Help... before I need to buy more tile [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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04-26-2006, 05:55 PM
Hi guys. Short of renting a tile saw, can anyone please give me an idea of what I may be doin' wrong? My tiling project is with ceramic American Olean Arctica and I'm currently hanging wall tile (8x12). This is my first dyi tiling job (solo) and so far, so good. I'm using a conventional tile cutter and about 1/2 the cuts go smoothly. The other half do this weird "flair curve" away from the score line when I go to break it. I did some research already and found a guy on the Internet explaining HIS method, 1st scoring the tile, then laying the short piece over the edge of a hard surface just beyond the score. Then whack it HARD with a rubber mallet. Well, that actually worked pretty well for a while. Then, these stupid curve breaks began again when I whacked 'em. I don't think I was doing anything differently. I've been breaking them on the floor using a long pool tile as the hard edge. Could I not be holding the tile down tightly enough when I strike? I'm thinking maybe a short vibration is causing the bad break. So frustrating. Or, maybe you guys can tell me if I got a bad batch of tile? There's really no way I'd know since I'm new at this. I wipe the blade after every cut and lubricate with WD 40. I sweep all the chips away from the cutter every time, too. Any ideas? Thanks,

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04-26-2006, 06:20 PM
what kind of snapper are you using the crappy kind from home creepo dont work too well buy the 88$ table tile saw works better than snapper.

Tool Guy - Kg
04-26-2006, 06:59 PM
Hi Tina, welcome to the site.

That's a relatively common problem on cheap and mid-grade "clinkers" (cutting board/breakers/crackers/snappers...whatever you want to call them). It is imperitive that the score line you make on the tile is directly inline with the crest of the metal fulcrum to produce a clean break. Most of the cheap and some of the mid-grade clinkers have too much slop in them and don't hold the cutting wheel very firmly as the score is made. Make sure to consistanly hold the scoring handle as you slide it to avoid a non-straight score. Also, look at how well the wheel is inline with the metal fulcrum below. Score a scrap tile and carefully hold it in place while you slide the cutter out of the way.....examine how inline the score is with the metal fulcrum.

If you are using wall tiles, they are relatively soft...any tiles that have the flare "away" from the good side, you might be able to sand off the excess tile with a belt sander. :)

04-26-2006, 07:01 PM

I had this problem and thought that it was just me or the cutter. My friend came over to show me how to use the snapper. Put the tile snapper against the wall so when you push the lever down, it doesn't go anywhere. Then when you put pressure on the cutter to the tile, put firm pressure. Don't put your weight on it or too light. When snapping the tile, put the snapper in the middle of the cut and push down. You'll get the hang of it sooner or later. I personally hate the damn thing. I use my friend's $88 wet saw from Lowes/HD and it works just fine.


04-26-2006, 07:55 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Now that the concensus is the cutter's a piece of crap, I can work on perfecting my technique applying your tips. Yes, there is play in the snapper. But not too bad. (No, I didn't get it from Home Crappo.) I've been practicing since reading your posts and having better success with this method:

I score the tile using the snapper on the floor (instead of on the counter) so I can get some leverage behind it from front to back. I hold it against the base of the vanity cabinet so I've got something strong to brace it against. I score the tile with one strong deliberate pass. I remove the tile from the cutter. I place it atop the pool tile and whack it off like I have been doing. (The tile, that is. Man, you guys.) This way, if the snapper is out of line, whoooooo cares. So far, I got 3 pretty good cuts out of one tile. So, I guess I'll complete all my field tile in whole pieces and then come back at the end and pray I get into a rythym and cut all the ends right. If not, I guess I'll rent a tile saw for the day and do all the cuts at once. Thanks again guys. I'll keep checking back here to my post over the next few days if anyone else has any more good suggestions.

04-26-2006, 08:44 PM
Hi Tina,

I think the trick to using a snapper is getting a good score line in one pass. Then with the breaker centered, give the handle a quick and sharp rap to crack ther tile. I have an antique Superior #2 that makes good cuts consistently if doing it this way. Regardless, I hate the thing and would rather walk a quarter mile to the saw than use it right where I'm working.