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How to cut roof tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Roofers install clay, stone or concrete tile on the roof to protect a house from adverse weather conditions. Tile roofs are attractive and fire-resistant, but are heavy to work with during installation. Although cumbersome during installation, tile roofs last indefinitely with general maintenance. Roofing tiles require cutting to fit them to eaves or around vents and skylights. Removing and replacing a damaged tile may also necessitate cutting the tile to fit the space.

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  1. Measure the space where the roofing tile will sit, using a tape measure. Transfer these measurements to the roof tile and mark the measurements with a grease pencil. A grease pencil mark remains visible when it is wet.

  2. Equip a wet saw with a diamond-dusted masonry blade. Hook up the water supply hose to a water outlet. Using water when cutting clay, stone or concrete keeps the blade cool, making it last longer.

  3. Place the roofing tile on the wet saw's plate, which is a flat cutting surface.

  4. Guide the roofing tile toward the blade and gently push it along the marked guideline. Use a wooden push stick to guide the roofing tile through on small cuts to keep your hands out of the path of the saw blade. Continue to make cuts to the roofing tile until the roofing tile is the appropriate size and shape.

  5. Measure and mark the cutting guidelines on the roofing tile, using a pencil. Drag a masonry cold chisel along the guideline to score the cutting line.

  6. Equip an angle grinder with a masonry cutting wheel.

  7. Set the clay, stone or concrete roof tile on a flat and stable surface.

  8. Align the grinder cutting wheel with the scored guideline. Turn on the grinder and guide it back and forth along the scored line until you pass through the tile. Keep the grinder straight and in the cutting line.

  9. Tip

    Cut roofing tiles on the ground rather than up on the roof.


    Do not twist the grinder; you risk shattering the cutting wheel, which can cause serious injury. Wear safety goggles, gloves and a dust mask when cutting roofing tiles.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Grease pencil
  • Wet saw
  • Diamond-dusted masonry blade
  • Water supply
  • Push stick
  • Angle grinder
  • Masonry cutting wheel
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask

About the Author

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.

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