The addition of decorative inserts can elevate a tile installation from functional to fantastic. If the tile manufacturer provides the field tile with clipped corners to accept the inserts or decos, it is a relatively easy job. However, today’s discriminating consumers are looking for something to individualize their project, something to move it to the next level. The addition of glass, metal, stone and other exotic materials as the feature of their project can do just that. The difficulty is how to fit the decos into a field tile that is not made to include them. The only way to achieve this is to cut the field tile. Herein lies the dilemma for the installer.
Various methods to mark the tile for cutting are available, some more complicated than others. Many installers rely on a measuring tape and a 45 degree square to mark the tile, which works, but now must be accurately transferred to the remaining three tiles. There are marking jigs on the market that help the accuracy part of marking the tile, but they may not be available for all the types and sizes of insert tile.
By far the easiest and most accurate way to mark the tile for cutting requires no measuring tape or square. If the job calls for the grout joint around the dot to be the same size as the adjacent joints, simply slide the four pieces of field tile tightly together and carefully lay the insert or dot at the intersection of the four pieces. With the points of the dot lined up with the joints in the field tile, simply trace around the dot with a sharp marking pencil and cut on the line. If the job calls for the joints around the dot to be smaller than the joints in the field, simply adjust the cut to the inside of the line.
Precise layout and cutting in this application make the difference between an ok tile job and something spectacular.