How to Cut 18-Inch Tiles
Larger tiles in sizes such as 18 inches are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Large tiles can create a more modern appearance in any tile design or material, and they also help to make small spaces look bigger, since there are fewer grout lines in a job using 18-inch tiles than in a job using 6-inch tiles. Eighteen-inch tiles--whether they are ceramic, porcelain or natural stone--should be cut using a tile saw.
Lay the tiles out over the area where they will be installed in a dry-layout. A dry-layout is when you place all the tiles without using mortar to determine where the cuts will be.
Mark the tiles to be cut with a straight edge (such as a ruler) and pencil. Even with larger tiles, it's important that grout joints line up properly, so be sure to mark the tiles clearly.
Fill the tile saw with water to keep the blade cool, and turn on the blade. Position the tile on the saw table, with the pencil mark lined up with the blade. Using steady speed and pressure, push the tile directly into the blade with your hands holding the tile on either side, away from the blade. When the tile has been cut through, pull the tile and table back toward you to free the cut pieces of tile.
- If chips are showing up in the surface of the tile after cutting, flip the tile upside down to pass it through the saw, and push it through faster. This will minimize surface chipping.
Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.
- tile installation image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com