How To Cut Glass Tile Without a Wet Saw
Glass tile is a stylish and elegant option for tiling a bathroom or a kitchen – it’s also great for many small-scale DIY projects.
In addition to its beautiful good looks, glass tile is notable for its stain, mildew, and bacteria resistance as well as its overall durability.
While a wet saw, also known as a tile saw, is the tool of choice for professionals to cut glass tile, it’s typically not the best option for most homeowners and DIYers.
It might seem slow and unwieldy at first, but learning how to cut glass tile without a wet saw is not only far more affordable but also produces surprisingly clean cuts with minimal breakage.
Once you’re finished with this guide, you’ll feel completely comfortable cutting glass tile without a wet saw.
Cut glass tile is sharp! We don’t want you to get hurt during this project.
So, make sure to don the appropriate safety gear before diving in. When it comes to cutting glass tile, the most important safety equipment are sturdy gloves and eye protection.
You should also take the time to prepare your work area. Because cutting glass tile with a manual tile cutter can produce shards and dust, it’s important to first lay down a soft cloth to work on top off.
The cloth will collect the excess pieces of glass tile, making cleanup at the end of the project that much easier. It also prevents the work surface from scratching the tile.
Step I: Prepare Tiles and Cutter
Prepare for the job by measuring and marking all of the tiles first.
You can actually set most manual tile cutters to cut a certain size if all of the tiles will be cut to the same measurements.
Lift the handle of the cutter to release the pressure from the cutting blade. This will enable you to slide the tile into the device.
Slide the tile into the device with the backside facing up. In other words, the scoring blade will first come into contact with the back of the tile.
Make sure that the tile is pressed firmly against the fence of the cutter to ensure that it doesn’t move around during the cut.
Step II: Score the Tile
Now, use the scoring wheel to run the scoring blade across the back of the tile.
You’ll typically want to run the scoring wheel across the tile at least two or three times to create a good breaking point.
Remember that you don’t want to cut through the tile with the scoring wheel. It’s simply to create a weakened area for the next step of the cut.
Running the scoring wheel over the tile more than two or three times can actually weaken the tile too much, causing cracks and chipping.
Step III: Apply Pressure to Cut
Most manual tile cutters include the scoring wheel and a separate pressure pad controlled by the main handle.
Once you score the tile, press down on the handle to drop the pressure pad down onto the tile.
The pressure pad will drop approximately into the center of the tile (so don’t worry that it doesn’t land right on the scored area).
Firmly press down on the handle (without applying too much force). The pressure from the pressure pad will snap the tile in two.
It might seem a bit odd at first, but a manual tile cutter actually snaps a piece of tile cleanly in two instead of cutting it.
For Curved Cuts Use a Tile Nipper
You can only use a manual tile cutter to make straight cuts.
If you need to make circular or angled cuts on your glass tile, then a tile nipper is the best manual tool to use.
A tile nipper is a simple, handheld tool. You simply use them to break off small pieces of the tile in a controlled fashion until you achieve the desired shape.
Remember to always start at the corners, never in the middle of the tile. Continue to gradually cut away the excess material. Don’t rush and take your time to prevent cracks and damages.
Like most other hand tools, a tile nipper has a bit of a learning curve before you’ll be using it effectively – so don’t worry if the first couple of tiles don’t turn out like you want.
A wet saw is certainly the fastest and most efficient method of cutting glass tile.
But it’s also the most expensive. And the vast majority of homeowners and casual DIYers just don’t need to invest in a designated tile saw for their project.
Fortunately, it’s simple to learn how to cut glass tile without a wet saw. A manual tile cutter and tile nippers are the best tools to use.
About Gus Donaldson
I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I’ve made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.
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Glass Tile Cutter: Best Practices Tips
Would you like to know the bets practices and tips to use a glass tile cutter? It is a simple hand-operated tool, as well as a must-have for any tile installation using glass tile, that can help you cut accurately and safely.
Whether you are working with standard or custom-sized tile, a glass tile cutter can be an ideal option for cutting glass. You will be able to enjoy all the benefits of glass tile while still having access to a variety of styles and designs.
With this guide, you’ll learn about the most widely used models, how to choose one, and how to make all your cuts without fracturing the material or causing scratches.
Click here to download it for FREE” width=”” /
What Is Glass Tile?
