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Porcelain Tile Cutting

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by dnichols822, Oct 18, 2008.

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  1. dnichols822

    dnichols822 New Member

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    Does anyone know if it is better to speed up my saw or slow it down to cut porcelain tile?

    Also, is it better if I lay my tile face down or face up when cutting to minimize chipping on the top?

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  2. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    slower is better . you can spray water on the blade when cutting
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    What sort of a saw are you talking about? Why can't you just use a score & snap tile cutter? Rick
  4. blel

    blel Feeling the Heat

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    I cut mine with a reg tile(wet) saw. Cut it face up. I got a tiny bit of chipping. The slower you make the cut, (feed, not rpm)the less chipping. If you cut face down I think you will get more chipping as the blade is moving away from the tile surface. Just be patient when cutting.
  5. Elfin

    Elfin New Member

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    Slow, baby slow! Keep your tile face up, and take it very slowly... when you get to the end of the cut, it's gonna want to crack, so be prepared for that. Porcelain likes to shatter. And don't try any intricate cut or very narrow/small pieces... porcelain does not do well with this.

    I assume you are using a wetsaw... you would not want to cut porcelain dry.
  6. Elfin

    Elfin New Member

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    Ha ha... this reminds me of a recent experience I had purchasing porcelain. The fancy sales lady (a designer type, not a tile setter type) told me that porcelain will EXPLODE if you don't cut it properly. :) Not quite, lady... but it is brittle and does crack easily.
  7. dnichols822

    dnichols822 New Member

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    I am using a wet saw and it hasn't cracked yet. Unfortunately I can't get a straight cut out of it. It is a QEP 60020 and it is poorly designed. It has two bolts to adjust and no matter what I do with them the saw just doesn't cut straight. I don't recommend anyone get this kind of saw if you are a fan of straight cuts.
  8. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Slow and steady wins the race...face up will keep any chipping on the bottom side and you won't scuff up the tiles.

    Odd that you can't get a straight cut though, doesn't your saw have a rip fence?
  9. dnichols822

    dnichols822 New Member

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    Well, my saw has two speeds...I don't think people really understood that. I can change where the belt is and it makes the rpms go up. I just am not sure if I should bump it up although the slow speed seems to cut the tile fine. Yeah, my saw has a fence, but it goes along a bar that can move about 2 inches from side to side on both the front of the saw and back. The bar moves like this so you can adjust the bar to make it a straight cut. I don't know why it wouldn't just have a straight cut, why would it have this option? It is a really bad design flaw that QEP came up with. It is impossible for me to get a straight cut.
  10. Elfin

    Elfin New Member

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    Yeah, those things can slip or bend or warp... sometimes the tile can bind... not always the most precise. Mine is quite a bear to get lined up on both ends and tends to slip, so I don't always use it.

    Since you're having so much trouble, you might just draw yourself a nice crisp cutting line with a grease pencil and cut your tile free of guides. If you get a clean start and don't force the blade, you can get a nice cut.
  11. KeithO

    KeithO Minister of Fire

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    I also had problems with cutting straight. It is possible that each side of the diamond wheel may not cut evenly. That way, as you proceed in the length direction, the blade "migrates" in the direction that cuts better. In my case it consistently cut more on the right than the left. If there is material to spare and the cut is critical (my grout lines were about 1/16") I cut about 1/4" away from the line and then did a second final cut on the line. Since the tile will tend to come off in chunks on the thin side of the cut, I had no problem making the second cut straight. And the cut edge can be dressed perfectly smooth using one side of the blade and the sharp edge can be chamfered too, smoothing the transition between tiles. It all just take a little time..

    The most difficult were the small triangles with 45 degree corners. The only way I found to cut the diagonal without breaking off the final corner is to cut inward on both corners about 1/2" then make the cut all the way through. That way, the tile is strong enough at the end of the cut that the corner does not chip away. I won't say how many times I tried and failed before this method occurred to me....
  12. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    If you don't have a good blade for cutting the porcelain it very hard to get a good cut The blade could be backwards
  13. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    If you try to push the tile to fast the blade will flex/bend and you wont get a straight cut. You want the blade spinning fast, you want to push the tile slow. You want alot of water on the tile. and you want to use a continuous rim porcelain tile blade. A ceramic blade will work but you are more likely to get chips and blade flex/ crooked cuts. Most tiles chip less cut face up.

    PS: Your still pushing to fast ;)
  14. nailbender

    nailbender New Member

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    I just got done cutting porcelain and every thing went great ... Just go slow and let the saw do the work!
  15. akhilljack

    akhilljack New Member

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    i used a tile saw i rented from home depot for about 35 bucks for 24 hours. push the tile through at a medium/slow pace face up and then slow down real slow right at the end so it doesnt break the corner off.
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