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How To Cut Mosaic Or Subway Backsplash Tile

When cutting both subway backsplash or mosaic tile, you need to use special tools and special methods. Here’s the best way to do it.

The most common and most practical way to cut both subway backsplash and mosaic tile is with a wet saw. You can make straight cuts easily but it is also possible to use a large wet saw to make small and delicate cuts as well. Otherwise, you can use a manual tile cutter.

tools for cutting the tiles

If you are doing a large job, you may find it beneficial to have both tools on hand. The wet saw can be used when making straight cuts that will be hidden from sight.

The problem is, a wet saw can make some nice cuts but there is going to be some imperfection and perhaps some chipping on the finished edge. What can be done about this?

How To Cut Mosaic Or Subway Backsplash Tile

Small chips and imperfections are inevitable when you are using a high-speed wet saw. You can go as slow as you want, but it is likely that they will still occur.

A manual tile cutter, on the other hand, makes a much cleaner edge. As long as you use it properly, the edge may be almost as clean as what you would have from the factory.

That is why many people decide to use a manual tile cutter when they are first starting the job and installing the tile where it is going to be visible from the edge. When they start to cut around a receptacle or other obstacle, they will probably switch to the wet saw because it is more convenient and the edge is going to be hidden under a plate.

As you will see, the wet saw and manual tile cutters are only some of the options that are available for cutting mosaic or subway tile. If you have some of the other tools on hand, you may find that they are useful for that purpose as well.

It is not all about the tool you are using but sometimes, it also is associated with how you are using it. Of course, you don’t need to be a professional and to have used the tool for many years to use it properly.

One tip that I can provide for you that will save you a lot of time and frustration is to set up your area for cutting tile in a different part of the home than where you are installing the tile. Why is that important?

If you are cutting tile, it won’t take you long to realize that it is quite a messy job. It doesn’t matter if you are using a wet saw or if you are cutting the tile with a dry diamond blade, it is going to make a mess.

Set up the work area in a part of the home or preferably, outside, so that you can clean up when you are finished cutting. If you try to cut in the same area, you are going to be cleaning up after yourself constantly.

We already discussed two of the different tools that are right for the job, a wet saw and a manual tile cutter. You should also choose the right blade, regardless of the type of tool you’re using.

If you are using an old wet saw, you may find that the diamond blade is not quite cutting as nicely as it used to. Over time, the blade can get dull because the diamonds and abrasives get dull. How do you fix this?

There is a tool known as a dressing stone that can be run over the diamond blade to sharpen the diamonds and make them as good as new. Most people just tend to think that it will continue to cut the same for its entire life, but that is not true. Sharpen those diamonds and you will see a significant benefit from it.

Another suggestion is to cut the pieces as you go. It is very difficult to layout an entire tile floor or backsplash dry and to make your cuts in advance.

Any small errors tend to accumulate rather than canceling each other out so you may end up with a considerable gap when you reach the edge of the room or any obstacle.

Cut the pieces that are necessary for going around obstacles or at the edge of the work area as you go. You will find that this is greatly beneficial and will make for a much cleaner job.

Finally, make sure to take your time. Of course, you are going to have to work fast enough that the adhesive doesn’t dry but you will have enough time to take your time and make the cuts properly.

Don’t overlook the old adage to measure twice and cut once. In addition, when you are reaching the edge of the tile, slow down with the cut.

Trying to cut a piece of tile too fast is going to result in chipping and at times, breakage of the tile. Allow the saw to do its work and gently guide the tile through until it is finished.

That is especially true when you are reaching the end of the cut. This is where the tile tends to chip and blow out or it may crack and ruin the piece. When you are reaching the end of the cut, slow down and take your time.

There are many other things that could be discussed, but if you just take your time and use the right tool, you will find that the job will turn out beautifully.

How To Cut Mosaic Backsplash Tile (Without Chipping)

tools for cutting the tiles

One of the problems you may encounter when cutting mosaic backsplash tile is chipping. Is it possible to avoid this?

