily you need to make sure they are well lubricated. If your wheel is moving in a jarring motion it can shatter the tile. An arm that doesn’t move easily will make the job harder in the end. You can add lubricant to the cutter yourself. There are several different products available for this. Just ask your local hardware store for the right product.
If you have to cut strange corners or shapes, you may want to use the tile cutter and a pair of nipping tools. These are similar to pliers and allow you to cut a T or L shape if needed. They are also useful if you need to cut a corner at an angle that the tile cutter can’t accomplish.