How To Cut Porcelain Tile

3 Great Tools for Cutting Porcelain Tile

 

There are several ways to cut porcelain tile. I will show you how to cut porcelain tile using a tile nipper, angle grinder and a tile cutter.

These three different cutting methods are a little less known to the DIY’er. I personally use these methods the most for a few reasons

 

  • they are faster
  • more convenient
  • these tools are less expensive(compared to a tile saw)

 

I am leaving out the tile saw in this post. I do however, plan on following up on this in my next post. So be sure to check that out by (clicking here).

In this post I will also have some video that will show you how to cut porcelain tile. These videos will give you some great tips on how I use each of them.

 

How to cut porcelain tile- using a tile nipper

I use a tile nipper a lot. These are great to use when a small piece needs to be cut off of a tile. I first score the tile with my tile cutter. Than I use the tile nipper to break the small piece off.

There are also times that a piece didn’t break off all the way when snapping it with the tile cutter. When this happens I also use the tile nipper to break the rest off.

I have been installing for many years now and I have tried many tile nippers. I have to tell you, here are the best ones. 
Kobalt Tile Nippers from Lowes

You can pick this up at Lowes for about $20.

 

How to cut porcelain tile-Using an Angle Grinder

Now let’s move on to another very important tool to add to your arsenal. This would be the angle grinder.

This is going to be a tool that you would use to cut multiple types of cuts-

  • circles(such as around the toilet flange)
  • L cuts
  • straight cuts
  • square cuts(outlets, vents, pipes and ect..)
  • any cut really

I use this tool a lot!

This is also a reasonable priced tool. You can find a decent angle grinder for around $30 but  this is the one I use-DEWALT D28110 4-1/2-Inch Small Angle Grinder

The blade that I use is made by DeWalt and cost is around $30. Here is a link for you to see what it looks like -DEWALT DW4765 4-1/2-Inch by .060-Inch Porclean Tile Blade Wet/Dry
Here is another video to show how to cut porcelain tile with an angle grinder.

 

 

 

How to Cut Porcelain Tile-Using a Tile Cutter

All three of the tools that I am discussing are great tools, but by far this is my favorite one.

The reason is, because it is FAST. It really saves a lot of time using this cutter. It is also very accurate and it’s easy to adjust to many types of cuts.

I use a ( Rubi TR 600) which is a great cutter. It cuts tile big and small and up to a 17 x 17 tile on a diagonal.
Here is what it looks like - Rubi TR-600S Ceramic Tile Cutter

I am not trying to sell you a cutter I am just telling you what works for me. 

I was walking through Home Depot the other day and I seen they sell Rubi Tile cutters now. This is new to them and a wise choice.

I recommend Rubi because they are easy to use and they work great. I know it will seem to be a little expensive to buy this, but I would not buy any other brand.

Many of the tile cutters that the home improvement stores sell, are just not very good.

My advice is not to buy a tile cutter if you do not want to spend the money. Rent a tile saw!  Check out my post How to Cut Porcelain Tile using a Wet Saw before you buy a tile cutter.

What You Need to Know About Cutting Wheels

There are several types of cutting wheels to choose from. I use an 18mm and a 22mm for porcelain tile.

Here is a link to what I use -
Rubi 5 pcs Wheel Kit TS/TR Tile Cutter (6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 18mm, 22mm)

Tips- How to cut porcelain tile using a Tile Cutter

Practice, practice and more practice! Buy a few extra tile to practice cutting. If the tile you bought is expensive, than buy a few tiles that are on sale and practice with those.

The goal is to get the hang of it.

You need to press down firmly but don’t overdue it. Let the cutter do the work. The key to this is an even score and the result will be a clean cut.

 

 

 

Other Tools You Need

There are many tools that you need to install tile. There are also a lot of tools you don’t need!

For a complete list of tools, supplies and materials and where to get them-

 

Check out-

(My Project Planner-Tile Edition)

Please leave a comment below.

 

Thanks,

Joe

Jesus is King of all men!

 

14 Comments

  1. Hey Joe,
    Thanks for the video on how to cut tile around toilet flange. I’m updating my bathroom at my house and part of the update included new tile floor. After watching your video I gave myself 1 practice try and then completed the cuts using my DeWalt grinder. It turned out great!!

    Thanks again. Kurt Estilow

    Reply
  2. I had to replace a bathroom sink in an existing tile setting. The mounting hole was not close to being round, and (surprise!) the same model sink from the same manufacturer had grown at least 3/8 of an inch in diameter, so it would not fit without removing the largest protrusions into the circular hole for the sink. I tried cutting the tile with typical tile nipper, and it became clear I couldn’t get clearance with the existing underlay. I tried various files, but far and away the best was a shoe rasp, which I have always used solely on wood. It worked great on the tile, cutting the hard glaze easily, while gradually removing the clay brick; within 15 minutes I had very close to a perfect circle, and the newer slightly wider sink slipped right in.

    If you have a need to trim an existing installation of ceramic tile, I encourage you to try a shoe rasp.

    Reply
  3. Excellent that was really useful. I have been struggling with a wet wheel cutter and I can see the angle grinder option is much preferable. also the brisk snap of the tile once scored is something I shall try too
    Cheers

    Reply
  4. great instruction video…simple and straightforward

    Reply
  5. Thanks Joe. Good to hear American plain but detailed speaking.

    Reply
  6. Hi Joe,
    What would be the best way to make mitre cuts on 12×24″ porcelain tiles? Which tool should be used for faster and easier cuts.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Trudy,
      The best tool for this situation is going to be a wet saw. It will give you the cleanest cut and it is going to be the easiest way with what you need. Do you have access to a saw ?

      Reply
  7. Thanks Joe. I mounted a bunch of scrap porcelain to plywood w/ thinset yesterday. I found a 4″ King Diamond Porcelain blade at Home Depot that fit my 4″ Mikita angle grinder. Cuts come out pretty good. Slight chipping.

    My question is: what about cutting an inside corner on the existing counter top? I’m left with a small triangle of stone at the bottom of the corner. He do you deal with that? If it If it was loose tile, that’d be easy. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Dave, you could use a multi purpose cutting tool with a diamond cutting blade on it. You can find a link to that in my project planner. Or you could use a wood chisel and a hammer. Either way just be sure to protect the counter with a thin board or a piece of sheet metal.

      Reply
  8. Joe, how well with the 4.5″ grinder w/ porcelain blade work on installed porcelain stone (8″ Crossville)? I need to enlarge the opening on an existing cutout for a gas cooktop to accept a new model. Essentially I need to cut out 1/2″ along two sides. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dave, it will work just fine. Just be aware of the dust that will be created and everything else should go great!

      Reply
  9. excellent ,good tuition,helped me very much thanks joe.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment and glad to help. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  10. Thanks! Just what I needed!

    Reply

Leave a Reply