How to Measure Diagonal Tile Cuts

When tiling a wall or floor, adding the element of diagonal tiles can make the process more complicated.

Diagonal tiles can add an extra level of style.Diagonal tiles can add an extra level of style.
However, taking the time to properly measure the diagonal tiles that need to be cut will ensure that you have a clean, professional-looking job without wasting materials. When purchasing tiles for a project, it is typically recommended that you buy 10 to 15 percent more tiles than you calculate for the space. If excess tiles are unused, many retailers will allow them to be returned if they are not custom tiles.

Measure the width the diagonally cut tile needs to be by measuring the distance from the tip of the right angle of the space where the tile will be inserted to the hypotenuse, which should be the wall or other boarder you are tiling to. It is also crucial to ensure that this measurement is perpendicular to the wall or border to get an accurate result.

Draw a line on the tile to be cut connecting two opposite corners. Use a straightedge to ensure that the line is straight.

Use a T-square, protractor or other measurement device to draw a line perpendicular to the first line, extending to the corresponding corner.

Measure from the corner down the line to the measurement from Step 1. Mark off the measurement and draw a perpendicular line to the mark.

Cut along the line on the tile to cut it to size. Wear eye protection when making the cut to ensure no injury results from pieces of the tile breaking off. Repeat this process for each tile, as each tile that needs cutting may vary in size.

Things You Will Need

  • Straight edge measuring stick
  • Tile cutter
  • Safety glasses
  • T-square or protractor


  • Double-check all your measurements. It's better to spend a little more preparation time rather than waste money and time having to buy additional materials in the middle of a project.
  • Remember that if you find places where the measurements are the same, you can use an already cut tile as a template.


  • It is easy to assume that all tiles will be the same size, or to eyeball the cuts. While this might seem as if it will save time, this can lead to a large waste of materials, increasing the cost of the project.

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.