Whether you are a seasoned pro or an enthusiastic DIYer, don’t let a fine tiling job be let down by the quality of the cuts. The eye will always be drawn to those rough edges, regardless of how good the rest of the tiling is.
What tools will you need?
Check out our guide to kitting yourself out for tiling which covers all of the basics. Cutting tiles is so crucial to the overall effect of a finished job, we recommend spending as much as you can stretch to on tools.
Manual cutters are fine, they usually feature a solid bed on which to lay the tile. Markings on the perimeter help with accurate measurements. A roller with a scoring wheel then runs across the tile and you simply snap off the excess. Very hard tiles are prone to cracking away from the score. The wheels need to be replaced regularly to keep them making a deep enough score.
Electric cutters vary in style but basically, tiles are fed past a fast spinning blade, cooled by water, which cuts all the way through the tile. Cheap electric cutters are to be avoided. The blades will be made from poor quality metal and unlikely to be true as they spin. A good quality cutter spins extremely quickly and has a very sharp, hard wearing blade. These are extremely messy and best set up outside.
A mini angle grinder can also be used. Quality diamond blades should be used. These are particularly useful for cuts with internal angles and creating more unusual shapes for awkward spaces. Avoid using low quality blades, a false economy with the amount of mis-cuts they are likely to produce.
Pipes and other obstacles.
For making holes to neatly sit around pipes, only the best tools will create a perfect job. A powerful electric drill with a carbide-grit hole saw will produce the best possible results. It is possible to splice a tile back together after cutting, but the end result will be far inferior to a neat hole. If you are tackling a one-off tiling project, it may be possible to hire the hole saw kit rather than go to the expense of buying one. You could tackle the project with a masonry bit and a ceramic coping saw, if both are sharp and you take your time.
Measuring and marking.
The cuts and holes you make on your tiles will only be as good as the measurements you use. A good old tape measure and spirit level is perfectly acceptable of course, but for precision work using laser markers and measures will leave nothing to chance. With holes, it’s worth testing your marks with a tile sized paper template before committing to the hole. The same applies to awkward angles and tight spaces. The old adage, ‘measure twice, cut once’ should always be kept in mind.
For all of your tile training courses, whether you simply need a refresher, or are starting from scratch, get in touch today and start your journey towards becoming a tiling expert.