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Wearing gloves and keeping hands clear of the blade, use a wet-cutting tile saw to cut straight lines into the curve (image 1). Continue with a series of straight cuts, and break off the unwanted section. Smooth the curve by steering the tile around the blade (image 2).
Mark the area of the tile that needs to be cut. Place the tile in an electric cutter. Wear gloves and keep your hands clear of the blade. Wear goggles. When the cut has reached the end of the first marked line, turn the tile around. Cut along the second guide line, to make the right angle.
Cutting Around Permanent Fixtures
There are three ways to cut around a door casing. If there is baseboard in the room, make a simple curved cut that follows the casing profile. When it is grouted, the inexact cut will be inconspicuous. If the baseboard is to be installed after tiling, there will be no grout gap to incorporate — in this instance, cut off the bottom section of the casing and slip the edge of the tile underneath. Or remove the casing, tile the floor area and then refit the casing over the cut edge.
Cutting holes for pipes can be done in the same way as for wall tiles. Some tiles will raise the floor level, so if you remove a fixture, check that the pipe will be the correct length to reconnect.
Grout the tiles once adhesive is dry. Mix the grout to a smooth, stiff paste. Apply with a grout spreader and remove excess with a damp sponge. Finish with a grout shaper (image 1). When grout is dry, use a mild detergent to clean off any powdery residue (image 2). Some natural tiles may then need sealing.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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