Which electric tile cutter

On Thu, 2 Oct 2008 16:55:27 +0100, Bertie Doe wrote:

180 x 3 cm? Sure it wasn't 18 x 30mm?

No I tiled first and then fitted the shower enclosure after tiling. I think that's pretty much standard.
I suggest you talk in a bit more detail to the sales people.
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180 x 3 cm is correct. The glass side panel and bi-fold door panel is 180cm tall. So you have one box section bracket for each panel. Each BSB is fixed to the wall with 4 rawl-plugged screws. Each glass panel has a 180cm box section, which slides into the box section mounted on the wall. You then screw the box sections together making a permanent shower enclosure. The other ends of the panels,have similar sections which are then screwed to each other.
I like the idea of tiling first, as you suggest, but my only concern is the possibility of tile movement in future, if the shower enclosure, suffered a severe jolt. I assume you need to make the holes in the tiles, large enough, to allow entry of a hammerdrill bit, so that I can rawlplug the breezeblock behind.
The old existing shower enclosure, is fixed to the wall and has then been tiled. I don't like this idea, as it means loads of extra tile cuts. BTW I may be wrong with the terminology with the use of box section, but if you imagine a 'U' shaped 180cm long section, which fixes the shower to the wall. Obviously the 'U' is squared at the bottom.
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On Thu, 2 Oct 2008 21:36:35 +0100, Bertie Doe wrote:

Ah, got you.

Yes that's exactly how I did it, and how the instructions for my shower enclosure said to do it. The whole job is finished off with a bead of clear silicone each side of the support channels. Never had any problems with tile movement.
I did make one mistake, however. The shower is on a plinth to allow for waste water outlet. It's a quadrant enclosure on a square plinth, and I used wall tiles to cover the plinth sides and bit of the top that projects beyond the enclosure, IYSWIM. The wall tiles were quite hard, so there wasn't a problem with durability, but they are quite smooth and glossy, and the step so formed is lethal as you step out with wet feet! I cured the problem by putting some of that non-slip drawer lining you tend to find in caravan stores on the step.
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"The Wanderer" wrote in message

Thanks, you've answered my next question, ref 'how do you seal, the gaps between tiles and channel, if the tiles are uneven' - I guess silicone is the only option. We would love a quadrant, being less claustrophobic than the 760 sq, but the space available limits us to a max of 800. The narrowest quads I've seen are 900mm.
Bertie
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Bertie Doe wrote:

Sigh!
There are two very different tools for two very different jobs.
Let one neighbour start, with a lot of straight-line cuts, and see how well the electric rotary cutter works. They *do* work, but a lot more slowly than score/snap devices, and are more flexible. For me, however, the *significant* speed (and cleanliness) behind a score/snap is worth the (small) cost of the additional device.
Suck-it-and-see, and write back with your findings.
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I absolutely agree. I have just been tiling my daughter's bathroom refit, and have taken my Screwfix (all metal) electric round to her house, to supplement the B&Q 15 quid score 'n' snap cutter that she bought for the job. 90% of the cuts are 'straight' and are done with the scorer. Even if the tile surface is textured, as long as it's not wildly so, the scorer still works just fine. The electric cutter is only used for those cuts that are not readily done with the scorer, such as comb-cut curves, removing squares from corners - which can be done by multiple scores and nibbling with pliers, but is actually done quicker by the electric - for cutting thin pieces which it is not possible to do with a scorer, and for taking off the odd 'blade width' to get a full sized tile into a tight gap. The only thing that I would warn about when using a score 'n' snap cutter, is not to try to use the single action snapper feature on tiles thicker than about 6mm, and larger than 150 x 150. You are better off with larger tiles to line up the score on a straight edge such as a piece of old laminate flooring, and then break either with pressure from the heel of the hand on the overhanging piece, whilst holding the other side firmly down with the other hand, or 'karate chopping' the overhanging side.
In my opinion, you need both tools to complement one another. If you try to do it all with the electric, you will be at it between you until Christmas, and then cleaning up after, until Easter ... Plus, you will be filling up the water hopper after every couple of cuts.
Just to throw an extra spanner in the works, four other very useful little tiling tools are a diamond chip encrusted wire bladed tile saw (looks a bit like a woodworking coping saw), a tile file, a grouting squeegee, and pin profiler if you need to cut a tile around any 'odd' shapes. If you pop into a Topps or Tiles R Us store, they carry all these items and they are quite reasonably priced. If you go in anyway, they would be happy to advise you what are the most suitable tools for your job. IME, there is usually at least one member of staff who knows what he is talking about.
As far as fixing your enclosure goes, yes, it should be after the tiling, but the tray should, of course, be fitted before tiling, so that the tiles 'overhang' the edge of the tray. This means that if you start the bottom row of tiles with a full tile immediately above the skirting, the chances are that you will then have several cut tiles above the tray, as the tray will most likely not be the same height as your skirting. As someone else commented, planning is absolutely key to doing a good job with tiling. IMO, there's no DIY job that looks worse than a half-arsed attempt at a large area tile ...
Arfa
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Your one must have a leak. Or more likely you're not setting the blade guard correctly so water is getting thrown everywhere.
As regards it taking *much* longer it depends. If you have several cuts the same to make not having to mark up every one reduces that difference. And when I used score and snap I often had to dress the cut edge where it could be touched - otherwise it would be too sharp. You get a perfect smooth cut with a power one.
To put it in a nutshell, a power one will do everything that a score and snap can do and more - but to a higher standard of cut. The *only* advantage score and snap has is speed - and that may not matter so much for DIY as the extra thinking time can be useful, as can the lower wastage.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

With ceramics I can't think of a situation where a cut edge would be exposed. It either goes into a corner, or behind tile trim or an electrical fitting. Now that Andy is no longer with us, I suppose I can mention tile trim....

