Azulejos: If you’ve ever used a tile breaker before, you know what I’m talking about already. If however, you haven’t, you’re now in for a little lesson on speeding up your tiling job. While getting the same professional look you want. Most of the time, you will only want to use a tile breaker when working with ceramic tile. Other tile doesn’t work very well with breakers, the reason for that, is ceramic is simply clay with a glaze coating on top. Cut through the coating, and all you have left is clay – SNAP!
Snap is what you will hear when you break through the tile with the tile breaker. Some people even call them tile snappers. Some companies will call them tile cutters, they all do the same thing. So, do you spend $20 on a breaker, or $120? This depends if you’re going to be doing a lot of tiling or just 1 or two jobs. You can make a $20 breaker act like a $120 one, simply by replacing the scoring wheel with a newer, more expensive one. Spraying the gliding bars with a lubricant like WD40 allows the handle to slide back and forth a lot easier as the $120 breaker has ball bearings to help it slide easy.
Now that you have a tile breaker, and tile in hand, let’s get down to learning how to use it! First, pull the handle back so the wheel is at the front of the tile breaker, closest to you. Take a tile and place it underneath the gliding bars. And push it up to the back fence on the breaker so it’s flat against it. If you already have a mark on the tile to be snapped, line the cutting wheel up to it, being careful not to touch the tile yet. Make sure you push the tile up against the back fence again if you had to move the tile.
Now bring the wheel up to the tile, while holding the handle. Once the wheel touches the tile put a small amount of pressure down with the bar, allowing the cutting wheel to rest on the tile. With the same amount of pressure, gently push the handle away from you to the top of the tile. You should be hearing a sizzling noise as the wheel cuts into the tile glaze. Finish the “scoring” all the way up and off the tile, don’t stop at the end.