how to cut quarry tiles

How To Cut Quarry Tiles in 7 Easy Steps (DIY Guide)

Thanks to their non-slip qualities, quarry tiles are an excellent choice for high-traffic areas of your home. 

If you plan to cut quarry tiles yourself, this step-by-step guide will show you how to do so safely and efficiently. 

Tools & Materials

Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:


  • Tape Measure
  • Grease pencil 
  • Tile Cutting Board 
  • Wet tile saw/diamond wheel saw


  • PPE: Goggles/Gloves
  • Sheets to cover room if needed 

How To Cut Quarry Tiles — Step-By-Step Guide

stack of red quarry floor tiles

Step 1: Buy or Hire a Wet Saw

Wet tile saws cost approximately £800 to purchase or around £80 a day to hire. Note that prices vary depending on the size of the cutter. 

Step 2: Mark the Area to be Cut

Using your grease pencil (or a washable marker), mark the tile where you want to cut. Use a straightedge and a tape measure to ensure your lines are straight and accurate.

Step 3: Check the Water Levels of the Wet Saw

Ensure you fill up the saw to the correct water level. You can use tap water for this step. Note: Some models may use an open reservoir tray underneath the saw table. 

Step 4: Set the Guide Plate

Most wet saws feature guide plates you adjust depending on where you want to cut. 

The plate holds the tile still as you make your cut. Ensure your tile is fitted snugly against this guide plate. 

If the section of tile you’re removing is part of the vertical edge, place the tile horizontally or vice versa. 

Step 5: Turn on the Blade

Turn the saw on and let the blade run for around 20 seconds. This step allows it to reach full velocity. 

At this stage, ensure you’re wearing goggles to protect against injury. Otherwise, water may get into your eyes and affect your vision. 

Step 6: Slowly Feed the Tile into the Blade

Feed in the tiles delicately towards the blade. Allow the blade to cut the tile smoothly without forcing it. 

If you try and force it, you may crack the tile or, even worse, slip and cut your fingers.

Step 7: Turn off the Machine and Remove the Tile

Once you’ve turned off the saw, wait another 10 seconds for the blade to stop spinning. Failure to do this could lead to serious injury!

Remove the cut tile, wipe clean any remaining pencil marks, and you’re all set! 

Final Thoughts

Quarry tiles are popular and relatively easy to cut with the correct equipment. 

After reading my step-by-step guide, I hope you feel confident cutting quarry tiles at home safely and effectively. 

If you want to purchase a wet tile saw, check out our guide to the best electric tile cutters in the UK.


Below are answers to frequently asked questions about cutting quarry tiles.

What do you cut quarry tiles with?

There are three main options for cutting quarry tile: a hammer and scribe, a manual tile cutter, or, as we recommend in this guide, a wet saw/diamond cutter.

How do you cut terracotta tiles by hand?

To cut terracotta tiles by hand, use a 48 fine-tooth bladed hacksaw, go slowly and only use a small degree of pressure to prevent the tiles from breaking.

Can you cut tiles without a tile cutter?

Yes, you can cut tiles using a hammer and scribe. However, this method is more complex and is often less accurate.

How do you cut stone tile with a grinder?

Serrated blades are best suited for cutting stone tiles with a grinder. Fix the tile in place and mark the cut you wish to make. Gently increase pressure with the grinder and follow the marked line carefully to cut the tile.