How to Cut Ceramic Tile That is Already Installed?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ceramic tile has been a popular flooring option for decades. It’s durable, easy to clean, and comes in an abundance of colors and patterns.

It may seem difficult to cut ceramic tile that has already been installed, but it is not complicated. This process is quite simple if you follow just a few steps.

What Materials Do You Need to Do This Job Correctly?

The material you need to make cutting ceramic tiles easier includes:

  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Straight edge or a 4-foot level
  • Pencil
  • Cutting tools
  • Drop cloths and screws, if needed

Procedures for Cutting Ceramic Tiles Already Installed

The process is quite straightforward and can be done in a few steps. Here are some procedures for cutting ceramic tile that is already installed:

  1. Make sure that you have all of your materials ready. Include a list in this section.
  2. Use the masking tape to mark your cutting line on all four sides of the tile you are removing. Remove the tile without breaking it by using the least amount of force possible with your hands or a pry bar.
  3. Draw your cutting line on the new piece of tile. The process for this part is the same as when you marked the old tile cutting line to make sure everything is parallel.
  4. Cut through the grout and cement around the edges of the tiles with a utility knife, making sure not to cut yourself in the process.
  5. When you’ve cut through the grout and cement around the edges of all four sides, remove the piece of tile along with its accompanying pieces.
  6. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before laying down your replacement tile. As soon as you can touch it without getting burned, it is ready for installation.

You can use various types of cutting tools when cutting a tile. Here’s a quick look at them.

How Do I Install a New Piece of Ceramic Tile Over an Old One?

There are two ways to do this-

First Way: Install the New Tile Removing the Old One

The first way is to cut the new piece of tile the same size as the old one. You will need a wet saw or tile nipper, adhesive, grout, and spacers. Gently pry up the old ceramic tile so that it doesn’t break.

Once you have removed all of the necessary tiles around it, use something to hold down the edge of where you are going to cut the new tile. Place adhesive on every inch or few inches of one side of your cutting board, then place your new tile on top of that side.

Drag that over across your cutting board until it touches the other side of your board. Then cut through with a wet saw or grinder down one edge. Make sure to make all of your cuts straight and evenly on both sides.

Now, push out the piece you cut flush with a putty knife or something similar. Finally, grout it and let it dry for 24 hours.

Second Way: Install the New Tile Over the Existing One

The second way is a little more difficult because if you mess up the first time, that’s a lot of extra work. Place a new piece of tile that has the same dimensions as your old one and use it as a guide for cutting the old tile.

Cut the tile using either a wet saw or grinder, making sure to make each cut straight on both sides. Use spaces to make sure there is a good space between both tiles. Finally, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the old tile and press your new piece in place.

Different Types of Blades for Cutting Ceramic Tiles

Here are the two best types of ceramic tile cutting blades that are already installed:

Wet Tile Saw Blades

These blades are thin and circular, with a blade guard to protect you while cutting. These blades work by being water-cooled while they cut the tile.

This makes for a more precise cut but can cause problems if too much water accumulates on the tile while it is being used.

When using this type of blade, be sure that the floor is protected and that the tile is securely fastened to a table.

Dry Tile Saw Blades

These blades are usually flat, with a diamond-tipped saw blade attached to the bottom. The lack of water makes them much more affordable, but they will not give you as smooth of a cut as wet blades.

When using this type of blade, be sure that there is no debris or other objects within several feet of your cutting area.

This saw blade tile is designed with simultaneous wettability and wear resistance, and a diamond saw blade for porcelain tiles is an ideal cutting tool.

Final Words

When you know how to cut ceramic tile that is already installed, it will be easy to install ceramic tiles. So, before you lay any ceramic tiles, make sure that the layout is outlined precisely.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and we hope that it has been helpful to you. Hopefully, now you can begin working on the installation of your next ceramic tile.


Here are some frequently asked questions about cutting ceramic tile that is already installed:

Is it possible to cut tiles manually?

Yes. You can manually cut tiles with manual cutters. These manual cutters are straight, long-handled cutting tools. They are used to cut full tiles or tiles where the space for cutting is limited.

What is required to cut porcelain tiles by hand?

Though not recommended, you could use a utility knife and straight edge to cut porcelain tiles that are in place. Because the process is difficult and because the risk of breakage during installation is high, it’s best to add new tile where necessary.

Is it possible to cut ceramic tiles without a tile cutter?

It is possible to cut ceramic tiles without a tile cutter. One must be careful while using scissors because the sharp tips can break the tiles. A brick or concrete saw can also be used for cutting ceramic tiles.

Related Posts:

7 Steps Guide How to Cut a Square Hole in Porcelain Tile?

6 Best Blade For Cutting Ceramic Tile [Top Picks & Reviews]

6 Best Wet Saw Blade For Porcelain Tile (Buyer’s Guide)

Leave a Comment