Simple Solutions

How to Cut Ceramic Tile with a Glass Cutter

By: Joe Truini
Scoring ceramic tile with a glass cutter to cut the tile to size.

Scoring ceramic tile with a glass cutter to cut the tile to size.

To cut ceramic tile by hand without a tile cutter:

  1. Mark the top of the tile where you want to cut it.
  2. Place a square on the tile slightly away from the mark.
  3. Use a glass cutter to score the tile on the cut line.
  4. Place the tile on solid surface with a wire clothes hanger under the tile aligned with the score mark.
  5. Press down on either side of the tile to break the tile along the score line.
  6. If needed, smooth the cut by rubbing the edge on concrete or a brick.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Usually when you’re doing some ceramic tiling around your house, you have to go to the rental center and rent a tile cutter. But Joe’s got a method on small ceramic tile jobs that you can save that rental money.

Joe Truini: That’s right, Danny. When you only need to cut a couple of tiles, all you need is a glass cutter and a wire hanger, and of course a pair of safety glasses.

First mark the cut line on the tile, then use a square to guide the glass cutter along the line. When you hear that crackling sound, you know the glass cutter is scoring the ceramic surface of the tile. Then you simply place the tile on the wire hanger with the line directly over the hanger and press down.

Now the resulting cut is sometimes a little rough, but it’s typically hidden by another tile. If it’s going to be exposed, you can smooth it out on any concrete surface or even just a brick.

Danny Lipford: That’s a great tip, and actually this same method can be used on any size tile.



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7 Comments on “How to Cut Ceramic Tile with a Glass Cutter”

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  • john Says:
    November 18th, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve done it at home and it’s easier than glass cutting, though small pieces are easier.

    While large tiles are more difficult, small pieces are much easier. For example, snapping a 1″ square into two triangle, one scores then holds both sides with flat pliers and snap – it’s easy. In fact even those with tile saws is likely to do this since doing small work with a 7″ saw is harder (and looses 1/8″ of the middle).

    Unless you have good solid edge to snap on (ie not a coat hangar), count on tile loss. And some loss besides. Same rules as a professional glass cutting would give (NOT a coat hangar – see instructions how to cut glass with scoring tool on internet)

    Tile saws blades are only $20, (or a concrete saw no wetness required, but rougher finish) will work though not as cleanly as a good score/glass cut or a very high quality fine grit diamond tile saw blade. There are few these days who don’t have $20, but maybe some who have few tiles and excess tile.



  • Jack Mulligan Says:
    September 8th, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I tried doing this a few times before and I have to say, it’s not as easy as it looks. I have managed to make some pretty bad cuts and wasted tiles. I think in this case it might be better to have a professional do it so I’m not wasting money on poorly cut tile. t



  • mary Says:
    July 12th, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Thanks! I used my glass cutter for glass tiles, but only have two cuts to make to finish my diy countertop, I will definitely try this method, don’t want to buy tile cutter for just two cuts.



  • Greg Kuehlwein Says:
    May 4th, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I managed to brake our class cutter and accidentally make a Harry Potter lightning scar type fracture like in the tile



  • Ryan Reeves Says:
    April 30th, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Absolutely brilliant! And so simple.



  • Jack Palmer Says:
    March 25th, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This video was really impressive! Who would have thought that you could cut ceramic tile with glass cutters and a hanger; I sure didn’t! I wonder if my wife knows this? She is definitely the more crafty one in our marriage. I feel like she is constantly working on a new project. Thanks for the video!



  • Jim Donohue Says:
    March 1st, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Hi, I’m finishing up a ceramic floor tile repair,(125 12″ Sq.) I need to cut two 12’x12″ in half to complete a rectangle border design. I’ve seen good and bad reviews re; slide type cutters, and I need to own it for about 30 sec. Thanks to your glass cutter method, problem solved. I suspected this wood work, and your video confirmed it. Thank you
    Jim


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