How to Cut Porcelain Tiles with a Hand Tile Cutter
Porcelain tile is one of the hardest materials used for various coatings (floor, walls, kitchen tables, etc.). In the process of laying, there is a need to cut porcelain tiles. With large volumes, the recommendation is unequivocal. A professional tool. At home, you can do one of the ways, or a combination of them (especially when you consider the little tricks):
- Angle grinder (angle grinder);
- Manual tile cutter.
Raw materials consisting of clay, kaolin, silica sand, feldspar and mineral additives are pressed under high pressure and then sintered at high temperatures. The resulting material has virtually no pores and has a hardness equal to that of corundum (7-8 on the Mohs scale). It is inferior in hardness to only a few materials, such as diamond, sapphire, ruby and so on. At the same time, thin tiles (3 mm and thinner) are quite fragile.
Note! Cutting a material of such hardness will not work with manual glass cutters, stone paintings and jigsaws. They can only be used as an auxiliary tool.
Consider two ways to cut tiles at home. The methods have limitations, which will be discussed below, as well as ways to circumvent these restrictions. They can achieve acceptable results, but it is better to cut porcelain tiles on professional equipment. Only he will give a guaranteed result in an acceptable time with a relatively large amount of work.
Angle grinder cutting
Angle grinder (angle grinder). A universal tool for cutting and processing a variety of materials. Due to its versatility, it does not apply to special tools. In the household, using the angle grinder, you can solve many problems.
In order to cut porcelain stoneware, almost any angle grinder will do. No need for high power. A small, lightweight tool is even preferable to use. Speed is more important than power. A powerful tool will cut the tile faster, but just the speed here can affect negatively. It will turn out less accurately.
The main issue is the selection of a cutting wheel. It is the choice of the circle that you should pay special attention to. And it’s not about landing size (it goes without saying).
Material is cut only by diamond disks. Diamond blades are produced in two types: solid and segment. For best results, it is recommended that you try cutting with different cutting wheels. For cutting porcelain, there are features when using both solid and segmented disks:
Solid ones are positioned by manufacturers mainly for wet cutting. Those. For cutting with cooling water or special liquids. And they are not used for cutting without cooling, as they can quickly fail. However, when the task is to obtain a slice with as few chips as possible, a solid disk may be better suited. This is situational and largely depends on the specific material (quality, thickness, embossment, etc.) that is being processed;
Continuous cutting disc.
Segment cutting disc.
In addition to the type, the disks are distinguished by a whole range of parameters: the density of diamond spraying, the height of the cutting edge, the thickness of the disk and so on. It is better to follow the recommendations of the disc manufacturers. The discs themselves are usually indicated for what purpose they are used.
For a manual angle grinder, discs with a thickness of less than 2.0 mm are not acceptable. The height of the cutting edge must be greater than the thickness of the tile (affects the cleanliness of the cut).
Advice! Before each cut, check the condition of the disk. With any deviations, the disk changes, otherwise the risk of chip formation increases.
- Mark the tiles. To do this, it is best to use a construction marker.
- Place the tile on a flat surface. In some cases, it will be more convenient to fix the tile to the surface with clamps or fix it in a workbench.
- To obtain an even cut, you can additionally strengthen the metal strip with clamps along the cut line. Then it will be necessary to cut along it.
- Cutting is carried out on the front side, since the output is the largest number of chips. You can do a double cut. First, draw a small furrow from the front side, and make the main cut from the back side. This method will minimize damage to the front surface.
- If there are no strict requirements for the cut, then you can not cut to the end. After making cuts, break the plate with your hands.
- A lead tool is recommended, starting from oneself.
- Additionally grind the cut if necessary.
Using an angle grinder, it is imperative to use protective equipment:
- A suit covering the legs and arms;
- Safety glasses (preferably a mask);
- Protective gloves or mittens;
- Respirator (required for a significant amount of work).
Advantages of using an angle grinder:
- The ability to cut an element of almost any shape. For a curly cut you need good working skills with the tool;
- Possibility of trimming tiles already laid in place;
- Tool availability.
- Injury hazard;
- Very difficult to obtain geometrically accurate slices;
- The great complexity of obtaining a clean cut without chips;
- Low speed;
- A lot of dust and noise.
Using an angle grinder, you won’t be able to get the perfect cut the first time. To obtain accurate cuts without chipping, they are cut with an indent from a line of 2-5 mm. Then adjusted to the desired size by grinding. This is a rather time-consuming operation and takes a lot of time, therefore it is recommended to carry out only with elements that will be in a conspicuous place.
Or use the trick, as in the below:
Hand Tile Cutting
The tile cutter for porcelain tile is only electric. There is no specialized manual tile cutter for porcelain tile. But for these purposes, you can use a good quality manual tile cutter. Most likely, it will not be possible to find a cheap suitable tool, and when using one, the output will simply be a broken tile.
Basic requirements for the tool:
A good bed with a powerful stiffener. Otherwise, when the tile is broken, the bed will bend and the tile will break beyond the line;
- Lack of play on the carriage (usually depends on the thickness of the guides). As it is used, any manual tile cutter begins to play over time. Therefore, it is not recommended to use old, unverified;
- The thicker the tile, the thicker the diameter of the cutting roller should be;
- The carriage must have a smooth ride. This is achieved by special bearings. A bearingless carriage can also have a smooth ride, but according to the experience of use, this is not long and unstable, i.E. Once smoothly swept, and the next is no guarantee.
- Mark tiles, it is recommended to use a construction marker.
- Lay the tile on the tile cut exactly along the line.
- Gently hold the line away from you with a slight pressure. At the same time, it is important to maintain the same pressure force throughout the stroke. Important! On porcelain stonework the line is drawn once. Holding a few traits is unacceptable. Otherwise, the fault may not go beyond the line.
- Set the foot on the tile and press to break along the line.
- Grind the slice if necessary.
Pay attention to the restrictions on the use of a manual tile cutter:
- Only straight cuts through the entire tile;
- It is practically impossible to break off precisely strips of less than 6. 7 cm. (depending on the thickness of the material);
- Problem, oblique lines break with chips if the cut hits the ribs from the back.
- Speed of work;
- Lack of dust and noise;
- Simplicity of work.
To obtain very accurate lines, you can use the same technology as for an angle grinder. Draw a line with an indent of 2-3 mm., And then grind to the desired size. Used only in conspicuous places.
These two methods do not exhaust all methods. With their help, you can get an acceptable result of any slices at home. Round holes in the material are made with an ordinary tool without special nuances: carbide-tipped drills, ballerinas, crowns. The only difference is that, due to the hardness of the material, the cutting tool will fail faster.
To solve the task of laying tiles, you can use the integrated approach:
- The easiest way is to cut the tiles with a manual tile cutter. It is recommended that they cut the bulk of the tile;
- Tiles with cut edges, covered with skirting boards or overlays. In this case, it will be sufficient to use a manual tile cutter or an angle grinder (in limited cases);
- Tiles with a fine fit are few. Adjust by grinding;
- Lay all the whole tiles. Depending on the available tool, fit the tiles that are covered with skirting boards and overlays. The remaining elements accurately measure and mark on the tile. Either rent a professional tile cutter, or take it to the nearest construction company with such equipment, and cut it.