How to Cut Mosaic Hexagon Tile

After many months of plumbing, electrical, drywall, repairing and painting, it's finally time to get the tiling going in our guest bathroom remodel. 

I picked out this matte black porcelain hexagon tile for the floors from Our home was built in 1947 so hexagon tile was an easy, classic choice. This gorgeous bath via Canadian House and Home was one of the inspiration images that I used when planning the space. So simple and gorgeous right?!

Via House & Home March 2013, photo by Michael Graydon, designer Mandy Milks

Via House & Home March 2013, photo by Michael Graydon, designer Mandy Milks

My husband, Chris and I had done plenty of tile projects in the past so late last week we got the kids to be early and figured we would have the floor installed by midnight at the latest. With the tile saw at the ready we mixed up our thin-set and then... we quickly realized we had NO IDEA how to cut this stuff. 

The wet saw didn't work, it just flipped the small tiles up and on top of the blade. We tried our tile nippers only to have the tiles shatter when we tried to cut them. We needed to do some digging so we dumped our thin-set (goodbye $30!) and started Googling. 

We found a few online tutorials like this one from Young House Love for how to cut penny tile that helped get us started and after a bunch of researching, and some trial and error, we landed on a method that worked really well for us. 

Here's what you need - 

Ceramic Tile Cutter | Tile Nippers | Painters Tape | Scissors | Measuring Tape | Scrap Container

And here's how we did it - 

1. Tape the tile to a piece of cardboard (we used the pieces that were shipped with our tile) on the line that you will be cutting. The tape gives you a guide, helps to hold the tile in place while scoring and prevents tile breakage when nipping each tile.

Tile Cutting with The Forest Fern

2. Using the ceramic tile cutter, score each tile along the tape line. You aren't cutting the tile here but rather just setting a line to help encourage a clean break when you use the nippers.

Tile Cutting with The Forest Fern

3. Place your nippers on the scored line in the middle of the tile and slowly apply pressure until you break the tile on the line.

Tile Cutting with The Forest Fern

4. Save all of those cut halves that don't break! You will have some pieces that still shatter despite your best efforts. You can simply pick those pieces off of the mesh and replace them with your stash of cut pieces.

Hexagon tile cutting with The Forest Fern

5. Start laying out your tile. We dry fit all of our tiles before we started to set them. Yes, this was time consuming but it really saved us a lot of headaches during the installation process since all of our tiles were already cut and labeled.

6. Speaking of labeling, use some painters tape to label each sheet of tile so that you know where they go when it's time to install. We printed out a photo of the floor and made a little directional map to help remind us of the pattern.

And that's about it! I actually really liked cutting the tiles this way - it was far less messy than working with a wet saw and a lot quieter too - perfect for those of us who do projects while the kids (and neighbors) are sleeping.

I hope that something here might help you with your next tile project. We can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel with the guest bath. On to wall tiles!