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kgstewar
09-04-2001, 08:57 AM
Hi all,

What is the best way for a DIYer to make a smooth cut in the floor tiles to fit around a shower drain? The tiles that I am using are 2"x2" with a matte finish, if that matters. I read about a "diamond cup" cutter in previous posts but the capital investment in that system is too high for what is likely a one-time job (famous last words...). Nippers? Carbide rod in my hack saw?

Thanks!

Kevin

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Harry
09-04-2001, 09:15 AM
Hi Kevin

Looks like I have the board to myself this morning, everyone else is at work while I'm home with a sprained back.
Or maybe it's just back-to-work pains after my brief vacation.

Anyway, what I usually do is lay out all my tiles except for the ones around the drain, come back and mark each tile allowing for enough clearance to pack grout and snip them with the snippers although some need a grinder or wetsaw (you can rent) to do a good job. I always take off the sharp edge with a stone before I set them in and just remember to freshen up the thinset before you set them. Basically, your cuts just need to be pleasing to the eye.

I just hope my brother knows how much this guilt is bothering me knowing he's working by himself today ...... ahhh, the smell of fresh coffee .... gotta go.

kgstewar
09-04-2001, 09:37 AM
Thanks for the info Harry and I hope your back gets better (although to your credit, you seem to be enjoying your day of infirmary!). Do you put grout between the tile and the drain rim? or caulk?


Kevin

Bud Cline
09-04-2001, 09:39 AM
The 2" X 2"s you are using are porcelain and a rod saw won't touch the stuff. Your right about the investment of the diamond cup, you don't need it.

Do as Harry says and knip the tiles, CAREFULLY. Those little guys are going to break in all directions and you will be totally frustrated by the time you get those few tiles to look the way you want them to.

Take your time, it will work out fine.

kgstewar
09-04-2001, 11:08 AM
Porcelain, eh? You're right, my rod saw did nothing except heat up when I tried to cut those tiles. I'll stick with the nippers and see what I can do. Do you score the surface before nipping? Or will my carbide scoring tool have as much an effect as my rod saw?

Kevin

John Bridge
09-04-2001, 04:23 PM
Kevin,

Just nip them. You'll break a few, but that's okay. It is how all the pros I've ever run into do it with mosaics. Just like Harry said -- set all the other tiles then finish up with the drain.

Bud, Harry,

Where do you get good biters these days? All the ones around here seem to be junk.

Rob Z
09-04-2001, 06:36 PM
Kevin

Nothing different than what the others said-nippers and belt sander. One thing to add is that I take a utility knife and cut the waxy stuff off of the underside of the tile prior to nipping. I've found that the fracture from the cut is more controlable without that stuff. With the goop on the tile, it seems to sometimes take the cracking action of the biters off in the direction of where the stuff is.

John

I'm pretty happy with the biters I have. Got them at Conestoga tile. One is Superior brand (I think), model number unkown. The other is by Crescent,model GT28C.

Let me know if you want me to get you one and ship it.

John Bridge
09-04-2001, 07:24 PM
Thanks, Rob. I think I've got the same thing, though.

"Controlable"?

Bud Cline
09-04-2001, 08:43 PM
I have two pair left and don't know the brands of either. One pair (the best ones) I've had for years the other pair will one day find themselves in a roadside ditch some where.

You guys wouldn't believe the tools I have at the bottom of Lewisville Lake in Denton County Texas. Boy does that feel good to sail trash tools into a bottomless murky pit.

Rob Z
09-05-2001, 05:03 AM
Are you questioning the spelling or the use of the word?

Controlable ....as in the fracture goes where you want it, instead of where you don't want it to go.

Don't tell me that I am the only one getting tiles with that good spread on the bottom of the sheets.

John Bridge
09-05-2001, 04:19 PM
Rob,

Don't know what my question was. I was either on Rolling Rock number 6 or 8. Can't remember that either.

Rob Z
09-05-2001, 05:09 PM
John

As a man who has drunk much of the water of Eastern PA via bottles of Rolling Rock, I understand completely.

Rob

MiltonMike
09-15-2007, 07:05 AM
Thanks for the info Harry and I hope your back gets better (although to your credit, you seem to be enjoying your day of infirmary!). Do you put grout between the tile and the drain rim? or caulk?


Kevin

I didn't see an answer to this. I think I've only seen grout at that border. Anyone leave enough space for a bead of silicone there?

Lazarus
09-15-2007, 09:00 AM
I've always used grout.....

As to the cutting, yep....what they said, although I often find it easier to lay the tile over the drain, use a compass and pencil a clean circle on the tiles. Use nippers to get a general cut and then dress it with a turbo blade and/or the wet saw. Smooth and stone the final cut with a whetstone.

MiltonMike
09-15-2007, 05:43 PM
Lazarus I've always used grout.....

As to the cutting, yep....what they said, although I often find it easier to lay the tile over the drain, use a compass and pencil a clean circle on the tiles. Use nippers to get a general cut and then dress it with a turbo blade and/or the wet saw. Smooth and stone the final cut with a whetstone.

Thanks for the answer. That's what I thought. I think showers looks great with just grout there.

As far as cutting an arc in tiles for a circular drain, I got lucky on the shower I'm working on. 2x2 tiles, and a 4" square drain top. It fits perfectly, so no cutting needed there. You'd think I'd planned it! :think: (nah. I bought the square one when they were out of the round ones I wanted so I could adjust the height of the drain if I floated the upper bed the wrong height.)