When your house is being renovated completely or a new house is being constructed, the work is usually undertaken by professional contractors. But when you need something small to be done, like tiling a smallish patch on your bathroom wall, then you might want to go DIY. You can save on the contractor fees, and the completed job would give you immense satisfaction. And boost your self-esteem! The problem with laying tiles, though, is that knowing the process is not enough. Tiles are prone to breakage while handling, and even unexpected cracking or breaking while trying to cut them to the right shape. This blog will help those who wish to do their tiling themselves but are apprehensive about breaking tiles while shaping or cutting them.
The first thing to remember, and do, is to mark out the tiles you want to cut. This can be easily done with a sharp pencil. When you are doing the marking, you must remember to place your tiles on a flat surface, and not on top of sand or cement bags. A workbench would be ideal, but if that is not available, you can place your tiles on a flat piece of plywood.
The square needs to be set slightly off this line that has been marked. This helps the glass cutter or tile cutter to hit the right line that has been marked. Once the square has been set perfectly, it needs to pressed tightly down, the scoring tool needs to be placed on the line, starting from the edge, and then dragged across the tile over the line. You should press down the tool firmly so it doesn’t go astray from the tile while scoring.
Next comes the use of pliers or glass cutters. In case you are using pliers, then ensure to slide the tile all the way into the open pliers. The scoring wheel of the pliers must be placed exactly underneath the scored line described in the previous paragraph. As soon as you feel the tile is ready to snap off, place a supporting hand under the scored piece so it doesn’t fall and break. In case you are using a glass cutter, you need to find a wire hanger and place it beneath the scoring line. Just as described for the pliers, you need to press up with the glass cutter, while pressing both sides of the tile down gently till they snap off. You can use a pair of tile nippers for this purpose as well.
In most cases of cutting the tile using glass cutters or other tools, the inner surfaces of both parts are a little rough. Many folks use a rubbing stone to get over this, but you might also want to try a polishing pad. These are used to grind the rough tile surface with different sizes and grits of industrial grade diamonds.
Now that you are aware of the basic steps and precautions needed while cutting ceramic tiles with a glass cutter, you should also become aware of another way of cutting tiles – the tile cutter. This is more useful for thicker and larger tiles. These larger tile cutters give a much faster cut. It saves you the trouble of having to buy, install, maintain, or stock a wet tile saw. In fact there is no need for any water and electricity as well, since this a dry cut. Finally, a good quality tile cutter provides a clean and bright finishes edge for the cut part of the tiles. Depending on the size of work and the number of tiles to be cut, either a glass cutter or a tile cutter could be used.