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Old 01-01-2018, 08:09 PM   #1
Greg on the Lake
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Newbie cutting and installing 24" x 24" in a Diamond pattern

I'm having a bit of trouble getting a good cut on a 24" X 24" tile. Let me introduce myself as I'm new here. My name is Greg and we just bought a house with a large dining room floor (15' x 22') that we'd like to tile. The wife and I decided that we like a white porcelain tile 24" x 24" that has grey hints running through it. It kind of reminds me of marble.

Anyway, we started out by taking a lot of time to level the floor. It is a plywood subfloor on a raised foundation. We shimmed between the piers and the girders as best we could. The remainder was leveled out when we installed Hardibacker board.

We layed out a diamond pattern on the floor using the tiles and snapped chalk lines as guides. I plan on doing a 12" X 24" tile border around the outside and we're using 3/16" spacers.

Once the placement was worked out just so we started in the center laying out the tile. I used a 1/2" sqaure notched trowel and back buttered each tile before it was put into place. We also used a tile leveling system to get everything on the same plane. I forget the brand of the leveling system but it worked really nice!

So now that the square tiles are laid it's on to cutting the triangles that will be used on the outside edges. I bought a 24" tile saw that is not large enough to cut these tiles diagonally. I bought a 36" QEP tile cutter that should allow these cuts but I've tried cutting 5 tiles so far and every one the end of the tile, the sharp corner breaks off.

I watched many videos that make it looks easy but they use a different cutter. I'm thinking that I need a cutter that applys the tile snapping pressure to the center of the tile and not the edge. It seems like the tiles corner snaps off right where the pressure pads land. I can't move the pressure points to the center of the tile because the cutting wheel gets in the way.

So, does anyone have any ideas on how I can do this successfully?
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:50 PM   #2
rmckee84
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Odds are your QEP snap cutter just isnt quite up to par to do the cuts.
Most cutters apply pressure to the very end of the tile while snapping. One thing you could try that I have never done but lots of guys tell me, score the tile then try and snap it over your leg. Obviously make sure and where jeans or similar. Like I said, I've never done it this way but I know others have.
You could also use some foam and try and make an extension for your wet saw to be able to cut on there
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:05 PM   #3
Davy
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You may have to try several techniques and find what works best. Instead of using the handle to apply pressure, leave the tile in the cutter and apply equal pressure by hand on each side. Or, after scoring the tile, lay a towel on the floor and lay the tile on it, then slide a dowel stick or any stick about 1/4 inch thick directly under the score line from end to end and apply pressure on each side.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
Greg on the Lake
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I've been doing quite a bit of testing and have found out a few things.

1. The tiles are inconsistant in the hardness, and perhaps the quality. I've gotten many of them to snap right where I want and a few more that just snapped anywhere. I can feel the difference in the pressure it takes to get them to snap. Some snap beautifully right on the line with a medium pressure. Some snap nicely on the line with extreme pressure. Others snap willy nilly with extreme pressure.

2. The cutter I've bought is NOT the best. It flexes enough under pressure that it actually makes the raised snapping rib slightly flex down. I have corrected this by using the cutter on a hard FLAT floor and my wife helps by placing her body weight on her foot on one end of the cutter while I lean down on the other end to cut. I've also noticed that the scribing wheel is just slightly off center of the raised rib.

3. The cutter I have has the cutting wheel placed a little too close to the pressure pads. When I go to do a cut the cutting wheel presses into the tile and the tile snaps randomly outward from the wheel. I've been somewhat successful by placing 1/2" thick spacers between the pressure pads and the tile when snapping so that the wheel is raised off of the tile. This is the only way I've had successful cuts.

Overall I've had a 65%-75% success rate in getting my required cuts. It's bad enough that we are going to have to buy two more cases of tile to get the job done. Whatever it takes to get this job done I say!

I'd say that saving money by buying a cheaper cutter is going to save me some money even though I have to buy more tile. This is a one time job and it does work so I'll sell it after I'm done. It's turning out really nice. I'll try to post pics when I'm done. Thank you all for the help!
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:13 AM   #5
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Be sure to check the lot # of the new tile Greg, you really want it to be the same as the tile you've already installed.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:19 AM   #6
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Yep, what Dan said. And don't wait 6 months to go buy it. I'd get it soon.

The only job of the wheel is to score the tile. The wheel shouldn't touch the tile when trying to get it to snap. Also, make sure you get a good score with even pressure all the way thru. Keep the wheel oiled along with the slide bars and wipe off excess oil with a clean rag.

If you can post a pic of your cutter, we might can give you more pointers.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:53 PM   #7
Greg on the Lake
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We bought 2 cases of new tile today. Not sure about the lot # but having success cutting the remainder of the triangles with only 2 broken tiles, the new tile matches perfectly. We laid out the remainder of those tiles and will start setting them tomorrow. It's really starting to look great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
The only job of the wheel is to score the tile. The wheel shouldn't touch the tile when trying to get it to snap. Also, make sure you get a good score with even pressure all the way thru. Keep the wheel oiled along with the slide bars and wipe off excess oil with a clean rag.

If you can post a pic of your cutter, we might can give you more pointers.
Well this wheel does touch when and even puts pressure down. I will add pics later.
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