Glass tiles are like ceramic tiles; only translucent glaze is baked onto the back of thin pieces of glass to create the glass tile finish, giving it a translucent coating.
Glass tiles are gaining popularity recently due to the beautiful effect they give a room. In the same way that you would use a mirror to make a room look larger, glass tiles can provide the same effect as the light reflects off the glass surface.
Glass tiles are also available in a wide range of ready-made mosaic patterns, or you can purchase them as individuals, allowing you to be as creative as you desire.
Tips Tricks to Cutting Glass Tile
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cutting glass tile, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Use a glass blade: glass tile diamond blades have finer and softer diamonds, ensuring a smooth cut.
Cut upside down: this will produce a better-looking cut once you’ve smoothed the front side of the glass (this should not be done with glass tiles with no backing).
Round is better: round the corners of your L.cuts to help prevent cracking during installation or over time.
Cut each end before the middle: this will help prevent the corner chipping at the end of the cut.
How To Cut Glass Tile
First, you’ll need to decide on which tool you will need. To do this, you need to figure out what type of tile you are cutting, what sort of cut is required, and how many tiles you need to cut. There are four main methods of cutting glass, and each requires its own specialized tool.
Using a Glass Tile Cutter
A glass and tile cutter is not an expensive item to get and, unlike some of the other tools we will mention, is conveniently small and portable. When purchasing this tool, you will also need to buy a pair of pliers.
Pro tip: practice with some spare tile first, so you can get a feel for it.
Now that you’re ready start by marking your tile where you want it cut. Next, score the tile on one side with the tile cutter. Finally, place the cutter away from you and draw the wheel towards you.
Pro tip: press firmly enough that you hear a cracking noise as you cut.
Once scored, take your grozing pliers and grip the tile on one side. Pull down to snap it off. Finally, smooth the edges with your rubbing stone and wipe it down with the cloth.
Best Used For: small jobs with not too many cuts.
Using a Bar Tile Cutter
A bar tile cutter, also called a manual cutter, can really come into its own if you have a lot of tiles to cut. It’s more efficient than a glass tile cutter, as the cutter can both score and cut the tile.
The method of use is quite simple. First, mark off the part you want to cut and place the tile on the bar tile cutter’s cutting pad. Then, line up your marker line with the guide on the manual tile cutter.
Pro tip: always aim to use a diamond blade for cutting glass tiles.
Cut the tile by pushing the scoring handle away from you. Once scored, if your machine is fitted with a pressure foot, you can use that to snap it off. Otherwise, you can do it by hand.
Finally, smooth the edges with your rubbing stone and wipe it down with the cloth.
Best Used For small projects with not too many tiles, as well as angled cuts.
Using a Wet Saw
This is the recommended method to cut glass tile. The water flow counteracts the overheating of the blade and tiles and results in a smooth, clean-cut.
Like with all the other methods, start by marking your cuts with your non-permanent marker. Next, put on your rubber gloves and start up the wet saw.
Pro tip: let the wet saw run for 10-15 seconds to ensure a properly wet blade.
Once the water flows over the blade, you can begin by aligning your marked line with the guide on the wet saw. Next, slowly start moving the blade of the saw along your marked line to cut.
You don’t want to exert too much force; instead, you want to apply light and even pressure.
Finally, turn off the saw, smooth the edges with your rubbing stone, and wipe it down with the cloth.
Best Used For: Large projects as well as corner cuts.
Using Tile Nippers
This tool is typically used to make smaller, artistic shapes with glass tile. It looks like pliers, but it has upper and lower wheels, similar to a can opener.
Begin by marking your design on the tile with your marker, and put on your safety glasses. Next, align your nippers with your marked line and firmly squeeze the nipper’s handles to cut through the tile forcefully.
Pro tip: mark the glass with a scoring wheel before nipping.
Once you’ve completed your cut, smooth the edges with your rubbing stone and wipe it down with the cloth.
Best Used For: Nipping off pieces of a tile, as well as irregular-shaped cuts.
Everything You Need
So that’s it. Hopefully, this article has demystified using tile cutters, and you feel confident to go ahead with your installation. Just remember that a glass cutting blade is different from the ones used on ceramic tiles. It’s always recommended to go for a diamond tile cutter blade for best results.
If you are interested in purchasing a quality glass tile cutter, be sure to check out our range on our website.
