How To Cut Mosaic Tile – The Ultimate Guide
Mosaic tiles are becoming more and more popular thanks to their unique and appealing look. They consist of many smaller pieces of tiles, usually made from glass, ceramic or porcelain. They are widely used as decorative elements in your bedroom, your kitchen and your bathroom. You can buy mosaic tiles on hardware stores. However, you can still cut them by yourself and install them. It is surely a time consuming task but you can create your own unique decoration that looks like no one else.
In general, in order to create a mosaic picture, you need to cut numerous small tiles and put it into the place to form a specific pattern or image. There are 3 most common ways you can use to cut mosaic tiles- using a tile nipper, a wheeled glass cutter or a wet saw. All of these methods have their own pros and cons. If you want to learn how to cut mosaic tiles using these tools, this guide below is for you.
First, Here Are The Tools That you Would Need For The Project:
- A pencil, a wax pencil
- A measuring tap
- Sharp scissors for heavy duty tasks
- Scrap wood
- Double sided sanding stone
- Different cutting tools
Follow the guides below for how to cut mosaic tiles with specific tools:
1. Selecting the right tool:
You might wonder what tools you should use to cut mosaic tiles, right? Getting the right tools is the first step to cut mosaic tiles effectively.
Different types of mosaic tiles are cut with different types of tools. If you don’t choose the tool carefully, you might even increase your risk of getting injuries. Also using the right tools helps to prevent the tiles from breaking and chipping. Here are some common types of mosaic tiles with their appropriate tools:
- Glass (both vitreous and recycled glass): You should use a wheeled Mosaic glass cutter. After cutting, you can use a Ceramic and marble file to sand the edges of these tiles. Alternatively, you can use a dual grit rubbing stone for sanding.
- Stained Glass: You can use a mosaic glass cutter for cutting irregular cuts. For straight cuts, you can use a pistol grip cutter.
- Ceramic: You can use a tile nipper to cut mosaic tiles made from this material. To soften the cut edges, you can use a dual grit rubbing stone.
- Harder materials such as marble, stone and porcelain: You should use a compound tile nipper to cut these mosaic tiles as it is stronger and more powerful.
- If you need to cut a large piece of tile: In case you need to handle large tiles of more than 5 inches in width and 1 inch in thickness, you should use a wet saw.
2. Prepare the tile:
After you decide the right tool, in the next step, you need to measure the tile and mark the cuts using the measuring tape and a pencil. For some special surface, a wax pencil would help you to draw lines on the tiles better. It also prevents discoloration on the tiles.
Measure the space where you intend to install the mosaic tiles. Remember to spare room for extra spaces among these mosaic tiles.
Draw these lines from the center outwards.
3. Detailed guides on cutting with specific tools:
a. Using The Wheeled Cutter
- First, put the tile onto a flat surface and place it between the cutting wheels of the cutter.
- Position the tile so that the line that you draw on its surface is placed under the wheels.
- You then need to squeeze down the cutter and quickly pull the handle so that the cut into the tile could be firm and compressed.
- Make sure you apply even pressure. Don’t press the cutter too lightly; it would not be able to cut through glass. However, if you apply too much pressure, the glass would break.
- After cutting, use a dual grit rubbing stone to smooth the cut edges of these mosaic tiles.
Note: You need to pull the handle quickly and strongly. If you do it slowly, the slow momentum could result in damages of the title. This is unarguably the easiest method you can use to cut mosaic tiles.
b. Using The Tile Nipper
- First, put the tile onto a flat surface.
- Then move the tile nipper towards the tile so that the teeth of the title nipper touch the surface of the tile.
- Then pull the handles of the tile nipper and apply enough pressure so that the title can crack into smaller pieces.
- After the tile is cut into smaller parts. Using a double sided sanding stone to soften the sharp edges of the mosaic tiles.
Note: Another technique you can use to cut ceramic mosaic tiles is known as score and snap. With this method, you can use a scoring tool such as a snorer and dig it into the center of the tile. When crack appears, break the tiles into smaller pieces.
You need to break them quickly and powerfully so that cracks couldn’t appear on the surface of the tile. You can also use a clamp to secure a part of the tile and press down the remaining part to break the tile into parts.
c. Using A Wet Tile Saw
- Place the tile with the drawn lines onto a flat working station. Use clamps to secure the tile in place.
- Put the saw into the working station and fill the well of the appliance with water.
- Slowly move the tile toward the wet saw’s blade, following the lines. Don’t push the saw into the tile or move the tile too fast.
- Then take out the clamp.
- After that, use sanding stone to smoothen the cut edges of these mosaic tiles.
Note: Using a wet tile saw could be quite dangerous. You need to familiarize yourself with how the machine works by reading instructions and safety instructions. Follow all of the safety recommendations from the manufacturer as well.
Finally, here are some safety tips you should follow when working in this project:
- As I mention above, always use the right tool for the right job. If you are not sure about the material of the mosaic tiles you are working with, asking an expert in your local hardware store for more information on choosing the right tool. Accidents would happen if you use the wrong tool. For example, when you use mosaic glass cutter for cutting ceramic tiles, the blade of the tool can snap easily.
- Check the title cutter or the wheeled mosaic cutter to see if it is sturdy. If it is not, it might damage the titles.
- Make sure you wear safety glasses with side shields to prevent cuts from flying away to your eyes and your faces.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Anyone who doesn’t wear personal protective equipment shouldn’t stay close to your working station.
Overall, it is not hard at all to cut mosaic tiles, as long as you have mastered the basic steps. After cutting mosaic tiles, you can use adhesive to install these mosaic tiles onto your desired surface. When you equip yourself with proper knowledge of how to cut mosaic tiles and when you are careful and patient enough with the project, I am sure that you would be able to cut many nice mosaic tiles.