Easy method for cutting curves in tiles
With all the new tools we have today, some methods have become outdated and time consuming. Cutting curves in tiles is one of those methods, and you can now cut smooth decorative curves and cut outs in ceramic and porcelain tiles with ease.
When cutting curves to fit around a toilet, pedestal, or other fitting, you need a profile. There are various types of profiles on the shelf at your local Builders Warehouse or tile store, but I have found the one shown here to be the best. It is long and wide enough to be able to use around many items.
For this project I am going to show you how easy it is to cut a curved tile to fit around the front of a toilet, and the first step is to use the profile to determine the shape of the cut that needs to be made.
Once you have the shape, carefully lift the profile to transfer this onto the tile to be cut.
Use a permanent marker to draw the profile onto the tile. A permanent marker is easy to see and won't easily rub off.
To cut out the profile I am using my Dremel 8200 MultiTool with diamond cutting disk. This cutting disk will cut through ceramic, porcelain and even natural stone tiles, although the latter make take a little longer. I prefer the Dremel 8200 because it is cordless, but still offers enough power for all my projects. You could also use a Dremel 4000, but any model below this in power will obviously take longer to cut.
GOOD TO KNOW: DO wear safety glasses when cutting or scoring tiles.
After scoring the top ceramic layer of the tile, I made another couple of passes along the mark, going deeper each time. It isn't necessary to go all the way through the tile, but the deeper you can go the easier it will be to remove the section.
GOOD TO KNOW: Place the tile on a piece of scrap wood to prevent damaging your work surface.
You know when you have cut deep enough when you can simply tap the cut section with a hammer and it falls away. If it doesn't, run the cutting disk along the groove again until it is easy to tap away the piece to be removed. Place the tile over the edge of the board and lightly tap with a hammer.
Below you can see how neat and precise the cut is using the Dremel 8200 MultiTool and diamond cutting disk. Using this method gives you a neat edge, without any chipping, that is almost impossible to achieve using any other tool.
The removed section allows the tile to sit flush around the front of the toilet and offers a neat way to tile around difficult curved areas.