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Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:56 am
by Kennedy
I have been unsuccessful in my search for a particular glazed porcelain 13 x 13 tile to install in my shower wall after a pipe repair. I need a handful of tiles to replace the ones that were removed, but the product has been discontinued.

I found a store that has a couple boxes left of this particular tile but in size 18 x 18.

Can a tile guy cut the larger tile down to the required 13 x 13 size? I'm wondering if we could use the 18 x 18 original edges of two sides and how the other two (now non-beveled) sides would look once it's cut.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:58 am
by RickBoglehead
Tile is cut all the time. Of course, there is a big difference between a beveled edge and a non-beveled edge.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cutting+porcelain+tile

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:04 pm
by Kennedy
RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:58 am
Tile is cut all the time. Of course, there is a big difference between a beveled edge and a non-beveled edge.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cutting+porcelain+tile
Yes, I suppose the better question is will the non-beveled, newly cut edge stand out once it's installed.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:10 pm
by ScaledWheel
Kennedy wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:04 pm
Yes, I suppose the better question is will the non-beveled, newly cut edge stand out once it's installed.
Most likely. Although a pain, it would look better to retile the shower, or incorporate a new design with different tiles in the area which was affected.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:47 pm
by oslocal
I had my tile guy install elongated marble tiles on the walls while I had 12x12 on the floor. I couldn't find the type I wanted so I had my tile guy cut the 12x12 into smaller pieces. Due to the cutting action I got 3 tiles each about 3.5x12 for each.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:49 pm
by adamthesmythe
The edges will look different, how significant the difference is will depend on the tile variety.

You probably have some fractional tiles now on the corners or at the soap dish.

This may be the least bad solution.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:56 pm
by Scuttlebutt
marble tiles
Marble is completely different from porcelain for doing this.

The answer is maybe.
If the edge of the tile is nearly square with just a small angled edge like you would find on a marble tile then you may not notice it. That would usually mean a higher quality tile. But if it has a more rounded edge, it can stick out really bad.
You also have two other issues working against you though. Generally, the larger the tile, the more curvature there will be to the face of the tile which will make it stand out more since an 18" tile will curve a different amount than a 13" tile.
the other issue will be the shade. Two tiles made on two different runs even though they're marked as the same color can have drastically different shades.

If those issues won't bother you, then cover up your wall.
If it may bother you, then redo your shower.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:25 pm
by willthrill81
I once worked in the tile industry, both in sales and installation. The comments above are spot on. A cut edge will usually generally be much sharper than a 'factory', beveled edge. But it might still be fine and could easily be preferable to the alternative.

I would be most concerned about the color matching. Place the replacement tiles against the existing ones to see how it will look.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:40 pm
by GAAP
You could also try using a clearly contrasting tile as an inserted artistic effect.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:04 pm
by Sandtrap
Consider a different accent tile or tiles that some combination will bring you up to your net measurements. Even smaller tiles diagonally.
But if it is off center in an unproportional place results might be iffy as well.
A patch will always look like a patch unless with the original tile and batch. Even then it is not perfect.
Maybe a great opportunity to remod the whole thing?

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:35 pm
by BuddyJet
Short answer is yes but tile guy will have an upcharge for the extra cut work.

When I had a similar issue from having to replace valves in my shower, i went with a contrasting color.

Re: Can an 18 x 18 tile be cut to a smaller size?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:45 pm
by ralph124cf
Most shower pipe repairs involve breaking tile around either the faucets or the shower head. A nice contrasting tile (white in a black shower, black in a white shower) can look like you planned it.

Ralph