Category Archives: Mechanical

Trim Tile Without a Tile Saw

Oh no, I cut this piece too wide! Somehow, I have to trim off 1/4″ or so.

During a tiling project, I discovered too late that two of my previously cut tiles were too wide. The ideal tool to trim the tiles would have been a wet diamond saw. I did rent such a saw previously, but made all the cuts in one day, because the daily rental was $31. I didn’t want to rent the saw again for basically one minute of use. I thought about doing scribe-and-break with, say, a glass cutter, but had doubts about whether that would work for removing a thin strip from the side of a small piece. So here’s what I did with the tools at hand.

The best tool I have now is a diamond blade circular saw. And it’s more of a demolition blade (with slots) than a smooth-cut blade. Fortunately, the cheap ceramic tile I was using was comparatively soft.
First, I marked the cut width on a scrap piece of wood.
I set the cut depth to just enough to go through the tile.
The general setup. There was tile on either side of the cut to give the foot of the saw something nice and level to rest on. A piece of scrap molding is held down by C-clamps as a guide fence for the foot of the saw. The tile with the fence is exactly lined up with one of the lines previously drawn, and the fence is set so that the cut will be exactly along the other line drawn.
It would have been impractical to clamp the work piece down. So I took everything apart, and used duck tape to secure the work piece from the bottom of the guide tile.
Successful cut. I went very s-l-o-w-l-y to try to get a smooth cut.
There’s a little chip in the corner, but it’s not bad It won’t show on the back side of the tile, anyway. Not bad for a dry cut with a demolition blade.
Okay, now to trim the other piece to the same width. I peeled of the first piece carefully so that I wouldn’t have to take everything apart and align it again. The new piece was simply pressed down into the duck tape.
Clean cut on the second piece.