How to cut glass tile using a wet saw
Today I am sharing how to cut glass tile and what tools I used to install our blue kitchen backsplash. Glass tile, in my opinion, is gorgeous and provides a shimmery reflective look to any kitchen.
Glass tile is especially beneficial in a small and narrow kitchen simply because it acts as a mirror when light hits it. Learning how to cut glass tile wasn’t really that difficult once I got started.
I will admit though, I was nervous at first. I have provided affiliate links to some of the products I used below in case you are interested in purchasing.
This shot happens to be first thing in the morning when the sun beams through the adjacent window. If you look closely, you can see my reflection on the right side of the picture, above the books. I’m wearing an orange shirt. Isn’t that cool?
First you need to choose your tile. I picked Blue Lagoon, 3 ” x 6″ glass subway style by Daltile. You can purchase this tile from any tile supply store.
You will most likely not find this color though in your local hardware store, I had to custom order it. I did find this similar blue though this morning at Wayfair(affiliate link).
How to Cut Glass Tile – With A Ryobi Wet Saw
I purchased the 125 Ryobi wet saw to complete this project and it’s worth it’s weight in gold! It is super easy to use and more importantly, changing the blade is easy. I like easy!
Here is the Ryobi “7” blade” wet saw that I bought at Home Depot. (similar one here for purchase at The Home Depot with free delivery (affiliate link)
I removed the tray guard in some of these pictures below so you could see the actual blade and how the tile pushes up to the blade.
How to Cut Glass Tile – Safety First
Glass tile is very fragile and you need to push the tile up to the blade very slowly. Be sure to wear safety glasses as the glass does fly around. Also, beware that your fingers may be cut with small tiny pieces of glass. I found it difficult to wear gloves and work with the tile but you may want to wear gloves.
Note, tray guard is removed simply for the purposes of these photos. You need to keep the guard on when cutting the tile so you don’t have the glass and water flying out of the wet saw.
This is a messy job for sure!
How to Cut Glass Tile – How To Cut Around Outlets
Below, I am cutting the tile to fit around an electrical outlet. I used a tile marker to measure and mark the tile where it needed to be cut. A crayon also works.
I used this wet saw for our kitchen and bathroom tiling projects and I am very pleased with it’s performance. I did purchase 2 7″ inch tile blades because when cutting glass tile, you need a very sharp blade. Be sure to purchase a blade for “glass tile”. They sell many different types depending on the type of tile you are working with. I think this little guy needs a bath now. Kind of dirty huh?
Prior to installing our kitchen backsplash I had never used a wet saw or tiled before. It was a little intimidating but I am here to tell you, there is nothing to be intimidated about. If you are on the fence about how to cut glass tile or any tile for that matter, simply purchase an inexpensive wet saw, the correct blade and choose a pretty tile that you love.
Once you have all the tools and supplies, it’s fairly easy to install.
Other tiling projects you may like are, our Kitchen backsplash and our guest bathroom mosaic tiles project.
How to Cut Glass Tiles with Diamond Saw Blade
A diamond saw machine is one of the most durable machines across numerous industries today. This is because the tool can cut through the hardest materials known to man due to its diamond fittings. The diamond saw blade has become the industry standard for cutting through hard materials. One such hard material is glass tiles, which usually require a sizeable amount of skill to execute. So how do you cut a glass brick with a diamond saw? What is the best way to cut?
Section 1: Why Diamond Saw Blades are the Best choice for Cutting Glass Bricks
Glass tiles are some of the most delicate finishing materials across various industries. Although they’re quite expensive, their demand is high, especially among the upper class, who have impeccable taste in choosing materials in this regard.
Glass tiles are used mostly in the construction industry, where we use them in building, finishing walls, and other construction efforts. Although cutting glass tiles with a diamond blade is just like cutting standard ceramic or porcelain tiles. But glass is a much more delicate material, and you must handle it carefully to avoid damage.
The most comfortable way to cut a glass tile is to use a wet saw with diamond fittings. Wet saws, when combined with diamond fittings, are formidable for cutting through glass tiles, and you can use them on all kinds of glass tiles.
Undoubtedly, glass tiles are gorgeous and perfect for new homes. And while cutting them with the regular wet saw is not entirely impossible, it is not advisable, especially when you need a clean cut.
