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Cutting porcelain stoneware tiles and terrace slabs - instructions

Cutting porcelain stoneware tiles or thick porcelain stoneware terrace slabs is not difficult.

Quick guide for those in a hurry:

  1. Measure porcelain stoneware and mark the dimensions with a washable pen

  2. Buy a diamond cutting disc for fine stoneware that fits your machine and mount it safely.

  3. If possible, use water for cutting.

  4. Plunge in the edge area with the diamond cutting disc and cut along the marking at the recommended rotational speed.

  5. Check the cut and regrind if necessary.

Table of contents



1. Click here for the complete guide to cutting porcelain stoneware.

Bannerbild Guide Cut fine stoneware terrace slabs and fine stoneware tiles. Left in the picture: An overview of a terrace lined with fine stoneware. On the right in the picture a freshly renovated bathroom equipped with porcelain stoneware tiles on the floor and the wall.

Porcelain stoneware is an extremely strong material that requires special processing to cut it successfully.

The biggest problem are the XXL tile formats when cutting and particularly thick porcelain stoneware slabs . Here you should weigh your choice of machine very carefully in order to be able to achieve ideal results.

Tip: Before you start cutting, we recommend doing a few trials on a discarded, old, or surplus piece to get a feel for how comfortable you are with the machine and material.

More advice on patio tiles

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of cutting porcelain stoneware?

When cutting porcelain stoneware, you have a variety of methods at your disposal, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Here are the most important advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

tile cutter

angle grinder

cutting table

Advantages

Fast and inexpensive if you rent one for XXL tiles

Cut obliquely

Fast

Cheap

Cleanest cut edges

Cuts any thickness

Ideal for many cuts

Disadvantages

Does not cut large porcelain stoneware products

Unclean cut edges in comparison (glazed surface)

Cutting capacity may not be sufficient for very thick porcelain stoneware.

Unavailable

Must be borrowed.

Costs from €30 for rent and €250 for purchase from €14.99 with a flex disc for tiles from €69.99 with our professional cutting disc for wet cutters

3. Can I cut porcelain stoneware with the angle grinder?

Craftsmen cut porcelain stoneware terrace slabs with the angle grinder and a suitable 125 mm diamond cutting disc from Iynx Tools.

The angle grinder is a quick and inexpensive way to cut porcelain stoneware tiles to size. Here are the most important advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

  • Advantages: Less expensive diamond cutting disc than required for the wet cutting table; almost everyone has an angle grinder available; high degree of flexibility


  • Cons: Long straight cuts can be difficult for an untrained user to make. In addition, cutting thick porcelain stoneware can take a particularly long time.

Diamond grinding disc when grinding tiles with the angle grinder

If you decide to use the angle grinder, you should make sure the edges are clean.

The quality of the edges is not always 100% optimal, but you can counteract this with a sanding pad for sanding tile edges . After the cutting process, simply pull along the cutting edge a few times and resharpen it.

The quality of the tile edges is also largely determined by the quality of the tile or fine stoneware cutting disc.

The following applies: the higher the quality of the diamond cutting disc, the more beautiful the edges.

Buy a cutting disc for cutting porcelain stoneware

3.1 Step-by-step instructions for cutting porcelain stoneware tiles with the angle grinder:

  1. Attach a 125 mm diamond cutting disc to the angle grinder, preferably with a quick-release nut.

    Produktbild-M14 quick-release nut for the angle grinder

  2. Mark the cut edge on the porcelain stoneware tile.

  3. Leave the tile overhanging so the cut edge is exposed and doesn't cut into the underlying material.

  4. Immerse the diamond blade in the edge area and slowly cut along the cutting edge.

  5. This should be possible without any problems up to a material thickness of 20 mm.

  6. Clean the edges of the porcelain stoneware tiles after cutting.

Guide Bannerbild Fine stoneware Flexen - More information on the guide.

4. How do I cut porcelain stoneware with the cutting table?

Cut porcelain stoneware slabs with the cutting table and a suitable cutting disc

The cutting table is the most precise and cleanest way to cut porcelain stoneware.

Here are the most important advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

  • Advantages: The cleanest and most precise method when cutting fine stoneware. Very suitable for particularly large tiles.

  • Disadvantages: difficult to obtain; high price; generates a lot of fine dust

When cutting porcelain stoneware on the cutting table, you should definitely use additional water cooling.

Personal opinion:

From my experience I can tell you that you can achieve significantly better and more precise cuts and edges with the additional use of water. In addition, the diamond cutting disc will last much longer and is less stressed.

For me, wet cutting is simply part of cutting thick porcelain stoneware slabs.

4.1 Step-by-step instructions for cutting porcelain stoneware with the cutting table:

  1. Attach a water connection.

  2. Attach a porcelain stoneware diamond cutting blade to the tile cutting table. As a rule, these are discs with a diameter of 180 mm , 230 mm, 300 mm or 350 mm. You can find the right diameter for you on the imprint of your machine.

  3. Turn on the machine and the water supply.

  4. Place the porcelain stoneware tiles or patio slabs on the designated spot.

  5. Cut the porcelain stoneware tiles with a little light pressure along the desired cutting edge.

  6. It is best to check during cutting whether the required cutting depth has been set correctly.

5. Can I also cut fine stoneware tiles or patio slabs with the tile cutter ?

Tiler cutting porcelain stoneware tiles for the floor with a tile cutter

The tile cutter is another option for cutting porcelain stoneware tiles to size. Here are the most important advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

  • Pros: Lower price than the cutting table; easy handling, often already available.

  • Cons: Not suitable for thick tiles; higher chance of damaging the tile when cutting. Cutting large format tiles is not possible with a conventional tile cutter.

If you decide to use a tile cutter, you should definitely pay attention to a high-quality tile cutter that can withstand the resulting forces and is designed for the desired tile size.

6. How do I cut porcelain stoneware without fraying?

A common problem when cutting porcelain stoneware tiles is the fraying of the cut edges.

Tip from my experience:

With some porcelain stoneware tiles and patio slabs, it can help to stick a piece of adhesive tape on the desired cut edge to prevent fraying.
You should try this on a discarded piece of porcelain to see if it works for your material.

7. Frequently asked questions when cutting porcelain stoneware

Should you cut porcelain stoneware or break it?

That depends entirely on the thickness and size of the porcelain stoneware tile as well as the local conditions and the machines available. I would argue that I would generally always prefer 2cm thick and more porcelain stoneware slabs cut one way or another.

Is it safe to cut porcelain stoneware tiles with an angle grinder?

Cutting porcelain tile with an angle grinder can be safe as long as you use the right equipment and technique. It is important to use a diamond blade rated for cutting porcelain stoneware tiles and to ensure the tile is securely fastened. It's also important to wear protective clothing, including goggles and a dust mask, to protect yourself from dust and debris.

How can I prevent cracks appearing when cutting porcelain stoneware tiles?

Cracks can occur if too much pressure is applied to the tile or if the cutting machine is not sharp enough. It is important to cut the tile slowly and evenly and to ensure the cutting machine is in good condition and sharp. Also, use enough water to cool the tile and minimize cracking.

Conclusion - You can cut porcelain stoneware with different machines.

Cutting porcelain stoneware requires the right tools and the right technique. The choice of cutting method depends on the size and thickness of the tiles, as well as local conditions and the machines available.

  • The angle grinder is fast and inexpensive, but not always suitable for long straight cuts or cutting multiple tiles.
  • The cutting table is the most precise and cleanest method. It can be somewhat cumbersome and expensive to obtain.
  • The tile cutter is a cheaper and simpler option, but requires a high quality or a special size.

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    Jürgen Kleis

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