The best way to avoid any type of chipping on mosaic backsplash tile is to use a manual tile cutter. This is best used for straight cuts that go from one side of the tile to the other. Take your time and make sure that you are cutting according to the instructions provided with the tool.

Manual tile cutters are known for avoiding chipping and they make a much cleaner cut than other types of tools, including a wet saw. If you don’t have one available, you can always rent one from a local hardware store.

If you’re going to be buying a manual tile cutter for the job, make sure you keep the old saying in mind that ‘you get what you pay for.’ There are some inexpensive tile cutters on the market but they will not do the same quality job as a professional tile cutter.

If you are only planning on doing one room, or if you are going to be doing a job in just a matter of a few days and then not tiling again, it’s better to rent one. Using a professional manual tile cutter will make a difference in the quality of work.

If you are doing work with a wet saw, it is also possible to avoid chipping. One thing to consider is how sharp the blade is.

Most people don’t consider this because they realize that the diamonds on the blade themselves are what make the cut. Those diamonds can get dull over time but they can be sharpened if you run a dressing stone over the blade.

You should also take your time and allow the wet saw to do most of the work. Trying to rush things and push the tile through too quickly is going to result in chipping along the edge and you may have a large piece break off at the end of the cut.

How To Cut Mosaic Backsplash Tile Around Outlets

Mosaic kitchen backsplash

Some people get nervous at the thought of cutting mosaic tiles around a receptacle. How can you do it and make it look perfect?

The best way to cut mosaic tile around a receptacle is to cut the backing of the Mosaic tile and work with the individual pieces. You can then cut them with a wet saw, lifting the tile at the end of the cut to make the edge straight through.

Cutting the backing of the Mosaic tile allows you to work with the pieces so that you can make a few individual cuts rather than trying to work with the pieces while they are still together.

It is best to layout things while the tiles are still together, as that will keep you from doing many measurements at one time. This may make it necessary to remove the switch or receptacle and tuck the wires back into the box. Turn off the power first.

After marking the tiles, you can either cut the backing or you can peel them off of the backing one at a time. This may be the preferred method because you can put them back in place again.

Another option is to use a drill with a bit for tile and drill through at the corners. You can then use a small tool, such as a Dremel tool to plunge cut between those holes.

How To Cut Mosaic Backsplash Tile Around Drain

Tile backsplash

Cutting a mosaic black splash tile around the drain is tricky. If you use the right method, you will be happy with the look.

To cut mosaic backsplash tile around a drain, remove the drain plate and use it as a guide for making the cuts on the individual tiles. After placing the Mosaic tiles in place, you can mark them with a washable marker or sharp pencil, cut the backing, and cut each individual piece.

Make sure that the tiles line up with the drain properly by considering it in the overall layout. If you’re using the tiles to tile a floor in a shower, for example, measure things so that the drain falls in the center of the Mosaic rather than somewhere off-center. This will make it look much nicer.

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this as you want to make the project as flawless as possible. First of all, the drain is going to be used as a guide, but when you put the mosaic tiles on top of it, they may sag slightly.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on March 2, 2022.

When you line up the mosaic tiles over the drain, you need to make sure that they are not leaning or the edges have not fallen slightly to the tile below. This can make a difference in the way that the cuts work.

You will be able to see the edge of the drain through the gaps in the tile. This will allow you to place the drain plate properly so you can make the marks.

After making the mark to the edge of the drain plate, you will need to mark the tile slightly smaller so that it fits under the plate properly. Make sure that you eyeball it through the gaps in the tile to make sure you are cutting enough but not too much.

The tiles can be cut with a wet saw, but you will need to take your time and make many small cuts rather than making one big, curved cut on the tile. You cannot make curved cuts with a wet saw, but you can work your way around it so that it is very close.

Most people will cut the backing to work with the individual pieces but it is also possible to pull the tile off of the backing to make the cuts. In doing so, you can place the tiles back on the backing again for installation.

