Most homeowners prefer porcelain tiles for their homes. They amp up the look of kitchens and bathrooms beautifully and lend a classy look. So if you are someone who is thinking of using porcelain tiles in your home, you should know how to cut tiles with the right saw.
Any tile, whether made of ceramic or porcelain is hard. The most essential tool that you would need for cutting tiles is a diamond blade wet saw. But while cutting tiles with a saw, you might chip their surface. And this most often happens with porcelain tiles.
Which is the best tool for cutting porcelain and glass tiles?
As you have already read above, a wet saw is the most suitable tool for cutting tiles. Do not hesitate to invest in a wet saw if you have to cut a lot of tiles as it is a very useful tool. You can use it to cut not only porcelain tiles but other materials as well. A wet saw has some unique features which make it more favorable than other tile-cutting tools.
Even if you are a beginner, if you use a wet saw for your DIY project, you will be able to cut tiles without chipping. Or at least very minimal chipping, and you will leave the tiles with straight and smooth edges. In fact, the top strength of a wet saw is the ability it will give you to make uniform cuts.
As you cut tiles, you will be extremely satisfied with how precisely you have been able to cut them. And you must cut tiles uniformly, otherwise, the tiles will not look neatly fitted after you install them. So the best answer to ‘How to cut tiles without chipping?’ is to buy a wet saw for yourself and work with it.
Different tools you can use to cut tiles
Though a wet saw is an excellent tool, purchasing one can be expensive. Thankfully, other tools work as well as a wet saw while cutting tiles without chipping.
- Wet saw
A wet saw is manufactured for cutting tiles, and it comes with either a carbon blade or a diamond blade. Though tabletop wet saws are available too, we would recommend you to buy a handheld wet saw. If you need to cut an installed tile, this saw will be of immense help. Both handheld and table wet saws have plastic tubes which help in continuously providing water to the blade. This helps the dust from flying. The only two things that can be slightly disadvantageous are that you have to be at least a little skilled in cutting tiles, and the price of a wet saw is usually high.
- Glass cutter
If you do not need to cut many tiles, a glass cutter should be enough for you. Also, this is the cheapest of all tools which you can use for cutting tiles. Although, the downside is hobbyists are going to find it hard to get straight cuts while using a glass cutter.
- Manual snap cutter
Again, when you have to cut a few tiles, you can avoid investing in expensive tools. Then your first choice should in fact be a manual snap cutter. In addition to being inexpensive, you can use this tool without having experience. But you can use a manual snap cutter for getting straight cuts only.
- Angle grinder
If you already have an angle grinder, get a diamond blade for it, and you will be able to cut tiles with it. You can not only cut a tile that has been already installed but also cut shapes inside a tile.
The best way to cut porcelain and glass tiles without chipping
A wet saw is the best and most popular tool for cutting porcelain and glass tiles.
Cutting with a wet saw to prevent chipping
Now that we have the right tools, we can take a look at the steps on how to cut these tiles. Always wear proper protection such as gloves and goggles when you do this. Make sure that there are no objects hindering you. Newer saws have protection systems that make sure that you don’t cut your hands. Be careful at all times as tiles can break quite easily.
- First, load the reservoir with water.
- For a shallow cut, set the saw in a way that can cut 1/8th inch deep inside the tile. Don’t adjust it to completely cut through it.
- Now put the tile on the platform properly. Bring the upper part of the tile, i.e. the glazed part towards the blade. Now you have to choose the placements. For example, given the blade of your saw lowers, then keep the tile with its top facing up. And if your blade comes from beneath, you should place your tile face down.
- Next, turn on the saw and gently lock the saw blade and propel the file between the blade. This is done to get a laceration across the tile.
At this stage, restore the blade to cut the tile from end to end, or make a notch which will help in cutting the entire tile easily.
Steps of the Notching System
If you cut tiles, by nicking one end first, the tiles will have a lesser probability of chipping. Follow the steps below while notching:
- First, set your saw blade this time in a manner that will cut the tile through its full thickness.
- Second, mark two points at an equal distance where you want to notch the tile. This will help you to cut uniformly.
- Ensure that the notch marks are visible to you while you set up for the cut. And also that the tile is not touching the blade.
- Now turn the wet saw on.
- Push the tile towards the blade carefully, cutting only about an inch or two along the shallow cut that you have made earlier or into the notch mark.
- Now you have to flip the tile to cut the rest of the tile till the second notch mark.
- Finally, keep pushing the tile into the blade slowly, to cut the rest of the tile (or till making it back till the first cut)
- Turn your saw off.
If you are keen to know how to cut tiles without chipping, you must know the tricks which help professional tile installers. Yes, nothing like an adjustable blade on a wet saw. But if you know the tricks, you can also use your regular-depth saw to cut tiles with almost no chipping. Honestly, there is no fool-proof way to cut tiles without chipping. If you use a new blade while working, and cut slowly, you will reduce chipping to a very large extent. Always remember to wear protective gear for your eyes and ears, and wear gloves while cutting tiles.