Know how to cut tiles

Know how to cut tiles

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The main difficulty encountered when laying tiles, on the floor as on the wall, is obviously the cuts. Much of the consistency depends on the final appearance of the coating.

Curved cuts

These are obviously the most difficult, but they are relatively rare. You will nevertheless have to cut the tiles according to a curved profile around the sanitary appliances, in the bathroom, around a sink on the worktop of a kitchen and also, if necessary, around certain elements of architecture like the arched arches of the bays. You will then use the tiler's saw and the tracing point.

Straight cuts

The tools are mainly the tiler's pliers and the tiler (or tile cutter), or even the point to be traced for small jobs. Making straight cuts is not difficult but you have to be familiar with the handling of the tool you are using in order to succeed in a neat job: when laying the tiles, you will have to make large series of identical cuts . When cutting tiles and large tiles, use an electric machine instead (angle grinder or circular saw for materials).

Tools and materials

• Felt pen
Tiler saw
Wire and flat blade
Trace point
Tiler pliers
Tile cutter
Tiler's pincers
Tiler grater
Softening stone
Established pliers

The tiler's saw

The tiler frame saw is suitable for all curved cuts; it is particularly useful when it comes to making an opening inside a tile. This is particularly the case when a central heating or water pipe comes out perpendicular to the attachment of certain electrical devices or decorative objects. But this tiler saw also allows precise curved cuts around sanitary appliances or large pipes. The line (with the marker) must be carried out with precision. You can take measurements with a meter and transfer them carefully, or use a paper or cardboard template: this is the safest method.

Tracer and nibbler

The tracing point is a simple and practical tiler tool, easy to handle, precious for making many cuts, curves (especially around pipes and sanitary appliances) or straight, on wall tiles. It is a very hard point, tungsten carbide, which allows to cut the enameled facing of the tile. First make the outline of the cut, using a felt pen.

Pliers cutting

The tiler's pliers are a light tool that allows you to cut wall tiles quickly and cleanly - but it's best to practice on scraps as it takes a bit of a knack.

The tile cut

This simple machine, also called a tile cutter, is suitable for cutting all types of tiles, both floor and wall. It consists of a base, in wood or metal, and a mobile carriage, sliding on two rods. The tile works on the same principle as the pliers: the tile is notched by a tungsten carbide wheel. It rests on two strips of rubber or plastic with a groove in the middle which allows it to overhang to break it (or on two strips of foam and a metal ridge which supports it at the time of tapping. ). Know-how © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2005