Mosaic tiles commonly come on a sheet of plastic mesh that holds the small tiles in place to promote a simpler installation. When installing the tiles, it is often necessary to cut the sheets to fit around the perimeter of the installation area. Making mosaic pictures also requires you to cut individual tiles to fit into a pattern. There are two popular methods for cutting the tiles to get the size and shape you need, each with its own benefits and challenges. With care and patience, you can cut the tiles in a matter of minutes.
Using a Tile Saw
1,Measure the space where the tiles must fit. Make sure to allow for any spacers and expansion joints that will separate the tiles from each other or the wall. Transfer the measurements to your mosaic tile or tile sheet. Mark the tiles on the back with a pencil.
2,Cut through the mesh between the tiles with heavy-duty scissors where the markings are only on the mesh. Set the leftover tile sheet aside.
3,Pry tiles off the mesh where the marked line barely touches the edges, or is less than one-fourth of the tile width. These slivers of tile will be too difficult to cut accurately. The grout line will be slightly thicker around those tiles. Installation of that side of the tile at the wall, rather than next to surrounding tiles, conceals this difference.
4,Lay the tiles face down onto a piece of scrap wood. Clamp the tile or tile sheet in place on the board. Make sure the board is long enough that you can handle it without getting your hands close to the blade on the tile saw.
5,Set the tile saw on a stable, level surface. Plug it in to the nearest outlet. Fill the well with water as directed by the manufacturer. Familiarize yourself with how the saw works by reading the instructions if you have never operated one before. Make sure to follow all safety recommendations listed by the manufacturer.
6,Line up your mark with the tile saw blade. Slowly lower the blade and begin cutting through the tiles. Do not push your scrap wood under the blade too fast. Let the saw do the work, as you guide the material, rather than forcing the tiles underneath the blade.
7,Remove the clamps from the tiles after you finish cutting. Save the scrap wood until you have finished cutting all the tiles or sheets needed.
Scoring and Nipping
1,Mark individual tiles or tile pieces just as you would the tile sheets with the exception that you mark on the top of the tile. Use a wax pencil to mark the tiles and avoid discoloration or damage.
2,Score along the marked line with a tile scorer. This minimizes the risk of the tile breaking with jagged edges when you snap it.
3,Clamp the portion of the tile you will use on a level surface. Grab the excess portion of the tile and press down. This snaps the tile along the score line.
4,Remove rough edges from the tile using a double-sided sanding stone. Install the tile using adhesive, just as you would any full-sized tile.
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