When it comes to cutting tiles, a good tool to use is a tile scribe. As with using many tiling tools, practice makes perfect and there's a definite knack to achieving a good result. Here are some top tips to help you master using a tile scribe.
The right equipment
It doesn't matter how adept you are in technique; if your equipment is substandard, your end result will be too. Always buy the most expensive and best-quality tools you can afford. Budget tools usually mean broken tiles, frustration, and more expense in the long-term.
A tile scribe is a simple, handheld tool with a very sharp, tungsten carbide blade designed to slice cleanly through the glaze on any type of tile. A tile scribe is much cheaper to buy than a professional tile cutter, but will still give you great results if you use it correctly.
It's a good idea to buy a spare blade for your tile scribe to keep in your tool box. A blunt blade won't score through the tile glaze properly, so change yours after a few uses to keep the scribe in good working order. If you find that the blade is sticking as you try to draw it down the tile, it's probably going blunt and needs changing.
What you'll need
- a good quality tile scribe
- steel ruler
- felt-tip pen
- a long pencil or piece of dowel
- tile file
How to do it
- Begin by measuring the space to be occupied by the tile.
- Next, use your felt-tip pen and ruler to mark those measurements on the tile surface to give you your cutting line. A good tip is to rest the ruler against the flat of your hand to prevent it slipping as you draw your line.
- Now, hold the ruler firmly in place and use the tile scribe to score along the cutting line. Use your forefinger to apply sufficient pressure to draw the sharp tip of the scribe through the tile's glaze. Make sure that you score the whole length of the line that you've drawn. If you miss off one of the ends, the tile will just break when you try to snap it.
- Place the pencil or piece of dowel underneath the scored tile with the glazed side facing uppermost. Apply firm pressure to either side of the tile and it should snap cleanly in half.
- If necessary, use a tile file to smooth off any rough sections before you fix the tile into place and grout it.
A tile scribe is a very useful tile cutting tool. Invest in the good quality tool you can afford, and follow the guidelines above for a great result every time.