A glass tile is a very delicate kind of tile. Cutting a glass tile can become critical at times. If you are not careful while cutting, a simple mistake can waste your tile by shattering or snapping at the wrong point. It is advisable to use a specialized glass tile-cutter or a wet tile saw when cutting glass tile, but sadly not all of us have these highly specialized machines at our disposal.
In this article, we are going to give you some tips on how to cut glass tiles carefully so you don’t ruin them while cutting.
Why glass tiles are critical to cut?
The thing that sets apart glass tiles from other types of tiles is that glass tiles are clear and they make even the tiniest of the imperfections stand out like a sore. Nobody wants that kind of blemishes on the face of their precious tiles. Not only blemishes, if not careful, you can also shatter your glass tiles into pieces.
Sometimes, when you are cutting glass tiles using a wet tile saw, it can leave jagged ends if proper care is not given.
There are many ways you can cut glass tiles depending on various circumstances and the availability of tools and there right size.
Cutting with a scoring tool and snapping it
If you are dealing with smaller tiles, you can use this method to cleanly cut your tiles. You will need a worktable, a ruler, and a sharp scoring tool for this method to work. Place the tile on a sturdy table. Make sure you do not have any dust between the table and the tile.
Even the smallest particle can ruin the cut. Now, make a cutting line using a ruler and the scoring tool. Score a line along the edge of the ruler. The pressure of scoring should be just right, not too hard, and not too light. A slight pressure would not be able to cut the tile, while an extremely strong pressure may shatter it.
Now, place the tile on top of a soft surface like a towel, placing the cut side on top. Now apply pressure on both sides of the cut until you hear a snap. This method is widely used while cutting glass mosaic tiles. (If you are a Heavy user then you need commercial tile saws which have more power.)
Cutting the glass tile with a manual cutter
Cutting glass tiles without any power tool will require clinical level precision. To manually cut tiles, you will need a sturdy table where you will place the tile, a ruler which will be used as a guide, and finally a lever handle.
The technique is quite similar to the Score and Snap method. The only difference is the use of a lever handle. With the following steps, you can manually cut your glass tiles.
- Put the tile on the table and then align it properly along with the guiding ruler.
- Draw a cutting tile using a cutter while putting pressure strong enough to score a line.
- Put pressure on both sides of the cut and the tile will snap .
Cutting with a manual cutter will almost always give you cleaner and refined edges. The edges made with this method will retain their transparency.
Cutting using a wet saw
A wet saw is the most powerful tool on this list. A wet cutter is an automated tool equipped with a sharp rotating blade attached to an extremely powerful motor. Almost all the wet saws come with diamond blades which are exceptionally sharp. A diamond blade will give you fast and accurate cuts at the expense of abrasive edges.
When a powerful diamond-coated blade is attached to a powerful motor, the combination tends to produce extreme power and as a result, the edges of the tile become a little opaque. Wet saws are perfect tools for cutting larger tiles and longer operations.
In order to cut glass tile with a wet saw, first, you must mark the cutting line using a permanent marker. Now, you need to align the tile with the cutting guide and slowly feed the tile towards the blade. This concludes the cutting procedure.
There are some precautions you need to follow if you want to reduce the risk of injury and tile wastage. First, you must make sure the blade and the cutting surface are properly cleaned and dust-free. Even, the smallest piece of dust can cause imperfect edges.
You must always use the top quality diamond-coated blade to get the smoothest cut. For an even cut, first cut both the edges of the tile before moving to the middle. This will reduce the chance of inaccurate and uneven edges.
There is a common issue when cutting tiles with a wet saw and that is the high-powered blade will produce abrasive ends and it ruins the aesthetics of the transparent glass tile. As a remedy start cutting the tile bottom-up, i.e. start cutting from the coated end. This will make the coated ends face most of the high-powered blade and lose its opacity while keeping the clear side of the tile blemish-free.
When using a wet saw always make use that there is plenty of water in the reservoir. Make sure you adjust the valve so that the flow of water is maximum. The blade of the wet saw tends to get quite hot during operation.
It also heats up the tile which can damage the quality of the cut. If the tile gets too hot, it may even get cracked. To avoid these accidents, make sure you have plenty of water in the reservoir and the valve is set at maximum.
Another thing to keep in mind is to control the speed when cutting using a wet saw. You have to keep the saw at a high speed when cutting glass tiles. The high speed will significantly reduce vibration which will guarantee a cleaner and smoother cut. It will also reduce the risk of cracking the tile.
After you are done with cutting the tile, your tile will still have rough edges and sharp corners. Remember to handle the tile with care after cutting otherwise you can get yourself injured. So, smoothen up the tile edges after making the cut. (Learn more How To Cut Tile Without A Wet Saw.)
Cutting a glass tile using a nipper
When dealing with especially smaller tiles, a nipper can be a great tool in that case. The cutting process using a nipper is not quite different than the score and snap method and the manual cutter method. First, you need to hold the tile firmly in the nipper blade.
Now, align the tile edges diagonally with the cutting edges. Once, you have all set up, press the tile firmly with your hands and the tile will break along the cutting line.
Cutting using a handheld tile plier
You can call it a tool that improves upon the score-and-snap method. It is a kind of tool that can score and snap your tiles at the same time, no need to press the tile with your bare hands. The handheld tile plier has a curved jaw that snaps the tile once you are done with the scoring.
This tool is great when working with single and/or mosaic tiles. As it is a manual device, you will need a guiding ruler to keep the cutting line straight.
First, mark the cutting line using a permanent marker. Now, place the tile on a clean and flat surface. Now, use the ruler to guide your tile plier and score along the line. Once the plier reaches the end, the jaw will snap the tile in pieces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Indeed, glass is a sensitive material. Intentionally, you can't put heavy pressure on it, or if you do accidentally, it will break instantly. This is why cutting glass tiles requires a lot of attention and the right tools to get a perfect cut at the end.
As a tool, you can take the wet saw with an adjustable saw blade. Actually, the wet tile cutter actually sprays water on the glass tiles to reduce friction and keeps the blade cool to remove damage from it.
Of course. Cutting glass tiles with a manual tile cutter is possible if you install a standard glass cutting blade on your saw and know the proper way to cut. Besides knowing all the information, you have to understand the behavior of the glass, like how it reacts while forcing tools on it, and should maintain a cool temperature to make the best adjustment.
While cutting sensitive materials like glass tile requires serious attention to the work and lots of cutting skills as well. If you don’t get both of them together inside your work, your tile saw will break without any delay. This is why you need to make sure of proper safety in your work and gently process all the tile saws with a complete work focus. In addition, you can take suggestions from skilled persons and learn all their cutting hacks.
Cutting tiles can be critical and you do not want to waste your precious tiles while cutting them. It is recommended that you use a wet saw when cutting glass tiles. But if you will be cutting only a few tiles or the price seems too high, you can always rent a wet saw for the cutting. Your job is not done after cutting the tiles.
It is important to properly maintain your tiles after the cut. You must protect them against stains and contaminants. You can learn more about how to protect your tiles against stains please follow our website for routine updates.