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Even if it is next to a trim - like say at a window opening - you'd be advised to smooth a 'split' one with a stone etc to avoid cutting things when they're cleaned or touched. You don't have to do that if it's been sawn.
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wrote:

It doesn't have any leaks, Dave, but by the very nature of the way that the blade picks up water, and uses it to cool the cut, a considerable amount must be used - if only by being turned to slurry and left on the surface of the tile and the cutter bed. I was being pedantic for effect with demonstrating what I was saying, when I implied that you would be refilling the water hopper "every couple of cuts", but never-the-less, in reality, it will be often enough to be an irritation on the job, given that you will probably be using the thing outside. I'm sure that anyone who has ever used one will agree, that in general, they are messy, and overall, slow.
As far as getting a raggedy-arsed edge on a score and snapped tile, if your cutting wheel is in good condition, and you score just once, briskly, and with not more pressure than is *just* needed to score the glaze, in my experience, 99 times out of 100, you will get a perfect edge, no worse than you get from a diamond wet blade, especially if that wet blade is running short of water ... :-)
And as Stuart says, on a properly planned job, no cut edges should be exposed anyway. At the end of the day, I guess it will be down to the OP and his chums to work with what they feel comfortable with. Clearly, they are not experienced DIY tilers, so from that perspective, maybe the wet cutter is a bit more skill-less, and will suit them better, but for the sake of 15 quid and a fiver for a box of cheapo tiles to practice on, split between the three of them, I reckon it would be worth at least giving it a go the 'quick' way.
Arfa
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The only amount that is 'used' with a plasplugs is the amount left on the tile (or splashed around if the guard isn't set) since it has a drain channel all the way round the bed.

I might top up mine once a day. And if you know it's going to need topping up it's hardly an inconvenience to take a container of water with you?
I do like to use mine outside - simply for the better light especially when doing freehand cuts. But not because of any mess.

Most here rather like them. I can accept pros may prefer a snap type for speed. Especially if using fairly basic wall tiles. Harder ones are a different matter.

You should never let it run short of water as the blades are expensive. And do you *really* think what is a fracture is as clean as a cut with a diamond blade? If so, I've never achieved it - or indeed seen it.

There are occasions where it can't be avoided. Round a door, for example. Window. Etc etc.

Thing is that it takes a great deal of skill/experience to do tricky cuts without a wet tile cutter, which makes this child's play. And every job will have some of those.
But again it really does depend on the type of tiles. Perhaps I just have expensive tastes.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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"Dave Plowman (News)" wrote in message

My wife picked out some 10" x 8" x 7mm tiles this morning, for the bathroom (the kitchen tiles can wait a week or so). No decision yet from us, as to what tile cutter to use. I suspect the next few days will be spent doing some serious planning - lot of these old houses have a lot of exposed pipes in kitchen and bathroom. We seem reluctant to get both an electric TC and a score & snap. Off the top of your head, how long would it take to cut a 10" x 8" x 7mm tile .... lengthwise, with your ETC. Bertie
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On Sat, 4 Oct 2008 16:17:43 +0100, Bertie Doe wrote:

At a guess, 8 to 10 seconds with the plasplugs.
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"The Wanderer" < wrote in message

Thanks TW, I guess the speed of score & snap is not a real issue - compared with the time it takes to lay a row of tiles. We're leaning towards the ETC, simply on grounds of versatility. Bertie
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I'd guess at 30 sec or so - letting the blade do the work as you should. Worst case being porcelain. Softer tiles a bit quicker.
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*Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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"Arfa Daily" <> wrote in message

It was a collective decision to buy one gadget to do straight cuts, curved cuts around pipework and 'L' shaped tiles around hanging kitchen cabinets. There's also the possibility that someone might want to use it for floor tiles. I googled up Screwfix and their ETC's will handle 30mm thick tiles. Of course, there is always the option to go out and buy a Score & Snap, if we find that 30 seconds on the ETC, isn't fast enough.
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Then I hope that the jobs themselves are being individually, and not collectively, planned ...
You should also make sure that your chums do not think of this item as just a "gadget". It is a power tool which, like any power tool, is potentially dangerous, and needs treating with a deal of respect. Get some eye protection, at least.
Arfa
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"Arfa Daily" <wrote in message >

Thanks for the heads up Arfa, I had overlooked the tray tile overhang. As you say, planning is key. We are a week away from the project and this morning we went to a large discount warehouse and picked the shower unit, tray and wastewater bits. No free delivery, but I managed to rope down the tailgate.
I didn't realise the tray was so heavy. The illustrated instructions show how to build a box platform, to give access to plumbing. They suggest covering the platform with timber sheet (I have some 10mm marine-ply left from an old project). Cut a hole sufficient to allow the bottle/water trap, to mate with the hole in the tray. Then cover the ply with a layer of cement !!! Anyone know the reason for this? TIA. Bertie
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