2023, Bedroom, blog, December, Living, Tile Talk

How to Prevent Cracks from Cut Tile Edges

How to Prevent Cracks from Cut Tile Edges 

 Often when installing tiles in a space, tiles will have to be cut either to fit the dimensions of the space or for aesthetic enhancements. However, one of the major issues with cutting tiles is cracks that emanate from the cut edges. This article explores some techniques that can help prevent or reduce the risk of cracks after cutting tiles. 

For clearer understanding, let’s divide these techniques into two groups: one for cutting and the other for installing.

Cutting Technique to Prevent Tile Cracks 

1. Use the Right Tools for Cutting

 When dealing with hard materials like ceramic and porcelain tiles, you would require an angle grinder to make precise cuts. We also recommend a diamond-tipped drill bit or hole saw in different sizes.

2. Apply Scoring in a Controlled Manner 

Scoring a tile involves creating a predefined break point along the surface. When doing this, avoid applying excessive force, as it may create fractures in the tile body which lead to cracks.

3. Ensure a Stable Support for Cutting 

When cutting tiles, utilise a padded surface or rubber mat to support the tile.

This minimises the stress induced on the material and reduces the risk of cracks. 

4. Switch Tools for Curved Cuts 

When curved cuts are required, you will require a nibbler or grinder, which would afford greater control while preventing corner chipping, which often leads to cracks. 

5. Apply a Stop-hole for L-Cuts 

When making L-cuts, there is a likelihood that a stress crack would form starting at the intersection of the cut lines due to overcutting. Applying a stop-hole by first drilling through the tile at the intersection of the cut would help to prevent overcutting that leads to stress cracks.

Installation Techniques to Prevent Tile Cracks 

1. Allow 24 Hours of Drying after Cutting

After a tile is cut, allow the tile to dry for at least 24 hours before installing it. This drying period allows the tile to stabilise, thereby reducing the likelihood of stress-induced cracks. 

2. Prepare the Subfloor Adequately

A level and solid subfloor forms the foundation for an error-free installation. If the subfloor is improperly prepared and the installation surface is uneven, it will exert unwanted stress on the tiles, which will lead to fractures over time.

3. Apply Grout Gently 

One of the last steps of tile installation involves grouting, which should be applied gently without any forceful packing. As grout expands over its drying period, packed gaps may exert pressure on the surrounding tiles. 

Planning your next project? Speak with our experts for advice and more. 

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