How to Cut Into Sandstone Tiles

What You'll Need
Circular saw
Diamond blade

Sandstone tiles can look extremely attractive. At some point, however, you’ll need to cut the sandstone tile to fit. This can be a difficult process to do properly without breaking the tile. Once you learn the technique and use the proper tools, the job becomes a great deal easier.

Step 1 - Tools

When the sandstone tiles are very thin they can generally be cut with a chisel and hammer. If they’re a bit thicker, you’ll need power tools for the work. In this case, a circular saw with a diamond blade is required. Don’t try and save money by using a different kind of blade. It won’t cut as well and will need to be replaced often, bringing no savings and more frustration.

Step 2 - Thin Tiles

For thin tiles that are ¼ inch thick or less, you can use a chisel to score the tile. Mark where you need to cut on the face of the tile. Make sure that the tile is secure, and use the chisel to trace a guide line along the mark.

Place the chisel on the line, making sure that the straight edge is on the side of the tile that you’ll be using later. Tap the handle of the chisel, so that you push the blade into the sandstone. Work along the tile this way, and go over the entire length several times, until you’ve scored a line into the sandstone tile. The score should be about half the depth of the tile.

Now place the tile on a concrete block. The scored line should be at the edge of the block. Hold one side of the sandstone tile down on the block with your hand. Bring your other hand down sharply on the side of the tile that’s beyond the block. If you don’t manage to separate the 2 pieces of the sandstone tile with the first blow, try again. This should snap the pieces of the sandstone tile apart. You will need to clean up the edges of the tile, to make them sharp enough to lay the tile.

Step 3 - Saw

With thicker sandstone tile, you can use the chisel method if you wish, but be aware that it will be a very slow, laborious process. Much simpler is using a circular saw with a diamond blade.

Mark your line and have the sandstone tile held firmly in place. Start by making a groove along the line with the chisel; this will give you a good guide for the saw blade to follow. Cut along the groove you made. Keep cutting until you’re about 1/3 to ½ of the depth of the tile. At this point remove the saw and transfer the sandstone tile to the concrete block.

Step 4 - Breaking

You won’t be able to break the tile with your hand, but you will be able to do it by using a rubber mallet. Again, you’ll need to clean up the edges before laying the sandstone tile.