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How To Cut Porcelain Tile Without Chipping (Tips and Techniques)

cutting porcelain tile without chipping

Porcelain tiles are a beautiful addition to any home. They are some of the most popular types of tiles apart from ceramic.

What makes porcelain a top choice to add to your home is that due to their durability, you do not need to do anything to keep them maintained.

Some tiles like the crackle effect style, will need to be sealed every 12 months. 

For a low-maintenance and gorgeous end result, porcelain tiles are the way to go.

If you have tiled before, you know how tricky it can be to line up the tiles around other appliances or sockets.

Often, you will need to cut your tile to size to fit it nicely into the space required. 

To cut a porcelain tile, you need to follow certain steps. This is due to the force that some tools can put onto the tile which can sometimes crack or chip the surface.

Tiles aren’t cheap, so you will want to avoid this as much as possible. 

So, how do you cut a porcelain tile without chipping it? Well, you are in luck! We have put together some helpful hints and tips to keep your tiles in the shape you want them to be. 

What you will need:

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The Wet Saw Method

Ask any tiler and they will say that using a wet saw is the most effective way to prevent any damage to your porcelain tiles.

Porcelain tiles can be tricky to cut without one of these guys so we highly recommend getting one before attempting anything. 

The benefits of using a wet saw are simple. Precise cuts and smooth edges. If you have a complicated cut, maybe you have three different angles to cut, you want to make sure that the risk level of damaging a tile is minimal.

Using a wet saw will allow you to have a clean cut which results in the perfect fit for your floor or wall. 

If you have never used a wet saw before, let us explain how it works. First up you will want to fill the reservoir with water.

Then, you can power on your device and notch the end of the tile. Once you have the beginning of your cut, you will want to start pushing the tile in further.

We recommend that you aim for one to two inches at a time. Slow and steady wins the race. Once you’re happy, rotate your tile and cut the remaining length until you have finished.

How To Cut a Porcelain Tile Without Chipping: Step-By-Step

Now that you know how to use a wet saw and you have the list of all the equipment you need, it is time to move onto the next part.

Cutting a porcelain tile without chipping is a huge success to any tiler. Whether you are a professional or amateur, you have done a good job if you don’t manage to split a single tile. 

cutting porcelain tile without chipping with a tile saw

One of the best methods used to cut porcelain tiles without chipping is the notching system. This is used by many tradesmen to avoid damaging the tiles.

If you are new to the tiling trade, here is how you should carry out the notching system:

  1. Place your tile onto the blade as if you were going to cut the complete length of it. 
  2. Use a pencil to mark out the spots you want to notch. Aim for these marks to be placed an equal distance apart and to be opposite from each other.
  3. Before you begin to cut your tile, ensure that you can clearly see both of your markings. 
  4. When you have full vision of your marks and are happy, power on your wet saw.
  5. Now you can begin to guide your tile into the blade. Cut about an inch to two inches into the notch.
  6. Rotate your tile and repeat the above step with the second notch mark. 
  7. Slowly push your tile into the blade again. This time, you will want to keep going until you have reached the first notch cut.

If you follow all of the above steps, you will end up with perfect results! 

Things To Remember

There are two important points to remember. To avoid chipping when cutting a porcelain tile, you must apply pressure.

The notching system is a fantastic method which can only really work if you apply a gentle pressure when cutting into the tile.

Ensure that the pressure is distributed evenly over the surface area of the tile when pushing it towards the blade. This will help create a smooth edge.

Porcelain tiles are top quality. To prevent chipping, you will also want to make shallow cuts when notching.

If you cut too deep at this initial stage, you could ruin the durability of the tile. We recommend that you should adjust your wet saw to make ⅛ inch deep cuts. Ensure that the face of your tile is placed towards the blade for an accurate incision. 

Can You Use Other Tools To Cut Porcelain Tiles?

We always recommend a wet saw as the number one way to prevent chipping of your porcelain tiles. This piece of equipment is reliable and helps to get the finish that you are looking for. 

There are other tools you can use to cut porcelain tiles if you don’t have access to a wet saw. These tools include tile nippers or drills.

However, you must be prepared to experience some chipping or cracking if you choose to use any of these tools. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Summary

We hope that you have found some helpful tips and tricks from our post. It is so worth investing in a wet saw if you are looking for an easy ride when completing a tiling job.

Remember to apply slight pressure and to adjust your blade accordingly for the best results.

Also, don’t forget to try out the notching system and let us know how you find it! It is such a useful technique to get you through a hard day of tiling!

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