When someone talks about a tile saw, they are generally referring to a wet tile saw, hand held saw, or tile grinder. Which type of saw is the right one for you depends on the job you are doing. A wet tile saw is widely considered to be the best one for cutting tile.
According to www.tileguidehome.com/the-tile-saw-a-quick-start-guide, the water serves a few purposes in these saws:
- It cools down the blade so that the friction caused between it and the tile does not damage either.
- It is a lubricant between the tiles and blade so that the blade can cut through easier and with less chance of cracking the tile due to heat.
- It keeps the amount of dust and debris created by the cutting process.
Types of Wet Tile Saws
There are two types of wet tile saws. The first has a water reservoir attached that circulates the water. It filters the water before re-using it.
This gives you more portability because you do not have to attach it to a faucet. The other, more common kind is pump-less. They have to be hooked up to a faucet. The plus side of this is you get a constant stream of fresh water.
Almost anyone can use a wet tile saw to do projects for their home. With just a few tips on safety and proper use, you can be an expert.
7 Tile Tips You Should Know
1. Have a bucket for waste water that drains from the saw
Using a wet tile saw can be messy work, and excess water all over the place can become an electrocution hazard. Make sure you know where your saw is draining and have a container to collect it all.
2. Make a drip loop in your saw’s electrical cord
This is another tip designed to keep you safe. Basically, you want one part of the cord to be lower than both your saw and the electrical outlet. This ensures that water cannot run down the cord and into the outlet.
3. Be sure the water is flowing freely
If not, the tile debris could stick to the blade, causing it to break. Dust could go flying. If the water isn’t moving around the blade, do not start cutting. If the water is not flowing freely, check for a leak or plug somewhere in the hose.
4. Masking tape
Making Tape is a great tool to help you plan your cut and also can help prevent chipping if you are working with porcelain tiles.
5. Lay your tile with the correct side up
If the blade lowers down to cut, lay your tile face up. If it is within a platform that cuts from underneath, lay your tile face down.
6. Turn on the saw the proper way
- Clean and DRY hands
- Be aware of where your other hand is resting.
- Be sure the blade can spin freely and isn’t resting against anything.
- Having your waste bucket in place and ready to catch excess water.
- Having a drip loop in place.
7. Making diagonal cuts is a good way to make diamond patterns in your tile
To do this, www.homedepot.com/c/how_to_cut_tile recommends setting your miter guide to the angle that best fits the layout line.
They also say to go slowly, especially when you near the end of your cut. This is where the most breakage occurs. Going slowly is a good idea no matter what type of cut you are making.
Signs You Are Doing it Right
If the process is going well, you will notice the following things:
- The blade is rotating at its full speed.
- The tile is sliding smoothly towards the blade.
- The water flow is consistent and soaking the blade.
- The particles and debris are kept to a minimum.
At the end of the day, a wet tile saw is going to get almost any job done. They can cut bevels, small shapes, odd angles, L cuts, diagonally, and around outlets.
It is the easiest tile saw to learn how to use. You can cut just about any tile with the same blade. It will result in fewer chipped or broken tiles, less dust, and cleaner cuts.
While the idea of using electricity and water so close together can be a little scary, with proper precautions it can be done safely. Follow the tips above and be sure to where your safety goggles when using any power tool!