How to Build a Ceramic Tile Cutter

Lead Image
  • 32-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-60
What You'll Need
Handheld tile cutter
Table (2-3 feet in width and at least 3 feet in length)
1x1 or 2x2 Wooden Board
Meter Stick
Two C-clamps

A ceramic tile cutter is an important tool for cutting border tiles during floor tile installation. A ready-made tile cutter with base, clamp, and cutter in one unit can cost a lot of money. To lessen the cost, make an improvised ceramic tile cutter unit with a table base instead.

Step 1 - Set up the Table

Determine which side edge of the table to work with. For right-handed people, the right side edge is best. On the back length of the tabletop, secure the meter stick on the edge with the scaled markings, rising up and facing toward the tabletop. Half of the width of the meter stick should be rising from the tabletop and the scales should be in centimeters (or in inches depending on one’s preference). The end of the stick should be flush with the right side edge of the table. At the back of the meter stick, on the lower half of its width, pre-drill screw holes 2 inches apart. Set the screws and tighten them.

Step 2 - Install the Fixed Straight Edge

Cut two 1x1 or 2x2 wooden boards exactly the same width as the table. Position one on top of the table with the tip exactly on the starting edge of the meter stick and the length perpendicular with the meter stick. The other board will serve as the straight edge guide for cutting the tile.

Step 3 - Position the Tile on the Table Base

To prepare a tile for cutting, position it on top of the table with one side flush with the fixed wooden beam and the other side flush with the meter stick. The meter stick and the beam will ensure that the tile is positioned at a right angle. Position one of the C-clamps on the back length of the table and use it to clamp the left side corner of the tile. Tighten the clamp, but make sure not to put too much pressure to avoid breaking the tile.

Step 4 - Mark, Score, and Cut the Tile

Using the scales on the meter stick, determine where the tile will be cut. Use the straight edge wooden beam as a guide; mark the tile with a pencil. With the straight edge in position, use the other clamp to secure it on top of the tile. Take the hand-held tile cutter and position it on top of the marked line. Place the tip of the cutter exactly on the marked line, apply pressure and score the entire line downwards to the bottom edge.

Remove the clamps and the straight edge, move the tile towards the right side edge of the table until the scored line is in line with the edge. Press the left side of the tile with the left hand and push the right side of the tile slightly downwards until it snaps off.