Saturday, February 10, 2007

How to Cut Glass Tile

Do you know how to cut glass tiles? Well, neither did I -- until today. In the tile store, they told me that all I needed was a glass cutter, which I have. I figured that it couldn't be that hard, until I was standing there with a ruler and cutter in my hand and an inventory of priceless tiles. Despite my internet research, I had no idea how to get started. After two failed attempts, and a few fruitless phone calls to hardware and tile stores, we hit the road looking for the ultimate tile cutter.

Everyday on my way to work, I pass by a small store on Dundas St. W at Manning Ave. (just west of Bathurst) that does Mirror and Glass. Why not try there? An unassuming storefront full of tacky mirror is just a front for a busy back room, buzzing with activity. A very friendly woman greeted me and then taught me how to use the glass cutter. She took out a scrap of glass and showed me to score and then snap the glass. Humm. It really was as easy as it looked on the internet. But, she took it to the next step by getting me to try it myself. She corrected my technique, showed me again, and then it was my turn again. After four tries, I pulled out one of my coveted mosaic tiles, and she took a try at it. The key to cutting a tile that is smaller than one square inch, is in the pliers. She had these great 1" pliers, which worked perfectly, but she would not part with them. I offered to rent them for the day. I explained that I pass by there every day on my way to work, but she refused to part with her #1 tool at any price. While I already had the exact cutter at home, I thought that for the lesson I should buy something. So, I settled for the glass cutter which set me back a full $3.50.

Armed with my new technique, I returned home ready to cut those glass tiles. Just like she said, I dipped the cutter in vegetable oil and then did a quick firm score, and then snapped the tile with pliers. Much to my surprise - it worked!!!

I spent the rest of the day marking off the horizontal and verticals for the tile sheets, and cutting the tiles for the edges and around the outlets. So, we are ready to go. Tomorrow will be the day - the day that we stick the tiles to the wall. Will it be as low tech and nerve wrecking as the tile cutting?

#1 recommendation: if you need any glass or mirror cut, go to the place on Dundas West. She was very helpful and extremely affordable.


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Can't wait to go those little tiles in half!

Terri said...

THANKS so much Money Pit. You just saved me! I have always been one to jump right in there with tile or anything but thought (for a moment) that I had officially lost my mind. What was I thinking when I offered to do my friend's kitchen in 1" glass tile? I mean, I have tiled before with marble and just did 16" diagonal cut with inlayed accents in my laundry room. How hard could 1" glass really be? And then it came to me.... I may really HAVE to cut some of these. AAGH! That never crossed my mind. Now that I read your story, I'm back to thinking "how hard can it be" =) I'll get a ruler, glass cutter and the perfect pliers tomorrow. Kitchen, here I come!
~ the very grateful, Terri

Tony said...

Hi, Do you know the name of the glass shop at Manning & Dundas?

Anonymous said...

I'm working on a craft project for my daughter and have been mulling over how to accomplish it. Thanks for giving me the details on how to cut glass, I'm really excited to tackle this now!

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