How to Cut Ceramic Tile That Is Already Installed

Things You’ll Need

Opening Holes in Fixed Tile

  • Dremel tool
  • Diamond tile Dremel bits
  • Plastic sheets
  • Permanent marker
  • Safety goggles and mask

Making Cuts in Loose Tile

  • Dremel tool
  • Diamond tile Dremel bits
  • Rubber clamps
  • Work bench
  • Permanent marker
  • Safety goggles and mask

4. Tile Cutting Method Using an Angle Grinder

Once you’ve marked the tiles and covered them with masking tape, you’re ready to learn how to cut already installed tile on a wall with an angle grinder.

Place the angle grinder against one end of the cutline and run the blade along the tile surface. Keep the path of the angle grinder smooth and straight. Add water with the spray to keep the surface wet if needed. If the blade isn’t cutting through the tile, make more passes with the blade alongside the tile.If the grinder blade is too large to cut the tile part closer to the wall, switch to a rotary tool. This tool also allows you to make curved cuts. However, if you’re going to use it, keep the surface dry.From there, pry cut the pieces from the surface with a small pry bar. Place the pry bar into the joints while applying pressure to it as you move it behind a cut piece. Once you’re done, clean the surface by vacuuming and washing the dust.


How to cut tile without a tile cutter?

Unless you’re cutting tiles for Home Depot, you don’t have the right tools. If you’re just a homeowner, use an oscillating tool to cut tiles.

When cutting tiles with a tile cutter, you must manually position the tile to get the right size and shape. Even then, a perfect result isn’t guaranteed, so the nipper helps. Using oscillating blades that show where your cut will go will help you cut tiles perfectly. The oscillating tool can replace your tile nipper if you don’t get it the first time.


Turn the angle grinder so the blade will meet the tile perpendicularly. Turn on the grinder and push the blade straight down into the tile and its backing. Once you have cut through, you can pull the blade back for a short cut, or push the blade away from you to continue cutting through the tile for longer cuts. Pull the blade straight up and out and turn off the saw between cuts when changing locations or angles.

Applying Pressure

With a successful notching system in place, another way to prevent the likelihood of chips or cracks is by gently applying pressure while cutting the tile. Whether using a hand tool or a power saw, the method is the same. Apply an even amount of pressure from start to finish, as your blade goes through the cutter.

Gentle pressure ensures that your tile goes all the way through, from end to end, as smoothly as possible. It is the same reason why you want to push down on a piece of paper when cutting a straight line in it; that force adds a little extra control and secures the materials in place so that the material is more likely to stay together.

Steps on Cutting Ceramic Tiles That Are Already Installed

As shown in the video by Wall 2 Floor Clean, an additional tip for cutting a ceramic tile is to use a spray bottle filled with water to spray over your circular saw/angle grinder so that the blades won’t overheat while cutting.

Cutting pre-installed ceramic tiles is very easy to do and is achievable on your own. According to hunker, these are the following steps to follow to make sure that you cut ceramic tiles accurately and cleanly.

Step 1 – Clearing the Area

Make sure you clean the areas from dust and debris so that the marking process will be more straightforward. Working with ceramic tiles will be easier to clean since it has a cleaner surface than surfaces with no similar texture.

Step 2 – Marking the Lines

With a grease pen or a marking pencil, mark the areas you would like to cut on a pre-installed ceramic tile so that you will be guided when doing the cutting process to make precise and accurate cuts.

You can use tools like the steel rule and a set square to write vertical and horizontal angles on your ceramic tiles without error.

Step 3 – Putting On Protective Gear

Tiles that have been cut might fly towards your face. That’s why goggles, gloves, and eye protection are some of the essential protective gears you should use so that nothing will damage your eyes, especially when trying to cut installed ceramic tiles.

Step 4 – Using the Angle Grinder

Use an angle grinder to cut the ceramic tiles. Make small lines around the curve for a cleaner cut if you’re cutting a curve.

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Use the marked lines as a guide for accurate cuts. A circular saw can also be used. Make sure you change the bit into a tile cutter bit for better efficiency.

Step 5 – Clean and Vacuum the Workspace

When cutting ceramic tiles, you will have to expect a dirty workspace since dust and debris will be flying around. Plastic sheets and tape can protect the holes and space between the doors.

After the entire process, you should use a vacuum and clean the tiles with a damp cloth and vacuum the space around them to minimize dust in the air.

How an Oscillating Tool Works

An oscillating tool performs its work by moving from side to side. The oscillation angle ranges from 2 to 4 degrees, and the movement is quite rapid – approximately 20,000 strokes per minute. Because of the rapid movement, the machine gives the impression that it is vibrating.

In contrast to rotary tools, jigsaws, and reciprocating saws, oscillating tools have blades that vibrate in an arc rather than in a straight line, which results in less dust being kicked up during use. An oscillating tool can be transformed into one of the most powerful and helpful tools in your garage simply by adding the appropriate accessories to it. Even though there are a lot of cordless oscillating tools on the market, you can also find some of the best corded oscillating tools there.

2. Safety First: Things to Consider When Cutting Tiles

As a professional tile installer or contractor, always practice safety first, because any DIY project involving tools can result in personal injury.wearing gloves, goggles, and ear protection is a n Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the task. Remember, wearing gloves, goggles, and ear protection is a necessity. Wearing a mask or respirator is optional. It’s also a good idea to keep your tools out of the reach of children.Are you going to cut at low spaces? If so, don’t forget to get knee pads to protect your knees. This also applies when you need to set your knees upon a higher surface to reach tiles glued high up a wall.

Another common mistake for tile installers is cutting towards their bodies. Avoid doing this and cut away from your body instead. A good rule of thumb is to push when cutting rather than pull. Stay alert during the process of tile cutting to avoid cutting your hands or fingers.

Safety Tips for Keeping the Room Ventilated and Du

Safety Tips for Keeping the Room Ventilated and Dust-Free

Cover the doors of the room with a plastic sheet and masking tape. This will keep the dust from spreading into the other parts of the house. Do the same with the vents in the room.If there are windows, keep them open for good ventilation. You can also place a fan facing outward by the window to direct the air outside. Doing this will also help improve the airflow while working on a room.


Pour cooling oil over the tile where the cut will be made. The hole saw will heat up quickly; the cooling oil will prevent it from overheating before it cuts through the tile.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Erica Puisis, who has researched and written dozens of home improvement and DIY stories for The Spruce. A regular wanderer at big box home improvement stores and an official helper to her handyman husband, Erica is no stranger to the tool aisle and enjoys researching and recommending the right equipment to help you get the job done.


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