How to Cut Small Mosaic Tiles

Written by tara dodrill
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Cutting small mosaic tiles requires specialised ceramic wheel cutters and a basic knowledge of tile working techniques. A tile working tool commonly referred to as "nippers" can be used to cut thin squares, but often leave a rough and cracked edge. Special care to apply a low level of evenly applied pressure is paramount when cutting small ceramic tiles, so that the squares do not crush under the weight of the cutting tool used. Practice cutting on scrap pieces of tile or glass before working on mosaic tile pieces. Here are some helpful guidelines.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Glass scorer and wheel oil (WD 40 is less expensive and works well)
  • Safety eyewear
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Protective eyewear
  • Pliers
  • Sand paper

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  1. 1

    Put on protective eyewear as a safety precaution from tile chip fragments.

  2. 2

    Squirt the tile square with water. Water reduces friction and heat, which causes cracking in ceramic and glass.

  3. 3

    Measure the cutting area on the tile. Use permanent marker to draw cutting lines.

  4. 4

    Apply oil to the cutting wheel. Follow the instructions on the cutting wheel package for application.

  5. 5

    Roll the wheel along the designated cutting line. Pull the tile pieces apart gently with hands or pliers.

  6. 6

    Sand away any rough edges.

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