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How To Use Ceramic Tile Nippers

Marking, Nipping, & Finishing Circular Shaped Tile Cuts

Tile nippers are used to make circular cuts in ceramic tile. They can also be used to make straight or angled cuts although you will find it much easier to use a tile cutter or wet saw to make these types of cuts. Always wear eye protection as very sharp fragments of the tile can shoot from the cut as it is being made.

Mark your tile cut using a grease pen or a pencil.

In this example, we are installing ceramic tile on a countertop and it is fairly easy to mark the tile we need to have cut. In some cases it is not possible to mark the tile cut directly. If this is the case, you will need to make a template using a piece of cardboard and then transfer those markings to the tile.

Some tiles have very glossy surfaces and it can be difficult to mark the tile cut you need made. If a grease pen will not mark the surface of the tile you can mark the underside of the tile using a pencil.

Use tile nippers to take small bites out of the marked tile cut.When you reach the drawn line take extra care not to overbite the mark.

Once the tile has been marked, hold it firmly over an empty container and proceed to take small "nips" or "bites" out of it using the tile nippers. Take your time and keep the "bites" small, otherwise you risk breaking the tile and having to start all over again.

The tile edge will be very sharp so handle the tile firmly to prevent slipage.This cut is finished.

When you have reached the marked line, proceed very carefully so as not to "overbite" the marked line.

If the cut will be exposed you can use a rubbing stone or 60 grit sandpaper to smooth the rough edge.

After the tile is completely cut and finished you can use a piece of 60 grit sandpaper or a special rubbing stone used by ceramic tile contractors to smooth the finished edge. This is important to do when the cut will be exposed (e.g. around shower drains) as the edge of the cut tile will be very sharp and could cause injury.

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