Glass tile mosaics look great as a backsplash accent to a room or as the tiling for a bathroom. Although mosaic glass is generally durable, if it’s not cut correctly, it can crack or shatter before you get a chance to install it. You can nip the tiles with a nipper, score and snap thinner tiles, or use a wet saw to cut large pieces of tile.
Regardless of which method you use, you’ll need to learn the right techniques in order to cut your glass mosaic tiles correctly. Squeeze and break the glass tile according to your pre-drawn guidelines. Place the carbide wheels where the each guideline meets the edge of the glass tile. Squeeze the handles until the nippers cut through the tile and break the glass, keeping the nippers aligned with the marks you’ve drawn.
Readjust after each nip so you continue following the lines as you proceed. Use repeated, small clipping motions and take your time, collecting the nipped glass pieces as you cut them off. If the glass is stubborn, you may need to use two hands to cut through it. If this is the case, hold both of the handles with your dominant hand and wrap your non-dominant hand around it to add extra strength to your grip.
Smooth the edges with a rubbing stone and wipe away the marker. The nipped pieces of glass tile will be uneven, jagged, and rough so you’ll need to smooth the edges out with a rubbing stone. Hold the piece of glass tile in one hand and the stone in the other hand and run the stone over the edge of the glass to round and smooth the edges.
The edges of nipped tile can be extremely sharp, and if you plan to install them around places like shower drains or the edge of a wall, you need to smooth the edges out. Place the scoring wheel at the farthest end of your drawn-on guideline. To be better able to see and follow your guideline and to be able to apply even pressure, you need to start scoring at the far end of the tile.