Cutting Brick with a Tile Saw: A How-To Guide

cutting brick with tile saw

A tile saw is designed to cut tile precisely for smooth cuts and a professional look. Tile can be made of all types of natural stone or other materials, including slate, granite, and travertine. Brick contains limestone and other natural materials, so a tile saw is ideal for cutting it. Attempting to cut it with another type of saw will result in jagged cuts or the disintegration of the brick.

Cutting brick with a tile saw is useful for projects involving brick pavers, as well as those using individual bricks. These include places such as fireplace surrounds, outdoor fire pits, and retaining walls. 

Cutting brick with a tile saw is easy. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:

1. Measure and Mark the Brick

measure and mark brick before cutting with tile saw

Measure twice and cut once. It's a motto among tradesmen for a reason. You don't want to make a mistake with measuring and waste the entire brick. You'll end up wasting your time and wasting a lot of money in the process.

Measure the space you are fitting with the brick twice. Then, measure the brick twice. Make a mark on the brick, with a pencil or chalk, where you need to cut.

2. Cut the Brick

Tile saws spray a small stream of water over the blade to keep it cool and to control dust. Make sure the water is always spraying while you are cutting the brick.

Before you start cutting brick with tile saw, set the fence so the brick rests against it and the line you need to cut is right in front of the saw blade. Set the fence so the largest part of the brick faces away from the blade. Place your hand on that part of the brick to guide it through the cut.

Once the brick is in place, turn on the saw. Lower the blade slowly and begin to cut the brick. Do not push the brick through the cut. Instead, let the saw blade grab the material and pull the brick through on its own.

Slow and steady wins the race on this one - don't go too fast. 

3. Make Miter Cuts

cutting brick with tile saw

You may need to cut the brick at an angle, such as for corners on a fireplace surround or on a patio. Before you can do that, you will have to determine the proper angle for the cut. In most cases, the cut will be 45 degrees since it will take two angled bricks together to make a 45-degree standard corner.

To make the mitered cut, just turn the saw blade to the appropriate angle. Then line the brick up on the miter frame for cutting. You will make the cut the same way you would for a straight cut. Lower the arm slowly and let the saw guide the brick through the cut.

4. Choose the Right Saw

Many types of tile saws are available, and they aren't all appropriate for cutting brick. In most cases, you are going to need a 10-inch tile saw or larger for cutting standard brick. 

Seven-inch table saws are popular because they are affordable and easy to move. But, they will be too small to cut most brick. You can still use them, but it will require making two cuts to get all the way through the thickness of the brick. 

Some tile saws are designed so the blade runs through a small pool of water under the blade. However, these saws will kick the water and dust up in your face. You'll feel like you're getting showered with mud while you cut brick. 

Related: Cutting Glass Bottles with a Tile Saw: A How To Guide

Instead, look for a tile saw that runs the water over the blade from the top. The water should always be running while the blade is in use. If the water has stopped, turn off the saw. Always use safety goggles when operating a saw of any type.

Conclusion

You don't have to buy a tile saw for your brick project unless you think you will have regular use for it. If you are going to perform a major home renovation, for example, buying a tile saw might be worth it. But if you are only working on one project, the expense is not necessary.

Instead, you can rent a tile saw from your local home improvement store. Typically, you can rent one for about $50 a day. You'll save a couple hundred dollars and get professional results for your DIY project.

A tile saw is a great tool for cutting brick, as it allows for precise cuts and smooth results. Find the right tile saw for your project and use it properly and safely. Whether you are building an interior wall or creating an outdoor fireplace, a tile saw is ideal for your project.

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