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How To Cut Glass Tile Using A Wet Saw

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Discover how to cut glass tile and install your own backsplash! Are you planning a beautiful glass tile backsplash for your kitchen or a stunning mosaic for your bathroom? Cutting glass tile can be a bit intimidating, but fear not! Today I’ll show you how I installed my kitchen backsplash and the best way to cut tile using a wet saw in three easy steps.

This tiling project was my first time using a wet saw and I was shocked at how simple the process was. Let’s take a look at the tools you need, how to prevent tile cracks and chipping.

how to cut glass tile
How to cut glass tile

How To Cut Glass Tile Backsplash

Cutting glass tile for a backsplash can be an intimidating task, but with the right tools and a bit of patience it can be done.

calculate tile backsplash square footage
how to cut glass tile kitchen backsplash

There are two methods for cutting tile that would be suitable for this project.

  1. Glass Cutter or Tile Cutter: is a handheld tool with a small, sharp wheel. You can use it to score a straight line on the glass tile. After scoring the tile, you can break it along the scored line using running pliers or your hands. This is a manual tile cutter. If you were cutting glass mosaic tiles, you would use tile nippers.
  2. Wet Saw: A wet saw is a power tool designed for cutting tiles, including glass tiles. It uses a diamond-coated blade to make precise cuts while continuously cooling the blade with water to reduce heat and prevent chipping.
How to install a kitchen backsplash
How to cut glass tile with a wet saw for a kitchen backsplash
cutting tile with a wet saw

The best way to cut glass tile, in my opinion, is the use a wet saw. While it’s a bit more expensive than the hand tile cutting tools, you will get a cleaner cut. If purchasing a wet saw isn’t in your budget, consider renting one from Home Depot or Lowes.

What Tool Do You Use to Cut Glass Tile?

Before we dive into the tile cutting process, let’s talk about the most important tool you’ll need: a wet saw. A wet saw is specifically designed for cutting tiles and is an excellent choice for glass tile due to its precision and ability to reduce chipping.

This combination of a wet saw and the right blade will ensure clean and accurate cuts.

First you need to choose your tile. I picked Blue Lagoon, 3 ” x 6″ glass subway style by Daltile.

You can purchase this tile from any tile supply store.

How Do You Cut Glass Tile Without Cracking It?

To achieve clean cuts on glass tile without any chips, it’s crucial to ensure that the wet saw tray contains an ample amount of water and maintain a slow cutting speed. For any tiling job, this combination ensures precision and minimizes the risk of unwanted damage.

Step 1: Measure and Mark

Begin by measuring the glass tile and marking the cutting line using a pencil or marker. Ensure your measurements are precise, as accuracy and straight cuts is key to preventing cracks.

Step 2: Set Up the Wet Saw

Properly set up your wet saw by installing the diamond blade and ensuring a continuous flow of water to keep the blade and tile cool. Adjust the saw’s settings for glass tile cutting, usually a slow speed.

How to cut glass tile with a wet saw
best way to cut tile is with a wet saw

Step 3: Cutting Techniques

A helpful hint that worked for me, is to practice on a couple pieces before you start. It took me a few minutes to get use applying pressure and running the tile under the blade.

Be sure to use safety glasses and gloves as the small tile pieces do have a habit of spitting back towards you.

I found it difficult to wear gloves and work with the tile but you may want to wear gloves.

how to cut glass tile with a wet saw 3
cutting tile around an outlet

Note, tray guard is removed simply for the purposes of these photos. You need to keep the guard on when cutting the tile so you don’t have the glass and water flying out of the wet saw.

Here’s how to cut the tile:

  • Align the marked line with the wet saw’s blade.
  • Slowly and steadily feed the tile through the blade, allowing it to cut without excessive force.
  • To prevent chipping, make sure you complete the cut in one continuous pass.

I removed the tray guard in some of these pictures below so you could see the actual blade and how the tile pushes up to the blade.

Ryobi wet saw for tiling
how to cut glass tile with a Ryobi wet saw

Cutting tile is a messy job for sure!

How to Cut Glass Tile Around Outlets

Below, I am cutting the tile to fit around an electrical outlet. I used a tile marker to measure and mark the tile where it needed to be cut. A crayon also works.

Breaking the tile off in the corners can be a little tricky and it took me a few tries but you basically angle the corner tile on it’s side and gently shave off any excess tile that didn’t break off. Keep in mind, your plug outlet cover will hide some imperfections.

FAQs about How To Cut Glass Tile

A wet saw with a new sharp diamond blade is the best tool to cut glass tile. This was my first attempt at tiling a backsplash and the wet saw made cutting tiles so easy.

My new wet saw provided clean smooth edges to my glass tiles and the key is to make sure your blade is fairly new and you have plenty of water in the base of the saw to ensure smooth clean lines.

Glass tile is not hard to install, in fact, I found the entire process seamless and straight forward.

My Favorite Tile Wet Saw

RYOBI Wet Saw

I purchased the RYOBI wet saw (this is the new model) to complete this project and it’s worth it’s weight in gold! It is super easy to use and more importantly, changing the blade is easy. I also purchased 2 diamond 7″ saw blades. The quality of the blade and sharpness is the key to successfully cutting tile and you will want to make sure it’s a blade that can cut glass tile.

Ryobi 7″ Wet Saw

Prior to installing our kitchen backsplash I had never used a wet saw or tiled before. It was a little intimidating but I am here to tell you, there is nothing to be intimidated about. If you are on the fence about how to cut glass tile or any tile for that matter, simply purchase an inexpensive wet saw, the correct blade and choose a pretty tile that you love.

Once you have all the tools and supplies, it’s fairly easy to install.

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

7 Comments

  1. Great advice Jess! We’ve used a wet saw for bricks on our patio, ok, I must confess, HE cut the bricks… I laid them. I do think I could handle the small tiles though. You go girl! It looks fab!

  2. Do you recommend actually buying one or is it only good for 1-2 projects and then useless? We thought about renting one but if it’s cheaper to buy one use it for our projects then sell again we might do that. Did you have to buy a different blade than what it came with or doesn’t it come with one? We are doing backsplash in our kitchen and possibly doing tile work in at least 1 bathroom so we would probably end up renting one maybe 1-2x this year and then maybe another time or two in the next few years. Just wondering….I’m kind of worried my husband will cut off a finger using this but I’m hoping not!

    1. I bought mine and plan on keeping it for a long time. You can look into renting if you never plan on doing another tiling project 🙂

    2. Evann Lee says:

      I have been buying new (and/or very close to it) power tools for 20% of retail, often less than that after a spirited haggle, at neighborhood pawn shops for YEARS. I have a workshop full of high-end professional power tools (all bought WAY beyond my skill level at the time) bought for less than half a one-day rental! My most recent gem: a 7″ MK Diamond wet tile saw (retail $ 678), unsealed box but in unused condition, for $45!!!

  3. John Bergland says:

    Thank you for this information. I am about to venture into cutting small mosaic glass tiles using a wet-saw, so I appreciate the information you have provided. One important piece I am missing though.. Is there some type of adapter or device for holding smaller glass tiles so that I don’t need to get my fingers anywhere so close to the blade? Even though you are using a bigger piece of tile shown in the images above, I can’t imagine getting my fingers so close to a blade like that. That seems counter to everything I have ever learn about operating a saw.

    Thanks for providing me with any thoughts or advice on where to find such n adaptor.

    1. the blade will not cut you

  4. What blade did you use? – I have the mosaic with glass and stone – What is the model of the wet saw did you buy?

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