How To Cut Deck Tiles: 6 Things You Should Know

Installing deck tiles is a quick and easy way to turn an ugly outdoor space into a beautiful patio. You don’t need DIY experience or expensive tools, and the deck tiles can move with the seasons. However, you may find cutting your deck tiles is a daunting task.

You can cut deck tiles with a utility knife or saw to create bespoke shapes that fit your space. Wearing safety equipment and using the right tools will prevent any accidents. Thicker tile materials, such as rubber, may require extra preparation and specialist tools. 

Cutting deck tiles is easier than it looks. In this guide, I’ll explore four important things you should know to cut your tiles and keep yourself safe. 

How Do You Cut Composite Deck Tiles?

You cut composite deck tiles by cleaning them to remove any dirt or debris. Mark the area to be cut, and place the tile on a workbench or stable surface. Use a sharp wood saw to cut along the marked line. 

Once your composite deck tiles are clean and dry, you can start preparing them for cutting. If you don’t have a wood saw, you could also use a circular or miter saw. Motorized saws are the best tools for cutting composite deck tiles. However, make sure your saw is well-maintained and has sharp blades. Score the tile with a utility blade before cutting to make a quicker, cleaner cut. 

Cutting slowly will produce a better result with a clean edge. You can use a blade to clean up rough edges before laying the deck tiles. Make a precise, clean cut, and remove the blade with a gentle gesture. 

In addition to the tips above, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 

If you’re more of a visual learner, the YouTube video below provides a great explanation of how to cut composite deck tiles: 

How Do You Cut Plastic Deck Tiles?

You can cut plastic deck tiles with a utility knife or a sharp blade. Before cutting them, ensure they’re clean and use chalk to mark the area to be cut for accurate results. 

Chalk is perfect for marking plastic or PVC deck tiles because it’s easy to wash off when you’ve cut your tile, and it won’t leave any marks. Liquid chalk is more stable than regular chalk and won’t rub off while you cut the tile. 

It’s not advisable to use a circular saw or miter saw on plastic deck tiles. The fast blades can chew up the material and leave your deck tiles looking damaged, ragged, and uneven. 

A utility knife or sharp blade will provide a cleaner cut and more accuracy. 

Mark the tile on the underside if you need to use something more permanent. Use a ruler or tool to draw accurate lines that won’t be visible after the installation process. 

What To Know About Cutting Deck Tiles

Below are 4 essential things to know about cutting deck tiles: 

1. Use the Correct Safety Equipment

Using the correct safety equipment is vital and can protect you from injury. Small shards of plastic, wood, or rubber could fall into your eyes when cutting deck tiles, and wearing safety goggles or glasses will protect them from dust and debris while you saw or cut them. 

You can protect yourself and your surroundings by doing the following:

  • Clear the area – you only need your tools and deck tiles.
  • Always wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • Work on a firm, clean surface.
  • Check if any blades need replacing before you work. Dull blades can be unpredictable and could veer off-course. 

Cutting deck tiles with safety in mind will prevent injuries and unnecessary damage to your tiles and equipment. You may wish to use ear protection if you’re using a motorized saw. Long-sleeved clothing, respiratory protection, and gloves will reduce the risk of injury.  

2. Measure the Tiles and Tiling Area Before Cutting

If you’re eager to start tiling your deck, it may seem tempting to cut your deck tiles without measuring them first. The process will be quicker, but the result won’t look great. Measuring is essential if you want to avoid uneven, ill-fitting deck tiles. 

Use a tape measure to determine the size of the tile. You can keep a pen and paper close by to write down measurements. A cardboard template is also useful if you have to cut multiple tiles in the same shape. 

3. Rubber Deck Tiles Need More Preparation

Rubber deck tiles are thicker and more difficult to cut than plastic or wood and require additional preparation work. You can place rubber deck tiles in the sun to warm the material before cutting because this makes them softer and easier to cut. 

Use a blade to score the tile before you start cutting. Doing this will provide a guide and produce a cleaner cut. It’s better to cut with a utility knife or blade to prevent uneven edges or gaps in the tile. 

4. Always Cut Deck Tiles on a Board

Place your deck tile on a strong and stable material or surface to avoid damaging the floor. Using an even surface will ensure your markings are precise, and a strong surface is ideal if you use a utility knife to score and cut the deck tiles. 

If you’re cutting rubber or plastic deck tiles, place the tile on the edge of the surface and score along your marked line. The tile will open and fall over the table’s edge or surface, making it easier for you to cut.

A cutting table is useful if you use a motorized saw to cut your deck tiles because you can use the table’s edge or surface as a guide, keeping your line straight and clean. 

Check the direction of your tile before cutting to prevent damage to the deck tile. 

Avoid cutting the interlocking tabs on the back of your deck tiles.


When tiling your deck, you can customize the tiles using simple tools. Below are some key points to remember when cutting and customizing deck tiles: 

  • Safety first – always use protective clothing and eye protection.
  • Use the correct blade for the deck tile material.
  • Measure the area and tile before cutting to avoid mistakes.

It’s always a good idea to order extra tiles if you need to replace damaged deck tiles. Hire a professional if you feel unsure about cutting or installing your deck tiles. 

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