Cutting Ceramic Tile with Ceramic Tile Nippers Video

How to make Circular Ceramic Tile Cuts Using Ceramic Tile Nippers

By Mark J. Donovan

In this video, Mark Donovan of shows how to use ceramic tile nippers to cut ceramic tile curves.

Ceramic tile nippers are excellent for making circular cuts or intricate cuts, for example if you are tiling around a toilet or round vanity sink. They can also be used for making straight or angle cuts, however wet saws and tile cutters are usually used on those types of cuts.

Ceramic tile nippers however can leave less than perfect edges so it is preferable to locate the nipped edges of ceramic tile in unseen locations.

Sanding a nipped ceramic tile is helpful to mitigate the rough edges, both for visual and safety reasons.

When using ceramic tile nippers, always wear eye protection, as sharp ceramic tile fragments have the tendency to fly everywhere.

To begin with mark the ceramic tile with a pencil or grease pencil if the tile is highly glossy.


Next, use a utility knife to slightly score the surface over the pencil line.

Next hold the tile firmly, preferably over a trash can, and begin taking small nips, or bites, of the tile with the ceramic tile nippers. It is important to go slowly and take small bites out of the ceramic tile.

If you try to take to large of a bite, you will wind up breaking more off of the ceramic tile than you planned and need to start over with a new piece of tile.

As you near your mark, take even smaller bits so that you do not over bite the line and again wind up nipping off too much of the ceramic tile.

Once you have completed the cut use a heavy grit sand paper or rubbing stone to smooth out the cut edge. It is important to complete this last step as the raw edge is very sharp and could create a hazard with the finished ceramic tile project otherwise.

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

See’s Ceramic Tile Calculator

See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower:  For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.

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