Maybe you have envisioned your living room beautified with exclusive luxury porcelain tile. Perhaps you have thought of doing the project all by yourself. Are you confused about how to cut porcelain tiles without breaking them or how to cut porcelain tiles at all?
We have your back. Read the article as it may give you all the answers. This article tried to explain how to cut tile with a wet saw without chipping simply. So, that you can do the tile cutting all by yourself without worrying too much.
- 1 What Is A Wet Tile Saw?
- 2 Why and What Types of Tiles are Chipping?
- 3 How to Cut Tile With a Wet Saw Without Chipping, Some Tips For You
- 4 Final Word
What Is A Wet Tile Saw?
Before knowing how to cut tile with a wet saw, you may want to know what is a wet tile saw. It looks similar to an electric table saw but with some extra features. It is used to cut different types of tiles. You may think, why use a wet saw to cut tile? Because it has a diamond-encrusted blade, unlike the traditional circular blades, which easily cuts through tiles. There is much differentiation in the models. You can choose the best wet tile saw from the market or different online platforms according to your need.
You may also be thinking, can you cut ceramic tile with a wet saw? The answer is yes! It can also prevent marble tile chipping when cutting.
Why and What Types of Tiles are Chipping?
Usually, ceramic tiles chip very easily. However, tile chipping and resistance depend on a PEI rating. This PEI tells how resistant the glazed surface is. The higher the PEI rating, the better the quality.
For example, a tile with a PEI rating of 1 will break very easily. On the other hand, a tile with a PEI rating of 2 will be more resistant to scratching and chipping. There is also 4 and 5 grade PEI available, which can be used in heavy commercial applications like households or malls.
There is a chance of tile chipping if any heavy object falls on the floor. The heavier, harder, sharper the object, the more impact it will have on the tiles.
Walking on the tile with a stone trapped in your shoe soles, chip the tile. Even stiletto heels can leave a significant chip on the tile. Dragging heavy furniture and chairs with steel legs can also be the cause of tiles chipping.
How to Cut Tile With a Wet Saw Without Chipping, Some Tips For You
For cutting tiles, taking some steps may make your job easy and safe. Here are some tips for cutting tiles with a wet saw without chipping.
Tools You Need
Before cutting a tile, the first thing that may come to your mind is what types of tools you will need. To be very honest, you would not need many tools to cut a tile other than a wet saw. Other things you will need:
- Diamond Blade
- Wet tile saw
- Thick Work Gloves
- Eye and hearing Protection
- GFCI extension cord (if needed)
- Plastic bucket
Preparing the Work Area
Preparing the work area before cutting a tile with a wet saw is crucial as it is bound to get messy. If you don't want tile chips at the end of a cut, you need to follow some steps. Choose such a place where water spray and dust will not be a problem, like a garage or a backyard.
If you have to work indoors for any reason, you should cover the floor with a large plastic cover to protect the floor from water spray and dust.
Make sure the wet saw is placed in a stable and sturdy place. Many prefer to place the wet saw on the ground or on a concrete slab. A picnic table works fine too.
If you are working with a wet saw, make sure you have access to a water source.
Prepare the Saw
Before using a wet tile saw there are some preparation helps you to complete your job easily.
Position the Saw
For getting the best use out of the wet tile, it should be appropriately positioned. As we mentioned earlier, you have to set the saw in a stable and sturdy place for the best functionality.
If you already have a set work table, ensure it is clean and stable to prevent inaccurate cuts and chips. Firstly facing the glazed side of the tile towards the blade. If the saw comes from underneath, you need to place the tile accordingly.
Fill the Water Reservoir With Water
All wet tile saw requires a supply of clean water mounted under the cutting area.
You must fill up the water reservoir before starting to work. There is no point in cutting a tile dry as you are using a wet tile. You may use a pitcher to fill it. Make sure the pipe is completely submerged with water.
Check Blade And Switches
Before getting your hands on to work, make sure your wet tile saw has proper blades. Without having suitable blades, they can make uneven cuts or even chip the tile.
You may notice certain differences if your blade has become dull. It may have unusual vibrations and unusual thumping notices. You may see the steel core of the blade as it has worn out, obvious signs of damage, etc.
Make sure the buttons on the machine work well, too, unless you want to experience an electric shock!
Prepare to Cut
Before starting to cut, use a pencil or fine marker to make lines on the tiles. This will give you precision in cutting. If you want to cut the tile at a certain angle, adjust the miter gauge accordingly.
For cutting the tile, you have to place the tile before the blade and pressure it against the fence or miter gauge. Most importantly, you have to position the tile so that it aligns with the blade.
Make Shallow Cut
You need to adjust the saw to cut in 1/8 inch of depth and not completely through the tile. The blade should not cut through the full tile.
Carefully place the tile on the platform. If the blade is facing upward, the glazed side of the tile should also be facing up and vise versa.
While engaging the blade, push the tile against the blade to make a shallow cut throughout the tile. After shallow cutting, you may now cut the whole tile by restaging the blade.
Notching the Tile's End
Set the saw blade at a depth that will finally cut all the way through. Firstly place the tile on the platform, making sure one end of the pencil mark is on the edge that you made earlier. Don't immediately cut the tile with the blade. As you have already shallow cut the tile, this time, place one end of the cut face the blade. Now you can turn on the saw and proceed to cut the tile slowly.
Push the tile 1 or 2 inches towards the blade and back the tile out. The depth of the cut will depend on the size of the tile. Always turn off the wet saw when you are not working.
If you are cutting a small tile, cut 1 inch from the edge. Cut 2 inches from the edge of the tile is 12 inches or wider.
After taking the tile back, rotate and proceed to cut again. Engage the blade in cutting across the pencil line.
Some Tips May Helpful for you
We have thought of some additional tips that might help you discover how to cut tile with a wet saw without chipping. The points are described below:
- Ensure you have set the depth of the cut on the right setting.
- The blade must be sharp enough to cut tiles. Otherwise, it may result in unnecessary chipping.
- If you are using a pencil to make a mark, make it visible and clear. You can use a charcoal pencil or a wax pencil.
- You may use a leveler to line up the pencil mark perfectly.
- The saw and other tools should be properly lubricated.
- Chipping can be reduced by using masking tape. Use it on the top side of the tile.
If you are confused about anything, find the user manual and give it a read.
Even after following all the steps, if the blade starts acting up, stop right away. Don't continue cutting and take help from the experts. You may take some information about preventing jagged edges when cutting tiles if you face any such problems.
As you can already guess, it's a powerful tool, and you must ensure safety. Without proper handling, any power tool can get dangerous. Some of the safety measures that you might consider are given below;
- Wear thick gloves, goggles, and ear protective gears.
- Do not stand on a slippery surface.
- Stand in a safe place and maintain a safe distance from the machine.
- Wear a safety mask to prevent unwanted dust, which can cause you breathing problems.
As the name explains, the machine requires water to function. You need to be very careful and make sure the electric wiring doesn't contact the water. By the end of the article, we hope we helped you a bit about understanding how to cut tile with a wet saw without chipping.