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