Tile Saw for Ceramic, Stone, and Glass Tile

Wednesday May 20, 2009
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In most cases, a tile saw is the best choice when cutting any type of tile, whether it is ceramic, porcelain, glass, or stone tile such as marble or granite. In this blog, we will go over why a tile saw should be used and different situations that require special types of tile saws.

When it comes to installing tile, you will most likely need to cut several of your tiles to fit around appliances, cupboards, pipes, and other obstructions that may need to be tiled around. It addition, it is common for a row of tiles to be cut around the perimeter of the room to allow for a perfect fit.

When installing any kind of tile, clean cuts are important, especially if the grout color differs greatly from the tile color, as you will see every crooked line and every jagged cut. Often times, for porcelain and ceramic tile, installers use both a high quality score and snap manual hand cutter for straight cuts and use a tile saw for the more complex cuts such as “L” cuts or “U” cuts. However, for natural stone and glass tiles, a tile saw is mandatory for all cuts.

Most tile saws are made with diamond imbedded blades. Some situations, such as cutting glass, marble, and granite tiles require a special wet tile saw with a diamond tipped blade. With a wet tile saw, the diamond blade is cooled with water as it is in use, which helps to prolong the life of the blade and to make cleaner, dust–free cuts. There are also dry tile blades that do not require the use of water. However, these dry blades create a large cloud of dust.

Tile saws can be handheld or table saws. Handhelds generally use a dry blade and table saws generally use a water blade. Table saws come in all different sizes to accommodate larger or smaller tiles. There are three main types of table saws. The most common features a movable tray that pushes the tile into the blade. Another type allows the tile to remain stationary while the blade moves along a track to cut the tile. Finally, there is a tile band saw, which features a thin, strand–like blade that allows organic or curvy shapes to be cut.

For more help using a tile saw for ceramic, stone, or glass tile installations, be sure to visit our FAF Floor Forums where we have tile and stone experts standing by to help.

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