Installing Tile: How to Cut a Curve

  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Tile saw
Sheet of card
Masking tape

Whether you are installing tile as part of an entire bathroom remodel or simply replacing a damaged tile, it can be useful to know how to cut tile properly. By following a few steps, you will also be able to cut curves in your tiles to match an existing design or to create a new one.

Step 1 - Measure Area

Use the straightedge to measure the area on which you are installing tile so that you know what shapes are needed from the tiles to ensure that they fit. Measure the straight edges and the distance between the points between the ends of the curved edges to ensure the area is correctly measured.

Step 2 - Create Template

Use the measurements to draw the relevant shape of the tile to be fitted onto a piece of card. It can be used as a template to ensure that the tile fits correctly into the shape on the wall. Carefully cut the shape out of the card with a pair of scissors and press this to the recess in the wall where the tile will go. If in doubt, cut the shape larger than necessary and gradually cut it down to the correct size.

Step 3 - Prepare Tile

To ensure that the process goes smoothly, the tile must be cut correctly, which is initially achieved by sticking the template to the tile with some looped masking tape. If doing this on the reverse of the tile, make sure that the template is the correct way around to produce the correct tile shape. Draw around the template with a pencil or other sharp pointed implement.

Step 4 - Cut Tile

Once the outline has been drawn on with the help of the template, it can then be cut out to begin the process of installing tile. The tile saw may slip on the edge when you begin the task of cutting it and you can prevent this by sticking a piece of masking tape over the edge where you intend to begin the cut.

Angle the blade of the tile saw in a manner that will enable you to cut smoothly along the line of the curve. Move the tile when necessary to help you undertake the cutting procedure. If cutting a curved line proves difficult, it can be achieved by cutting a series of straight lines on the marked line. By cutting short straight lines that sit atop the marked pencil line, you will be in a position to clean up the curve after the cut has been complete.

Step 5 - Finish Off

Once the tile has been cut, tidy the cut edge to prevent any sharp sections causing damage. Rub the border with a piece of rough sandpaper or a whetstone. Before installing tile into the relevant place, wipe it with a soft cloth so that it is free of any small particles that have been produced from being cut.