Or porcelain tile. I'm about to tile my tiny little bathroom. I was
thinking about getting a cheapo tub saw to cut the tiles, but how about
just cutting them freehand with a "turbo" (wet or dry) 4" diamond blade
mounted on an angle grinder? Would this work better and faster than
cutting the tiles with a scribe and a nibbler? (the porcelain floor
tiles may be too thick to cut with a nibbler)
Is there a way to spray the cut with water to keep dust down if I only
have 2 hands? Seems like it would take 3...
Might work, but would make tons of dust, unless you kept it sufficently wet.
The "cheapo tub saw"'s work prety good. I bought one at Harbor Freight a
few years back, and 4 major tile jobs later it's still going strong, on the
original blade. I paid something like $55 for it... The ones sold at the
BORG are similar, but more expensive. (These are the type that look like
table saws, and use a "splash" mechanism to move the water. That's the
biggest drawback-- the splash not only gets the tile and blade wet, but you
and the surrounding area too). The pro saws that look like radial arm saws
work better in this regard, since they use a mechanical pump to wet only the
tile and blade, but also cost much more)
Sure, get a helper <grin>. Seriously, I used a circ saw and a concrete
blade to cut some patio pavers in half last summer. I had LOML stand by
with a spray bottle full of water. It helped keep the dust down and the
I think the problem with any freehand method, which is what it sounds
like you're suggesting, is that it's easy to bind the blade in the cut,
which will stress and likely fracture the tile in a way you'd rather it
It *might* work if you could somehow strap the grinder down to make a
stationary saw setup. Now all you've got to figure out is how to spray
water on the cut without shorting out the grinder.
Probably easier just to rent a tile saw.
Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo. The German Wehrmacht won World War
II. The United States won in Vietnam, and the Soviets in Afghanistan.
I have used one for many years for small jobs that I don't want to bother
with the wet saw. If I can I use it outside. Just be sure to use safety
glasses. If I can I clamp the grinder to a railing or something so both of
my hands are free. I bought 2 blades figuring I would have an extra for when
one wears them out. Been about 20 years now and I stll have not opened the
other blade. Tried masonary blades once when I didn't have the diamond one
with me. Then it gets real dusty. I also have a diamond blade for my chop
saw which I got one day when I was too far away to go back home for the
grinder. It works well that way also as long as it's outside if it's
I recently retiled 18 sq. ft. toilet room. The score-and-snap tool
worked OK unless the line was near the edge. I took my 5" angle
grinder outside with a diamond blade and took my time. It worked great
and the dust was directed downward. The tile were very large.
I've cut them dry with my angle grinder and diamond blade many times.
Do it outside. For most cuts, I used the score and snap cutter with
excellent results. Only the notch cuts (around outlets, etc) and small
pieces did I need the diamond blade.
I just did my master shower and floor. Guest bath floor i did i just
used my angle grinder with diamond blade. pita and LOUD! This time
though before i rented a good one i said what the heck and tried the el
cheapo $88 wet table tile saw at depot or lowes..it comes with diamond
I wouldn't want to do more than a few large tiles or a large room with
it but for 88 bucks it beat the heck out of the angle grinder anyday,
was alot quieter and cut much faster than trying to do dry! Major
thing i noticed is if you have a large tile over say 6 to 8 inches you
cant cut it in a single pass, the blade drift is too much and the gaurd
deflect also, so you have to do 1/2 pass each side. But for a small
job...it wasn't too bad at all.
I second this saw. I bought it for $69 2 years ago, and used when I
finished my 1500 ft basement floor. I must cut a few hundreds of the 12"
floor tiles a a couple of hundred of 6" wall tiles for the basement bath
and kitchen. I even used it cut over 10 pieces of granite tiles for the
basement kitchen - particularly the cutout along the sink opening.
The saw (and the original blade) worked fine for all those cuts. A
friend borrowed to do his kitchen floor (200+ ft), and currently in
another friend home (for finishing basement floor and bath). Hope it
will still works when it comes back.
I use a 4.5" diamond blade & angle grinder freehand for trimming porcelain
and ceramic tile often.
That said, you wont get a really smooth cut. If you can keep all the
"hand-cut" edges on the outer edge where the 'backsplash" tiles will cover
the cut edge, that should work. A tiny little bathroom should only take one
day to do so why not go to Home Depot and rent a wetsaw for a day.
Not a good idea to be spraying water on your electrical power tools while
using them, even if you're an octopus.
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