How to cut ceramic tiles properly? A few tips to make the interior look aesthetically pleasing and elegant.
While arranging any space with the use of ceramic tiles, we should choose them so that they fit into the place in the optimal way. However, it rarely happens that we deal with such a perfect match of the interior and ceramics to completely avoid tile cutting. How to ensure that the cut is made with surgical precision, as well as with the greatest benefit for the aesthetics and functionality of the interior? In this article, we will discuss this issue at length.
How about doing it… on your own?
Everything can be done by yourself. But does it really pay off? Do we have financial resources to buy the necessary equipment for cutting and processing ceramic material? Do we have knowledge about the surface and hardness of our tiles? Can we handle the tools which will be needed for trimming, grinding, and chamfering? Do we have a good supply of material for experiments? Do we have patience and perseverance as well as a lot of free time to devote to self-tiling work? If so – great! 🙂
However, if we have not answered “yes” to any of the questions above, it will be safer to use the services of a professional team which will take care of laying of the tiles in accordance with the construction arts and the principles of aesthetics.
Select Specialists by large “S”
Before the so-called tilers will start finishing works at our house, first check the effects of their accomplishments in other places. Good professionals gladly boast of their projects. Let’s take a closer look at all the sensitive details which show their diligence and accuracy. Pay special attention to the corners and surfaces of the tiles at the edges of the cuts – are there no blemishes in the form of jags, irregularities or splintering?
Let’s talk about the hardware resources available to the team and estimate its technical condition.
The tiles have a specific hardness, depending on the technology in which they were made. The most soft and easy to process are wall tiles made in monoporosis technology. Floor tiles, clinker and all types of porcelain stoneware (glazed and unglazed), because of their hardness, require more advanced tools for processing.
The size of the tiles also matters. If we decide on laying the fashionable large-format stoneware tiles, our team must have equipment which can easily handle the large-scale challenges.
The processing of hard, large-format porcelain stoneware requires specialised cutting tools.
Tools for cutting tiles
Depending on the scope of the work being carried out, the tools of the professional team may include:
- a glass knife for cutting the surface of tiles
- tiling pliers to break tiles and break off the pieces along the cut line
- a whipsaw for trimming tiles on the arc or for making holes of large diameter
- a manual tile cutter (so-called guillotine) for cutting tiles in straight lines
- a tungsten file
- an angle grinder with diamond disc for cutting tiles on designated lines, smoothing or rounding of tile edges
- electric tile cutters
- saw blades with a diamond blade, cutting wet (with a movable or stationary disc)
- professional, large table machines suited for cutting large-format ceramic tiles.
Of course, all the tools have to be used efficiently. For instance, the selection of the right discs, adapted to the parameters of the materials to be cut, directly affects the quality and speed of work (and also the lifetime of the equipment). The use of appropriate tools will properly protect us from executive errors and waste of materials.
Pattern of tiles and visibility of cuts
All the cuts are less noticeable, the less distinctive the tile pattern is. Neutral stone or wood-imitating patterns usually allow for free cutting of tiles as needed, without negative aesthetic consequences.
On a homogeneous tile surface, cutting in corners or around pillars is almost imperceptible.
Ceramics with the appearance of natural wood allows for freedom in arrangement. Here, the tile cuts will not be striking.
Decoration not for cutting
It is different in the case of decorations and tiles with a clear drawing or structure. The decorations are intended to adorn – that is why they have to be assembled in whole, in an exposed place. Therefore, they should not be cut.
Decorations are an ornament only when they are clearly visible and presented in whole.
The continuity of the Stone City tile design means that even if you need to trim them, this treatment will probably be unnoticeable.
When we want to effectively combine various shapes of tiles, it is worth to ensure smooth transition from one form to another. And so – for example – a combination of fashionable hexagons with long wood-imitating tiles will look best when the hexagons are completely embedded and glued almost imperceptibly into rectangular “boards”. Precise cutting of tiles with the appearance of wood, maintaining the same width and colour of the joints, gives a visually attractive effect, without a glaring cut-off.
In addition – the procedure of trimming every other hexagon in half in the transition zone from the wall to the floor, creates the effect of natural cohesion of space.
Precise cutting of long, wood-imitating rectangles, into which hexagonal tiles are glued, makes it possible to achieve an attractive, smooth transition between the surface of the wall and the floor.
Plinths – the devil is in the details
The plinths add elegance to the interiors. They complement the beautiful floor. And although their form is ideally suited to the wall surfaces, the shape and angles of the walls in the room force precise cutting of the plinths at the corresponding angle. Only such a finishing of the corners emphasizes the elegance of the interior. The combination of plinths without cutting, with one side edge visible, is a mistake indicating low competence or carelessness of the assembly team.
Plinths, precisely cut at the right angle in the corners, emphasize the exclusive character of the interior.
Which tiles should not be cut?
Some tiles are designed so that any interference in their form can spoil the intended appearance of the tile. These include, among others tiles with a clearly defined, effective shape.
That is why – if we really care to apply them in our interior, ensure to do everything to keep their form complete and intact. If we plan to finish them with, for example, a kitchen island, make sure of the dimensions and synchronise the work of the team from furniture with the team from the tiles, so that the final aesthetic effect would be electrifying (but only in the positive sense;)).
Tiles with a clear, closed form should not be cut. The side of the kitchen island finished with FAVARO tiles attracts attention thanks to the rhythm and depth of the structure.
Let’s not interfere in the perfect structure of the tiles by the cutting process, so as not to ruin the aesthetic effect.
The effect without cuts
How to achieve the cutting effect without cutting? An interesting example may be mosaics. Their use guarantees the “wow!” effect, and at the same time allows to avoid precise processing of tiles. Mosaics of the Paradyż brand – both glass and ceramic ones, are mounted on special plasters which can be divided freely, without the need to cut ceramic surfaces.
Another advantage of mosaics is the possibility of using them on rounded or egg-shaped surfaces. Thanks to such a treatment, we can design and implement unique functional forms.
Mosaic decorations create a unique effect. Soft plasters of ceramic squares allow to finish any roundings – both walls and original usable forms.
Owing to optical illusions, we can fool the eye, suggesting sharp cuts in places where there are none. Fashionable geometric patterns often rely on this effect.
Rectangular tiles with geometric graphics evoke an interesting optical illusion.
Cutting for the most demanding
For those who want originality and precision – unattainable with commonly available tools, Ceramika Paradyż offers custom, technologically advanced solutions. These include such specialised services as:
- cutting holes in the glass, both in a straight line and on the arc
- cutting glass decorations on the arc and in a straight line
- bending and chamfering of the glass
- implementation of floor rosettes according to the individual project of a customer
- cutting at a 45-degree angle of tiles, glass and ceramic mosaics
and other original projects, thanks to which we can be sure of uniqueness and the highest quality of workmanship.
- Cutting ceramic tiles is a difficult and precise activity. It is worth entrusting it to an experienced professional assembly team.
- Individual tiling work requires investment in equipment for processing of the materials, as well as precision, patience, time, and stock of tiles for trial experiments.
- The less pronounced tile pattern, the less noticeable any cuts are.
- Do not trim decoration or tiles with closed form.
- You can achieve the intended effect of cuts without cuts, using mosaics or tiles with geometric patterns.
- You can commission Ceramika Paradyż to execute the specialist cuts of an individual character.
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