One of the most common and valuable home improvement projects is re-doing the flooring in a bathroom, kitchen, or common area of your house. Updating and replacing the flooring adds value to your home, and updates the look and feel of the space.
Aside from picking out the best grout for your walls and floors, if you're opting to add a tile floor, you'll need to learn how to use a tile saw to cut your tile. Using a tile saw is not rocket science, but it is important you know the steps to follow. This way, you will be able to make accurate, precise tile cuts, while also staying safe.
We've listed the steps for how to use a tile saw. In general, using a tile saw is not hard, but it takes a little time to get the hang of it.
Practice makes perfect, and make sure to have some extra tile on hand as you do the project.
Related: Need a quality corded drill for your projects? Check out our buying guide here.
You will need to make sure you have all the supplies ready before you begin the process of using a tile saw. Having everything ready can help you make sure there are no delays in your tile work.
Plus, most of these supplies will already be a part of your toolkit, so it will be easy to get them ready. You will need the following supplies when you use your tile saw:
Before you can begin to cut, you need to set up your tile saw. You will want to place it on a flat and level surface.
A high quality wet tile saw will have a series of hoses to connect to a water source. Your outdoor hose will work well. You also need a power source to operate the tile saw.
Here are a few safety considerations related to setup:
Spend a few minutes to ensure you have the right blade - your tile saw will also need to be equipped with a blade that is rated for ceramic tile cutting.
You don’t want to use a regular wood blade as this will damage your tile as you cut it. You would not be able to get a fine cut that is precise and smooth. A tile blade can provide this accuracy and should be used with your tile saw.
As you cut your tile, it will create somewhat of a messy situation to contend with. There will be dust from the cutting and also shards of tile that will chip off during the cutting process.
These tile shards can be dangerous, so it is best to wear safety glasses as you cut. This will protect your eyes from any stray tile chips that can kick back toward you.
You may have to work your tile around the toilet or vanity or even a pillar. In these instances, you need to measure the exact dimensions needed to make your tile piece fit properly.
Mark these measurements on the tile with your marking pencil. This will provide a guide for you to follow with the blade of the tile saw as you cut. It will also help you to get the exact cut you need. This ensures the tile fits properly without restriction.
Now that your tile is measured and marked, you are ready to start making some cuts. You will need to turn on both your tile saw and the water source. Here are the steps to follow for cutting tile with a saw:
Here is a recap of the steps for using your tile saw properly to cut tile:
To get the most precise cuts out of your tile saw, you need to let the saw blade do the work for you. Forcing or pushing your tile into the blade will crack and damage it unnecessarily.
Make sure you let the blade cut all the way through your tile piece and do not rush it at the end. This could produce a jagged edge if you are not careful.
After cutting a few tiles, you will notice the water collection bin has filled up and contains a lot of tile fragments. This can make it difficult to see as you hold the tile in the tile saw’s blade. You’ll want to empty the water frequently to keep it clean. This will also prevent tile splinters from getting in the way of the blade and hitting you as the saw cuts.
You will need to repeat the cutting process again, until you have cut all the tile you need to complete your tile work project.
Related: How to Cut Tile with a Wet Saw
A wet tile saw is the preferred tool to cut ceramic and porcelain tile with. The reason that you use water overtop of your saw blade is due to how hard tile is.
Tile is much harder than wood, which is what you would typically use a saw to cut. Because of how dense and hard tile is, the blade heats up rapidly when cutting.
The water keeps the saw blade from heating up too quickly and smoking while cutting. This keeps your blade from dulling as quickly, along with allowing the blade to cut more accurately.
You can also use a tile cutter to cut tile, also known as a snap cutter. However, that process is a lot more laborious, less accurate, and has an increased likelihood of breaking tile.
Some woodworkers will use their table saw to cut tile with. This isn't recommended, as a table saw doesn't have the benefit of water running over its blade. Even a really good table saw will break and chip more tile than a wet tile saw, along with wearing out your blade faster.
The same can be said by trying to use a miter saw to cut tile with. If you do opt for either of these options, make sure to use a diamond or carbide blade, and cut the tile at an angle.
If you have to make curved cuts in tile, a tile saw should not be used. Opt for a top notch angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut curves in tile.
When learning how to use a tile saw, slow and steady is the name of the game. When you are first starting, it is important you go slow so that you can maintain accurate cuts. These instructions will help you cut the tile you need to tile any room in your home. Using a tile saw is relatively easy if you keep these steps in mind to remain safe and create detailed tile work in your house.
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