Step 5: Final cuts

making final tile cuts
Photo: David Carmack
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Make straight cuts as needed with a snap cutter. When waste is more than an inch wide, score tile with one firm stroke, then break by pushing down handle. Smooth cut edge with rubbing stone.

For straight cuts with waste less than an inch wide, score tile on snap cutter, then snap pieces off with nibblers or use a wet saw.

To fit a tile around an outside corner, hold one edge against the wall and mark the tile where it touches the corner. Pencil a line all the way across the tile. Then, without turning the tile, move it to the other side of the corner and again mark where tile and corner meet. Mark an X on the part to be cut away.

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    Tools List

    • straightedge guide
      10-foot straightedge (for aligning tile
    • rubber float
      Rubber float (for spreading grout
    • notched trowel
      Notched trowel (for spreading adhesive
    • rubbing stone
      Rubbing stone (for smoothing cut tile edges
    • drill
      Drill-driver and epoxy-coated screws,
      to secure backerboard to subfloor
    • mason's trowel
      Mason's trowel (for mixing thinset and grout
    • margin trowel
      Margin trowel (for cleaning cured joint lines
    • hand saw
      Flush-cut hand saw (for undercutting trim
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • tile cutter
      Tile cutter
    • power flush cut saw
      Power flush-cut saw (for undercutting trim
    • tile nippers
      Nippers (for breaking off small pieces of tile
    • carbide tipped scorer
      Carbide-tipped scorer and utility knife,
      for cutting backerboard
    • folding A-square
      Folding A-square,
      for checking squareness of tile layout)
    • wet saw
      Diamond blade,
      used with wetsaw to cut corner notches and curves in tile

    Shopping List

    1. CERAMIC FLOOR TILE

    2. THINSET MORTAR

    3. TILE GROUT

    4. TILE SPACERS

    used to ensure consistent joints



    5. MIXING PADDLE

    used in drill to mix up mortar and grout



    6. KNEE PADS

    7. FOAM SPONGE

    for wiping up grout haze