How to cut travertine tile at home

In a perfect world, your travertine tile installation wouldn’t require much more than a layer of thinset spread over the surface you’re tiling and a layer of grout wedged in between the cracks afterward. The reality is that you’re probably going to need to cut your travertine tile while you’re doing a DIY installation project.

Whether you’re tiling your bathroom floor, kitchen counters or laundry room backsplash, you’ll have to make cuts in travertine flooring that don’t fit as-is into your design. Luckily, cutting the tiles yourself is a fairly simple process once you set yourself up with a tile cutter, which you can easily rent. Here’s how to go about it.

Mark your travertine tiles
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine which pieces of tile will need to be cut. You can do this by laying out your design on the area you’re tiling and measuring the places where a tile won’t fit. Then, use a pencil and a ruler to transfer those measurements onto the pieces of tile. Try to draw your lines as lightly as possible so you can easily erase them later.

Set up the tile cutter
Most tile cutters use a wet saw to get the job done. You’ll need to fill up the water reservoir before you begin, then adjust the cutting guide to the measurement that you need to make the cuts. If you need to cut 3 inches off the width of a travertine tile, move the cutting guide 3 inches away from the cutting disc.

Now turn the tile cutter on and wait until it’s fully geared up – it should be making a constant noise. The cutting disc should also be wet.

Carefully guide the tiles
Your next step is to lay the first tile you’re cutting on the work surface and hold the edge you want cut up against the cutting guide. When it’s aligned, slowly guide the tile toward the cutting disc.

Continue guiding the tile until the disc has cut all the way through, then slide it away from the disc and turn off the machine. That’s it!

If you have an L-shaped cut to make, simply turn the tile once you reach the end of one pencil mark, then cut along the remaining mark.

Finish up the job
You may have to gently put pressure on some of the newly cut travertine tiles, since not all of them will be cut all the way through. If the edges are sharp, a grinder or sander can help smooth them down.

Finally, wipe off the pencil marks. Now you can install these cut pieces in your design!

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