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How To Cut Glass Tile Professionally?

Glass tile, like many hard tile materials, becomes durable after installation. However, before installation, it can chip and break easily. Cutting glass tile without causing chips or cracks needs special glass-cutting tools and practice. If you have cut other tiles like porcelain or ceramic, you can use some of the same techniques and tools.

Here are steps for five methods to cut glass tile without chipping or cracking it. With practice, you will cut glass tile like a professional.

cutting glass tiles

Table of Contents

Preparation

When installing a glass tile backsplash or a glass tile mosaic in a shower niche, you’ll eventually need to cut a tile piece to fit. Below are five tools you can use to cut glass tiles safely and effectively.

Note: Some tools and methods work well for various cuts, while others are better for specific cuts like long straight lines, curved cuts, and slight trimming along the tile’s edge. You might end up using all five methods for your tile installation project.

Tools & Equipment

  • Wet saw
  • Diamond blade
  • Washable marker
  • Tile rubbing stone
  • Eye protection
  • Thick gloves

How to Cut Glass Tiles Professionally

Wet Tile Saw

wet tile saw is perfect for making multiple clean, straight cuts in glass tile.

  1. Use a diamond blade rated for cutting glass tile on the wet saw.
wet-saw
  1. Mark the cut line with a washable marker.
  1. Turn on the saw and let the blade reach full speed. Ensure the water keeps the blade wet.
  1. Place the tile on the sled with the marked cut line centered and aligned with the blade.
  1. Hold the tile down on each side and slowly move the sled toward the blade. Let the blade cut through the tile without forcing it.
  1. Use a tile rubbing stone to smooth the rough cut edge of the tile.

Scoring Wheel

Manual glass scoring wheels offer control over your cut line, allowing curved or straight cuts with an inexpensive handheld tool.

Related: Which Size Scoring Wheel Do I Need?
  1. Mark the cut line with a washable marker.
  1. Place a straightedge beside the cut line, spaced according to the thickness of the scoring wheel so the wheel falls exactly on the cut line.
  1. Firmly press the scoring tool into the glass and move it along the marked cut line. You will hear a cracking sound and see a visible scored line on the surface if the tool is scoring the glass.
  1. Use running pliers to snap the glass tile. These pliers apply even pressure on each side of the scored line. If the glass has been thoroughly scored, it will break evenly and cleanly along the score line.
  1. Clean the rough cut edge with a rubbing stone.
scoring wheel for glass tile

Note: Rough edges on cut tiles might not seem like a big deal, but leaving them unsmoothed can result in visible imperfections once grout is installed.

Bar Cutter

Bar cutters are ideal for cutting straight lines through solid glass tiles and glass tile mosaics.

  1. Mark the cut line with a washable marker.
  1. Place the tile against the rear bumper of the bar cutter and align the cut line with the scoring wheel. Lower the wheel and push it along the rails to score the line.
  1. Smooth the rough cut edge of the tile with a tile rubbing stone.

Note: If tiles fall slightly to the side after being scored, the bar won’t apply even pressure over the scored line. This can cause the tile to break unevenly.

bar cutter

Wheeled Tile Nipper

Wheeled tile nippers are excellent for making small detail cuts and curved cuts in glass tiles.

  1. Mark the cut line with a washable marker.
  1. Align the wheels of the tile nippers with the cut line and cut the tile as you would cut with scissors.
  1. Smooth the rough cut edge of the tile with a tile rubbing stone.

Note: Cutting glass tile with tile nippers can send tiny shards of glass flying. Always wear eye goggles and avoid cutting tiles near other people or pets. Clean the area thoroughly after use.

tile nipper

Tips

  • When cutting glass mosaic tiles, score the entire sheet first, then break each tile individually.
  • Cut the ends before cutting the middle. When using a wet saw, this can help prevent the tile from breaking.
  • Practice on scrap tile with a new tile-cutting tool before making important cuts.
  • Tile nippers can be used without scoring, but scoring beforehand can result in cleaner cuts.
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