Wood Left in Slab Part 2 [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Tile Rookie
06-14-2001, 10:44 AM
Thanks for all you advice! You guys are great! One more question. The wife would like to run the tile down the hallway, go figure! Adds another 68 sqft. So from the breakfast area down the hall it's 36 feet and some inches. Do you recomend an expansion joint? (installing over concrete slab) If so where? Also I plan on renting a wet saw for cutting the tile. A small area will be cut on the diagonal. The place I have rented from in the past is not sure their saws can cut a 15 x 15 on diagonal, it will on straight cuts. Said to take them to HD and get them cut, yeah right! I would prefer to cut them myself. Any suggestions. The tile store I'm getting the tile from said to take them to HD as well. Whats up with that? Thanks for all your advice, you guys are the best!


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Bud Cline
06-14-2001, 11:07 AM

I can't believe some of the crap these guys come up with. If you can't depend on someone to simply talk straight at places like HD why on earth would you want to hand them your tile to screw up?

There are plenty of wet saws in plenty of rental houses. To cut a 15" tile diagonally would take a table "fence to saw blade" clearence of about 22" and most of the better large saws provide that space. It is possible to cut tiles, too big to fit the saw, simply by extending the tile towards you, over and past the tables fence and cutting about half way, then turn the tile around 180 degrees and go again. Be very careful not to bind the tile with the blade still operating in the cut, this pinches fingers and breaks tiles.

As far as the expansion joint.....is there a joint in the concrete now????

Tile Rookie
06-14-2001, 11:20 AM
Oops! as the name implies rookie, I guess I should also add internet rookie! And yes my VCR is still flashing 12:00am. I posted this twice, my mistake! I thought about turning the tiles I have done this before, but not with porcelian. No there is no expansion joint there now, didn't think I would need one but wanted to make sure due to the long run. Thanks again for all your help!

06-14-2001, 11:48 AM
As Bud pointed out,there are plenty of wet-saws available at rental stores that are capable of cutting the large tiles on a 45.BUT...there is another way.
Make your marks on the tile where you want to cut it.Then make a line on it using a spead-square.Place the tile on a scoring cutter,20-24" cutter,and line up the marks with the path oc the scoring wheel.Score it.Then place the tile face up on a sturdy surface with the smaller portion of the cut overhanging.The score mark will be just past the edge of the supporting suface,concrete block or whatever.Hold down firmly on the supported side of the tile and SMACK the other side downward......HARD!! Strike the tile so that when you do your fingers wrap around the section you're breaking off and you actually catch it.This is so easy and fast.There are really only two steps,score and break.Don't be afraid to SMACK the tile HARD.If scored good it'll break right on the score every time.Then if you want to you can smooth the break with a small wet saw or 4"grinder with a diamond blade in it.

As for an expansion/movement joint.You don't REALLY need one but if you want to take that precaution purchase a color-matched caulk from the same people you get you grout from.Clean all the thinset from a grout joint as close as possible to where your hall begins or IN the hall.Fill that joint with the caulk and clean up with water.

John Bridge
06-14-2001, 05:12 PM
I'm learning. Cement block, eh?

I would use a "movement" joint where the field turns down the hall way. I mean, why not? They make sanded caulking that doesn't look as shiney as the unsanded type.

06-14-2001, 05:52 PM
One more tip.When you caulk the joint wet your fingers in a bowl of water then smooth and shape the caulk with it.Keep your finger wet.You can work the caulk like working clay without getting it all over you.Once the caulk is set in and shaped wipe the excess water up with a damp sponge, same as for cleaning grout.

Oh...one more thing.If your afraid you might not "catch" the tile when you smack it just put a bucket of sand or something soft down where the piece will land.That way if you don't catch it it still won't break into a thousand pieces.Break it on a sturdy surface that is 10-12" high.This will keep you from beating your knuckles all to hell.

Rob Z
06-14-2001, 06:53 PM
Tile Rookie

I recently bought an IMER 250 to handle diagonal cuts on large tile. What Bud suggested is probably your most reasonable way to solve your cutting problem. I've never seen a bridge saw (like my IMER) at a rental store.

One thing I do to make a long cut is to use a straightedge held next to the blade to extend the cutting line of the blade along the long line drawn on the tile being cut. This works better for me than squating and trying to eyeball it.

