Not sure I have enough info to answer. Not sure I would do business with
Home Depoe. Tile store may be better. I helped one lady tile a kitchen.
Every night she would lay a few tiles and mark all her cuts. Then she would
take them to the tile store and have them do the cuts. One time she came
back pissed because a lady helped her and charged for the cuts. A manual
cutter is good. It allows you to make the cuts on the spot without getting
up and traveling to the saw. However a manual cutter cannot make all the
cuts so a saw will still be needed. A cheap table saw type works well for
tile. However messy to operate because it sprays water on the user. Bigger
saws work well, the operator stays dry and they can be used for other jobs
as well. These are much more expensive then the costs you quoted. However
if you buy a good saw generally it is easy to sell after you finish.
Second that. There are electric tile saws on Ebay, some new, for as little
You could buy a sooper-dooper (used) tile saw for, say, $150, do the work
efficiently, and sell the saw when you're done.
A tile cutter rents for a few $ per day. A tile saw rents for about $40 a
day here at a tool rental center. You may want to call around in your area.
Finding one in stock on the day you really need it can be a problem. My
extended family and I have made great use of the one I bought at Harbor
Freight about 10 years ago. Our accumulated cost is a few $ per day.
For a one time job where you may never use it again. The per day rental
sounds like a better plan.
At $40/hr, I doubt you'll even get it home, use it and get it back to
the rental shop in less than $100 worth of time.
At $40/day...Loews website shows a 4" for $58 and a 7" for $88. Are
you sure you'll get the job done and have the saw back the same day?
If not, you can buy one for less than a 2 day rental and not be under
any pressure to get the job done quickly.
If this is your first tiling job, or at least the first one where you
need a saw, do you really want to be rushed?
Yeah you might be right, but I don't have a lot of tile to cut, maybe
12-15 cuts and all but one are straight cuts. Another thought I had
was to mark it, take it to a tile store and have them cut them for me
- but the couple I called around to said they don't do it or told me
I'd have to leave them with them and they'd do it "when they get to
it". Maybe that's the best solution since I really don't have any
other rooms in the house that will require tiling. Both bathrooms have
tile that's in good shape and the rest of the house is wood floors. I
guess I could tile the cement basement but I worry about the
occasional flood compromising the thinset of the tiles - I guess I
could get the thinset they use for pools though - is there a different
kind of mortar for pool tiles?
Do you have a small angle grinder? If your cuts aren't critical (covered by
an escutchen plate or something), you could use a diamond wheel on your
angle grinder. I think I paid less than $20 for mine. It worked great for
notching out curves around pipes, as well as cutting a hole through the
center of the tile for a shower faucet (four plunge cuts from the back side
for a 1" square hole in front).
It would probably be too imprecise for visible cut lines though.
For rough notching the corner of a tile, a standard grinding wheel would
probably be adequate too.
If the basement concrete is cleaned of dirt that could weaken the bond,
water shouldn't be a problem once the thinset hardens. Afterall, thinset is
used with shower floors all the time without problems. Wet the wall down
before you apply the thinset, and use a latex modified thinset for better
I bought a cheap little wet saw from Lowes for about $75 (4+ years ago).
It took us several days to layout and cut the tiles for our various rooms,
so renting would have cost a lot more.
I expected the little saw to break down the first time I used it, but we
tiled our laundry, bathroom, and lots of tile in our master bath. I've also
used it twice for cutting concrete pavers for an outdoor walkway. I have to
make two passes with the thick pavers and tap the final piece to break it
in half, but it works well.
They even supplied a spare blade with the cheap $75 wet saw. I have no
complaints. It was money well spent.
By the way, another poster is right, you do get very wet with these little
saws. Not so bad with tile when you can use the blade guard, but thicker
material means water and dust get sprayed all over the place. Set it up
outside where the overspray won't hurt anything. Mark all your tiles first,
then take them all out and do the cutting. If you don't mind getting wet
and dirty, it's a great solution. Remember your safety glasses. You'll need
My son bought one of the cheap wet saws
from HD, and while it's not a
great tool, it served its purpose quite
well. He has also lent it to a few people,
and it's still working well. I think it
was about $60. He sure got his money's
worth out of it as he did the tiling
project over many weeks.
I bought a 4" wet saw from Harbor Freight for about $40, and have been
very pleased with it -- I was quite surprised how nice it is.
Especially how easy it is to set the fence. I can look up the model
number if you're interested.
Two weeks ago I was helping someone lay ceramic tiles in a church
bathroom and they had a Tool Shop (I think that's Home Depot's cheap
house brand) 7" saw. That saw *looked* nicer than mine, but was a real
pain-in-the-ass to use. The rip fence was not self-aligning and was
hard to set up. Also, we had to remove the blade guard to get it to
work at all, and so you can imagine how much water and tile dust it
slung all over the operator and everything else.
Well, it does depend on what kind of tiles you're using. I bought the
$80 thing from Home Depot, and I have to say it worked quite well for
my basic 4" and 6" porcelain bathroom tiles. It also worked on some
13" floor tiles I trimmed for another job. It isn't quite as fast or
powerful as a serious $200 unit, but if you're not cutting 1/2" thick
travertine, it should be fine.
Then, you have another tool around in case someday you do another tile
I went as far as having one of those $100 wet saws in my shopping cart
at Lowe's, then happened to notice a sign by their cutting station
that said $ .25 / cut, or something like that. Didn't take much math
to decide to put the saw back on the shelf.
I do own a score and snap tool and snippers. For most jobs they do
90% of the cuts. Any odd ball cuts are carefully marked and taken to
lowe's. The job should be planned so that there aren't too many of
I've done a kitchen floor, backsplash and fireplace surround and spent
less than $10 letting someone else make clean and precise cuts in
minutes. I wouldn't mind owning my own wet saw, but practicality has
ruled it out so far.
Renting doesn't seem like a bad option for large jobs. You shouldn't
need it for more than one day. Just plan out all cuts ahead of time
and do it all at once.
Buy one. You'll never get the job done in an hour (no matter how
small). For an amateur (I'm an expert here ;-) even a day is no
time. Buy it and you won't worry about rushing things. You'll have
the saw for the next job. Trust me, once SWMBO sees the tile, there
will be the next job. ;-)
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