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What is a Ceramic Tile Cutter?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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A ceramic tile cutter is one of several devices used for cutting or breaking ceramic tile to fit each tile square to a specified area on a floor, wall, or countertop. Strikers, glass cutters, tile saws, and snips are all examples of ceramic tile cutters that are used every day by tile installers. Each one is ideal for specific types of jobs and circumstances, so the tool used will depend on the situation.

Tile snips are commonly used for tiles that need to fit around tight areas and or be cut into angled shapes. One would use this type of tile cutter when a flooring tile needs to fit around fixtures, cabinets, or pipes, and small cuts need to be made. Snips are used by cutting away small bits of tile at a time into a pre-drawn shape. Only tiny bits should be cut at once, to ensure that the tile does not break or crumble; thus ruining the shape. The edges should then be sanded to smooth them down to the exact shape.

Another kind of ceramic tile cutter is the striker. This version uses a wheel with a metal blade to score a straight line onto the tile. After the initial score is made, the tile can be snapped in half in a straight line. Common glass cutters can be used in the same manner with similar results. This option works best for tiles that will be laid against a wall or other straight area, but need to be smaller than a full tile’s width. This option is ideal for situations where only a few tiles need to be cut.

For larger jobs, a wet tile saw may be the best ceramic tile cutter to use. This option uses a sharp diamond blade to cut through the tile quickly and efficiently, with water to catch any dust that is created as a result. The tile saw is not only a precision ceramic tile cutter, but also the easiest method for cutting tiles in a variety of styles and shapes. This works best when several tiles need to be cut at once, whether in straight lines or at angles or other curved shapes.

To find the right ceramic tile cutter, speak with personnel at a local hardware or home improvement store to discuss the job at hand and get recommendations on the best cutter to use. Most employees of such stores have experience in various aspects of construction and flooring installation, and should be able to give accurate advice or refer a book or reference with the correct information.

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Discussion Comments

By anon159362 — On Mar 11, 2011

Is it possible to use a ceramic tile cutter on Vinyl or PVC tile?

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