36 feet falls well within the recommended distance that the TCA suggests for use of expansion joints. I would do it-it can't hurt and is cheap insurance.

Let us know how your project is going.


06-14-2001, 07:19 PM
If your local rental store rents either A Felker Or Target 1 1/2 H.P. tile saw, they will cut the tile diagaonally for you.

What you need to do is ask how to raise and lower the cutting head. If they don't know it is the Large black plastic knob on the belt guard. It is on your left as you are facing the saw.

Raise the Head up, place your tile on the rolling cart and align your tile to the blade above the marks for the cut.

Turn your saw on and lower the blade into the tile slowly, plunge the blade entirely through the tile.

Then turn the saw off and realign the cutting head so the blade is just through the bottom of the tile, and lock the large black knob down. Now you can turn the saw back on and complete your cut. By rolling the cart and tile away from you towards the blade. Make sure you haven't lowered the blade too far or you can actually cut through the alluminm rolling cart. (don't laugh Pro's, I probably sold 1/2 a dozen carts, because some of Buds favorite people, cut through the cart and didn't realize it.

It is a slower way than with a wet saw that will cut the full length, but they are real hard to find in a rental house.


Bud Cline
06-14-2001, 07:47 PM

When's the last time YOU rented a well used wet saw and actually got one of those adjustment knobbys to work?

Careful now don't scuff your shoe shine.

(Oh hey speaking of shoe shine; the job has already been filled, but thanks, keep your eyes open.)

06-14-2001, 08:02 PM
Good point. Make that 2 good points. 3? S.... A.. F'er!!!!!!

If you have to ask about the latter, don't. I might get kicked off the http://www.

On the other deal, It's there loss man.

Good luck, and I'll keep them open.


P S: No I don't wear a suit. Omar said they don't make them that big.

Night kids.

06-14-2001, 08:26 PM
I'm I the only one who scores the tile and then breaks it over his knee? It works for me, and leaves a really nice edge...even better than with the breaker on the tile cutter....but no...not as good as the wet saw.

Bud Cline
06-14-2001, 09:24 PM
I can't begin to tell you how much good tile I have trashed using farmstead methods. The only tile those tricks work with for me is the ones that have a nice smooth glaze. And porcelain? Forget that!!!!

06-14-2001, 09:35 PM
Hey Bud

I did it all day today with porcelain... I wonder why my knee is so sore?

Bud Cline
06-14-2001, 09:43 PM
A skill I have never been able to develope I guess but that's ok I can't ice skate either.

Sonnie Layne
06-14-2001, 09:55 PM
I scribe it with a craftsman screwdriver, break it over a concrete block that is wedged on the top of my right foot by my left knee. Then to clean the cut, I pull out of my pocket my fingernail file (diamond dusted, it is, with rhinestones) and walla!!! I think you can buy the manicure file at http://www.pierrecardin.com

06-15-2001, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the tip on the tool.

I just visited there site, and wow!!!

Tile files like you would not believe.

I found a diamond encrusted Boy scout knife that had a longer file that I thought would come in especially handy on the larger format porcelains.

But after further review, I found that the knife didn't offer a buffer for my shoes, so at a mere $39,500.00 I took a pass.

But once again thanks for the heads up.


John Bridge
06-15-2001, 08:34 AM

Real men don't bother scoring the tile before busting it over their knee.

Derek & Jacqui
06-15-2001, 08:50 AM

It's really good to see that you are remembering some of the lessons. Softer tile can be snapped over your thigh.
Just one bit of advice to newcomers who try this - watch you don't cut your hand with the cut edge of the tile.

Bud Cline
06-15-2001, 09:51 AM
If you hold a piece of floor tile by one corner, and flick the opposite corner with your index finger, and the resulting "plink" is that of a "high C note" then you better use your tile cutter.

(Do you think tey'll buy that one Derek?)

Derek & Jacqui
06-15-2001, 06:31 PM

I forgot to show Keith that method. Show you next time around, Keith. The results are shattering!!

06-15-2001, 06:42 PM
Thanks Jacqui...........I look forward to BREAKING new ground.

and just when you thought I wasn't paying attention.This is why I DIS-associated myself from u no hoo and latched onto yall's coat-tails.

Keith(pay attention dummy) Alford