How To Cut Subway Backsplash Tile (Without Chipping)

Confused handyman in kitchen

Working with subway backsplash tile makes for an interesting job, but there are some issues that need to be overcome. This can include cutting the tile without chipping it.

The easiest way to cut subway backsplash tile without chipping is to use a manual tile cutter. The tile cutter scores the top of the tile and then with some slight pressure, the tile will snap in a straight line along with the score mark.

Most people would think that a wet saw would make the best cut but in reality, a manual tile cutter usually cuts much more cleanly. Wet saws can do a good job but if you needed to be close to flawless, then the manual tile cutter is the tool to consider.

You also need to ensure that you are using a high-quality manual tile cutter rather than just picking up the cheapest one that is on the shelf at your local hardware store. Manual tile cutters provide a good way to cut subway backsplash tile but you still get what you pay for.

It might also take one or two tiles for you to get the hang of how to properly apply the pressure to snap the tile along the line. You might also be somewhat limited if you are trying to cut a very thin piece because you won’t have the leverage to make the snap.

If you have to use a wet saw, such as making some smaller cuts or perhaps cutting around an obstacle, it is still possible to do so without chipping. This would require that you make sure of a few things before making the cut.

Sharp Blade – If you have a lot of hours on the wet saw blade that you are using, you should hone the diamonds using a dressing stone. A sharp blade will do a much better job and will cut through the tile without chipping it.

Take Your Time – Don’t rush your way through the cut or you will find many small chips and perhaps a big chip at the end. Slow down and let the saw do its work, especially as you are reaching the end of the cut.

How To Cut Subway Backsplash Tile Around Outlets

Subway tile backsplash around kitchen outlet

Do you need to cut your subway backsplash tile around an outlet? Use these steps to do it the right way.

You can use a wet saw to cut the subway backsplash tile, regardless of whether it needs a long cut along the edge or if you need to cut an angle at the top or bottom of the outlet. Align the pieces one at a time after the others are already in place to work your way around it.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on March 2, 2022.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to cutting subway tile around outlets. You can either do it as you are installing the field of tiles or you can install all of the tiles and then come back to install the little pieces around the outlet.

It is better to cut the pieces as you go because it allows you to continue the field without letup. You need to work fast enough, however, so that the mastic doesn’t dry.

One step in the process that is often overlooked is turning off the power. Don’t work around a live electrical outlet. A small shock is inconvenient, a large shock can be deadly.

A wet saw can be used to cut out a little corner that may be necessary at the top and bottom of the receptacle. When you make the small plunge cut into the tile, lift it slightly at the end to make it straight from the bottom to the top.

Since you are cutting in from both directions, you should be able to make a nice fitting. If you have to cut the whole way from one side of the tile to the other, you can either use the wet saw or a manual tile cutter.

Make your cut so that you are hiding the edge that has been cut under the receptacle plate. Do not try to match up a cut edge with a clean edge in an open field.

How To Cut Subway Backsplash Tile Around Drain

Shower drain

When cutting subway backsplash tile around the drain, you may need to incorporate the use of specialty tools.

To install subway backsplash tile around the drain, you should first remove the drain cover and then use the drainpipe as a guide. Mark the tiles with a sharp pencil or washable ink pan. You can then make the cuts with a small rotary tool.

Although it certainly is possible to cut unusual shapes with a wet saw, it is going to be impossible to use your manual tile cutter to do so. A small rotary tool is the best option because it can cut unusual shapes.

A jigsaw is another option, but you need to have the tile clamped securely in place so you don’t crack it while cutting it.

If you plan on using a wet saw, it will require making many small cuts. It certainly is possible and you will end up with a slightly rough edge, but it will be hidden under the drain cover.

The best tool for general cutting of mosaic and Subway backsplash tiles is a wet saw. It can cut straight cuts, as well as some unusual cuts or notching of the tile. Another option is to use a manual tile cutter, but it can only be used for straight lines.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 2, 2022.

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