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How to Cut Pre-Installed Tile On a Wall or Floor

Are you working on a tile installation that has already been finished? Some renovation jobs require cutting pre-installed tile to make way for new installations without replacing the entire wall or floor.

If how to cut already installed tile is a new concept for you, below is a quick guide on how to do it the proper way. Lets revise all about the tools you will need, the process of cutting tile, and safety tips. Read on and find all the details below!

*  Do you want to get the guide on 4 common errors to avoid when professionally  laying tiles? Click here and download it for free.

how to cut tile on wall
Expect to read about the tools you’ll need, the process of cutting tile, and safety tips.

1. Tools and Other Items You Need in Tile Cutting 

As with any task on a project or job, the first step is to gather all the necessary tools and materials. In this case, the materials or tiles to cut are already glued to the wall, so you really only need to buy a few replacement tiles in case some of the installed ones break. Then all that’s left is to bring the best tools for tile cutting.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

· A diamond disc (designed for cutting the type of ceramic you plan to cut)
· Set square or triangle
· Measuring tape
· Chinagraph pencil or non-stain pen
· Angle grinder
· Steel rule
· Rotary tool
· Small pry bar
· Plastic sheet and tape
· Safety gear (goggles, gloves, and eye protection)
· Handheld sprayer and water

It’s also good to have a RUBI manual tile cutter on hand because accidents happen, and if you break a tile on your floor or wall you might need to cut the replacement to make it fit in the original’s location.

If you want to know more about the subject here’s a guide on how to lay tiles.

2. Safety First: Things to Consider When Cutting Tiles

As a professional tile installer or contractor, always practice safety first, because any DIY project involving tools can result in personal injury.

Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the task. Remember, wearing gloves, goggles, and ear protection is a necessity. Wearing a mask or respirator is optional. It’s also a good idea to keep your tools out of the reach of children.

Are you going to cut at low spaces? If so, don’t forget to get knee pads to protect your knees. This also applies when you need to set your knees upon a higher surface to reach tiles glued high up a wall.

Another common mistake for tile installers is cutting towards their bodies. Avoid doing this and cut away from your body instead. A good rule of thumb is to push when cutting rather than pull. Stay alert during the process of tile cutting to avoid cutting your hands or fingers.

how to cut tile on wall

Safety Tips for Keeping the Room Ventilated and Dust-Free

Cover the doors of the room with a plastic sheet and masking tape. This will keep the dust from spreading into the other parts of the house. Do the same with the vents in the room.

If there are windows, keep them open for good ventilation. You can also place a fan facing outward by the window to direct the air outside. Doing this will also help improve the airflow while working on a room.

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3. How to Cut Already Installed Tile on a Wall: Measuring & Marking the Cut-out

Before cutting any tile glued on a wall, determine the number of tiles to cut. Use the steel rule, triangle and a measuring tape, such as the RUBI Flexometer, to find out how much of each tile you must cut. Mark the cutline with the Chinagraph pencil or non-stain pen.

Next, place masking tape onto the tile running along the edge of the mark. Adding tape over the part you intend to keep intact and attached to the wall will keep it from chipping. Use a handheld sprayer to add water to the tile surface.

This water keeps the dust from going into the air and lubricates the tile for the cutting blade. If you chipped the wrong tiles, consider replacing them. Replicate the cut with a RUBI manual cutter before you replace the broken chipped tile.

4. Tile Cutting Method Using an Angle Grinder

Once you’ve marked the tiles and covered them with masking tape, you’re ready to learn how to cut already installed tile on a wall with an angle grinder.

Place the angle grinder against one end of the cutline and run the blade along the tile surface. Keep the path of the angle grinder smooth and straight. Add water with the spray to keep the surface wet if needed. If the blade isn’t cutting through the tile, make more passes with the blade alongside the tile.

If the grinder blade is too large to cut the tile part closer to the wall, switch to a rotary tool. This tool also allows you to make curved cuts. However, if you’re going to use it, keep the surface dry.

From there, pry cut the pieces from the surface with a small pry bar. Place the pry bar into the joints while applying pressure to it as you move it behind a cut piece. Once you’re done, clean the surface by vacuuming and washing the dust.

5. Cutting Tiles on Walls: Will It Work for Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles?

Ceramic tiles are popular picks for bathrooms because they are practical and decorative. They are also durable, resistant to bacteria and moisture, easy to clean, and the most affordable tile option. However, they’re only useful for indoor floors and walls.

The common alternative to ceramic tile is porcelain tile. You can also use the same method mentioned above to cut porcelain tile on a wall. However, remember that porcelain tile is harder and more brittle than ceramic tile.

how to cut tile on wall

Learn to Cut Tile the Right Way

With that, you now know how to cut tile on a wall. Use these steps to help with your career. As mentioned, always practice safety when cutting tiles.

If you’re looking for tile cutters, electric mixers, and more, visit the RUBI contact page here.

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