If you take an inventory of the space in your home, chances are you will find more tiles than any other type of flooring. They are easy to maintain, require little or no maintenance, and can be tailored to almost any aesthetic preference. Additionally, if you’re renovating a bathroom or kitchen, there may be certain measurements that make it impossible to use standard-sized tiles. In these situations, cutting tiles with a wet saw comes in handy. This post provides a quick guide about how to cut large tiles with a wet saw and its variants so that you can get started right away.
How To Cut Large Tiles With A Wet Saw?
Step 1: Mark the area where you’ll be cutting
To make sure that your cuts are perfectly straight, you’ll first want to mark the area. For large tiles, we recommend using a yardstick to mark the area of the tile that you’ll be cutting. Before you mark the tile, make sure you’ve already taken the time to figure out how many tiles you’ll need to cover your wall. You can use this tile calculator to help. For example, for a 12’ x 12’ tiled wall, you’ll need 108 tiles with 12” x 12” dimensions. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough tiles to account for any breaks or cuts in the pattern.
Step 2: Dry the area and lay down your protection
Once you’ve marked the area of the tile, you can dry the surface. Make sure that the area is completely dry because any moisture could cause your tile to break. If you’re installing your tiles in a bathroom, it may be best to wait until the tiles are completely dry before attempting to cut them. Once the surface is dry, you can begin placing protection on the surface. We recommend placing soft pieces of wood on the surface to help prevent any damage from the tile being cut.
Step 3: Turn on your wet saw and make your first cut
Once everything is dry and you’ve placed your protection, you can begin cutting the tile. Make sure that your tiles are secured to the table of the saw so that they don’t move around during the cutting process. For the first cut, you’ll want to make it as close to the edge of the tile as possible without going over. In other words, don’t cut the tile in two — leave enough room so that you can make a second cut.
Step 4: Flip your tile and make a second cut
Once you’ve made your first cut, you can flip the tile over and make a second cut that’s about ¼” away from the edge. You should have about ½” between the two cuts at this point. You’ll want to make sure that you’re cutting the tile in a way that will allow you to easily lay the tile down on the floor. You don’t want to be cutting tiles so close to the edge that it makes it difficult for you to place the tile on the floor.
Why You Should Cut Large Tiles With A Wet Saw?
It’s The Easiest Way To Make A Straight Cut
When you use a wet saw to cut tile, it’s “water on water” contact, so you can make a very straight cut. This is not the case when you break tiles. When you break tiles, there’s a lot of material that gets pushed. A wet saw cuts tile straight down and leaves very little material getting pushed. This means that you’re going to have a very straight line. That’s the first advantage of cutting large tiles with a wet saw. You can use a tile nipper to break up tiles. A nipper is a tool that looks similar to scissors but it’s meant for tile. But even though you’re breaking the tile up, you’re still likely to end up with a straight edge. It just won’t be as straight as if you used a wet saw.
You Can Make Firmer Joints With Large Tiles
When you break tiles, you typically end up with a joint that is around 1/16th of an inch. You can do a better job of making a stronger joint when you cut large tiles. If you use a wet saw to cut a 12-inch tile, then you’re going to end up with a 6-inch joint. This is a lot firmer than a 1/16th-inch joint. Plus, you’re going to avoid a lot of the movement that you might get with a 1/16th-inch joint. This is important when you’re installing tile on a surface that has some bumps and imperfections in it. For example, if you’re installing tile on a concrete floor, concrete is going to have some bumps and if you use 1/16-inch joints, those bumps might push against the tile and cause the tile to shift. This can lead to an uneven tile job and a tripping hazard. The firmer joint produced by using a large tile means that you’re less likely to have that happen.
You Don’t Have To Waste As Many Tiles
When you cut tiles into smaller pieces, you’re inevitably going to have some waste. That’s just the nature of the beast. With a wet saw, you’re not going to have as much waste. The tiles are bigger, to begin with, so you’re not going to have to cut as many tiles as you would if you were breaking them into smaller pieces. This is important if you’re on a tight budget. Cutting tiles will likely cost more than breaking them up, but the cost of the tile might be higher than the cost of installing a wet saw. You might be able to save a little bit of money if you can get away with installing a wet saw instead of having to buy a tile cutter.
Tips For Using A Wet Saw
- Reading the manual: As with any power tool, the first step in learning to cut tiles with a wet saw is to read the manual that comes with the saw. The manual will provide detailed instructions on how to set up the saw for cutting tiles.
- Measurements: Before you start cutting, measure the tiles to make sure they are the right size. If the measurements of the tiles do not match the measurements of the table, you can adjust the table by loosening or tightening the table adjustment bolts.
- Hold the tile down: Once you have read the manual, set up the saw and get everything ready, hold the tile down with one hand and switch the machine on with the other hand.
- Move the saw slowly: When you start cutting, keep the saw moving slowly and apply just enough pressure to make a clean cut. If you apply too much pressure, the tile can break and you might end up cutting yourself.
Things To Know Before You Start Cutting Tiles
Tile thickness – There are two important factors to keep in mind before you start cutting tiles. The first is the thickness of the tile, and the second is the size of the tiles.
Tile thickness – The thickness of the tile will determine the type of wet saw you use, and the type of blade you need. Tiles are usually around 1/4 inch thick, but some tiles are thinner or thicker.
Tile size – Before you start cutting tiles, make sure you know their size in inches. You will also need to know how many tiles you need to cover the area.
Cutting direction – Before you start cutting tiles, also make sure you know the direction they are supposed to be laid. In most cases, you will need to cut the tiles in two directions because they will not fit in the space otherwise.
Important Factors to Consider
- Tile type – The size of the tiles and the thickness of the tiles are important factors to consider when cutting tiles. You will need to keep those things in mind while cutting tiles.
- Working space – The type of tile you are cutting will determine the working space you need. Make sure you have enough room to move the saw around and avoid cutting tiles in a cramped area.
- The wrong blade – Using the wrong blade might not just damage the tile, it can also damage the saw. Make sure you use the right blade for the job.
- The wrong tile – If you are cutting a tile that is not the same type as the tiles you are installing, make sure you mark the tiles with masking tape so that you know which ones need to be cut.
A wet saw is the best tool for cutting tiles. Make sure you know the thickness of the tiles and the size so that you can set up the saw properly. Cutting tiles can be messy and dangerous. Follow safety precautions, use the right blade, and get the right measurements so that you can make a clean cut every time.