Cutting Tile Options

Choosing the Best Tile Cutter for Your DIY Tiling Project

By Mark J. Donovan

Virtually every ceramic tile project requires cutting tile. When it comes to deciding upon the best tile cutter to use, there are a number of tile cutter options to choose from.

First, there is the basic handheld scoring tile cutter which does a reasonably good job of making long straight cuts. This said, they take some practice getting use to, and you can expect some wasted and scrapped tiles when getting familiar with cutting tile using this tool.

Then there are tile nippers for cutting tile. As their name implies, they’re good for nipping away small pieces of a tile.

They are quite useful for making curved cuts on tile edges for fitting tile around small curved objects such as plumbing pipes for example. As with cutting any tile, however, make sure to wear safety glasses when nipping tiles. Cutting tile with tile nippers is extremely susceptible to flying pieces of broken tile chips. In addition, always wear work gloves when using tile nippers. Otherwise, plan on some nasty blisters.

Then there is the wet saw tile cutter. Cutting tile with a wet saw yields the most professional tile job, saves money by wasting fewer tiles on poor cuts, and makes the job go much faster. In addition, it is the only alternative to cutting large thick tiles.

From personal experience I can tell you that once you cut tile with a wet saw you’ll never consider using a scoring tile cutter again. In addition, you most likely will never use tile nippers again. A wet saw tile cutter does a phenomenal job of cutting both straight and curved tile cuts.

Cutting tile with a wet saw is also not as expensive a proposition as you might think. There are wet saw tile cutters that you can purchase for under $100 that do a very reasonable job.

There are also other wet saw tile cutters that can cost you several hundred dollars, however for most DIY homeowners a $100 dollar wet saw will satisfy most, if not all, your tile cutting requirements. You can also rent wet saw tile cutters by the day for a fraction of the cost of buying one.

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”.

Related Information

Additional Ceramic Tile Resources from


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