Using a wet saw with diamond fittings helps you to execute the cutting of your glass tiles without any chips or crack on your tile body or edges.
Section 2: 5 Rules for Diamond Saw Blades to Cut Glass Bricks for Effective Results
When cutting through glass tiles, picking up a wet saw with diamond fittings is only half the job.
There are some rules to observe to ensure the task is successful. Without these rules, your attempt might be futile at the least or lead to the destruction of your glass tiles at worst.
Here are some of the most important rules that they would love for you to adhere to;
While cutting glass tiles, consistency is the name of the game. It is essential to avoid switching blades or saws to not affect the precision with which you’re working.
Precision is vital while engaging in this task because of the glass tiles’ delicateness. Usually, small mistakes lead to chipping and the creation of cracks on your glass tiles, and they are not flattering.
It is best to use a specific wet saw with a diamond fitting for your cutting exercise from start to finish. The continuity makes the job more convenient for all the parties involved, including the tiler, tile, and diamond blade.
- Ensure that you thoroughly clean the surface of the wet saw on which you will place the glass tile.
Another vital issue is to ensure that you clean the surface of your wet saw as thoroughly as you can. You will be placing your glass tile on this wet saw and are therefore responsible for any complications, or otherwise, that arise therein.
When you do not ensure that you clean your wet saw appropriately, the debris left on it might damage your diamond blade. Waste, such as grains of sand or other particles, is unsuitable for your diamond blade and can lead to severe complications while cutting your glass tiles. Just a little speck of particle is detrimental to the service life of your diamond blade, and you should, therefore, prevent the possibility of crises rather than manage it.
Make Sure to Revive your Diamond Blade before Attempting to Cut
A common mistake when cutting glass bricks. Even a few months of unused diamond saw blades, and the diamond blades are assumed to be fully loaded.
When your diamond blade is out of service for a prolonged period, you should expect the blade edge to be blunt. You should, therefore, attempt to sharpen its dull edges.
You can do this by applying an abrasive surface to the edge of your blade to revive it. Doing this increases the service life of your diamond blade and helps you cut through glass tiles more smoothly.
Make Sure to Use Lots of Water when Cutting Glass Tiles or Mosaic
This rule should go without saying, especially since you’re probably cutting your glass tile with a wet saw.
You need to use lots of water because the friction from cutting your glass tiles will usually emit a ton of heat. If you don’t regulate the temperature, it will lead to chipping and cracking on your glass tiles. Applying water while working on your glass tile will help you to keep the temperature of your diamond blade and glass tiles minimal.
Ensure that the Cutting Process is not too Slow
Cutting a glass tile can be a frustrating endeavor if not done quickly. This is because cutting your glass tile will lead to vibrations, which will, in turn, increase the risk of chipping and cracks.
When your cutting process is straightforward, this risk is cut down by a lot, and the task will go on more smoothly. A slow-cutting process usually churns out less than expected results, which means that your glass tiles will be affected immensely.
Section 3: Feedback
I used to work in the construction industry for about ten years.
Although I was very familiar with diamond saw machines and understood how efficient diamond blades were in cutting through hard materials, I’d never really thought about how lethal the combination of a wet saw and diamond fitting would turn out.
The first time I had to cut a glass tile, I used a regular saw, and the result was just plain disappointing. My client was furious, and I had to refund the fee I got paid for the job, accompanying it with profuse apologies.
Some weeks later, I joined a few colleagues for a conference on “The Various Use Cases of the Diamond Blade Saw.” I realized that I was doing something wrong. I took the bold step, approached my erstwhile disappointed client, and convinced him that I was capable of the job. After a few times and lots of apologies, he finally conceded and let me work on his next batch of glass tiles. I made sure to use a wet saw with diamond fittings this time as opposed to the regular wet saw, and the results were nothing less than incredible.
Section 4: Conclusion
Glass tiles are delicate to cut, but the results are usually overwhelming when placed under a wet saw with diamond fittings. If you work in the construction industry already, this shouldn’t be news; if it is, you now know more about the subject.
Like earlier, the combination of a wet saw and diamond blade is formidable and one you should deploy when cutting glass tiles. Using a regular saw will not suffice while cutting glass tiles and can lead to chipping and cracks on your glass tiles.
We offer some of the best products in the diamond blade industry, and you can buy the products directly from here today!
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