wet saw leaving chipped edges [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-12-2019, 12:56 PM
My wet saw is tearing up the edges of my subway tile. The blade is not new, but not too old either. I cannot remember where I picked up the current diamond blade, but in all likelihood it could have been Home Depot or Lowes. Should I get a certain type of blade? Or ditch the wet saw and get a tile cutter?

Second issue is my mitered corner joints vary in width because I placed them manually - bad idea. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get that spacing to be uniform, not only in joint width but also in alignment from one row to the next?

Here are some photos to show you what I mean. I'm going to pry off most of this stuff since I'm learning and my subway tile is cheap!

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07-12-2019, 01:54 PM
As for the spacing you have to measure 10 times and cut once. And you have to be very very accurate I have found that a little Sharpie marker where I use one edge of the line as my meaningful Point not the center or anything but you have to be very accurate. Does your saw a chip more on the left or the right? If it chips more on one side it is likely the blade is cutting not parallel to the line of the slide. For less chipping a plunge saw is very nice where you just score across the top of the tile on the first pass very lightly then make three or four passes until you're halfway through the tile and then you can cut very slowly all the way through. It will still leave some chips but they should be very small and then you take a stone to that edge. they sell stones at Floor and Decor or maybe even an old knife sharpener Stone medium Grit. I use the coarse side of this knife sharpener Stone and it really can put an ice devil on my tile edges but if there's a chip that's fairly big it doesn't remove it but it lessens its impact. It won't work is good on your Subway tiles because they have such a curved glazed surface and may not be through color

07-12-2019, 06:15 PM
Thanks, Teddy. I guess I wasn't clear on separating out the two issues.

The chipping issue is separate from the mitering spacing.

Problem #1: The wet saw is chipping on both sides. I'm certain that a sharpening stone will not give the clean cut that I'm after.

Problem #2: The mitering cuts do not have the chipping a problem since I'm not breaking the finished surface of the tile. The problem here, as shown in the photo, is that each row lines up differently. Folks seems to use spacers when tiling on a flat plane, but I'm curious how folks would use spacers on an outside corner to get the alignment consistent from row to row.

07-12-2019, 08:50 PM
Sometimes, cutting a brick or concrete paver can help expose some fresh diamonds on the blade. THen again, the blade could be worn out and needs replacing.

Chipping can also be caused if your pump and nozzle aren't putting out enough water, or it's misplaced, or cut too fast.

07-13-2019, 11:03 AM
Do they make a bullnose version of that tile? I was trying to figure out what to do in the outside corners for my project and didn’t trust myself to back miter tiles as perfectly as the job called for.

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Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
07-13-2019, 11:35 AM
The best way to handle both problems is to get some diamond polishing pads (https://www.amazon.com/PPW184E-Diamond-Polishing-Concrete-Travertine/dp/B07HR585ZC) and a variable speed polisher (https://www.amazon.com/Hoteche-Electric-Variable-Speed-Grinder/dp/B07TPRND7Y/) if you can afford it.

Alternatively, these fit on a standard 4-inch grinder (https://www.contractorsdirect.com/alpha-high-speed-dry-polishing-pad) and would be a good solution if you already have that tool. They are designed for high speeds unlike the variable speed above.

Otherwise, these (https://www.contractorsdirect.com/rubi-diamond-hand-pads) are a good solution. At least a 100 grit and maybe the 60 also.

What these tools do is smooth out the chips from the wet saw but they can also be used to fine tune your miters. You can use them on the edge of the miters pieces to give it a sharper edge. That will help with lining them up.

07-13-2019, 12:33 PM
Has anyone already recommended getting a higher-quality blade? That would be my first move. You won't find such blades on the shelves at HD or Lowe's. I have been recommended here the T3 Razor blade by Russo trading with which I've been very happy. I am sure the pros here can point out more high-quality brands.

As has been pointed out, every blade needs dressing sometimes to bring it up to its potential again. Maybe you can try that first. See Jim's post above which describes the process.

Better blades cut much more cleanly. However, sometimes, a tile will just not comply and the material will not cut as cleanly as one hopes for. Since you're experimenting with cheaper subway tiles, you can do so without feeling like you're wasting a whole lot of money. It's a good learning experience.

07-23-2019, 11:42 AM
Alrighty, to wrap this up I'll tell ya what I did:

1. Jiggered the water line on the wet saw so that it was functioning as well as it did when it was new. The tube on one side of the blade had shrunk back too far away from the blade and not much of the water was actually making it onto that side of the blade. A good fix.

2. I tried cutting a brick to reveal more diamonds, tried cutting slow, tried cutting through painters tape fastened to the tile, and none of that showed any improvement on the cut edge. I also learned that the blade is old, so that would be my next step with the wet saw.

However, I know I need a portable tile cutter for another job at another house, so I started down that path.

3. Went to HD and bought a Rubi 28" cutter. Two problems with this cutter: first is that it was way too large for my 3x6 subway tiles, second is that the cutting wheel was rather loose - it had a bit of side to side play. The resulting cuts were not straight enough. Not ideal for a $200 cutter, so back it went.

4. Bought the QEP $40 cutter. The cutting wheel has less side to side play, and it's perfect for small subways. The cut edges of the tile are about as close to perfect as you can get, straight, square. All is good!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

07-24-2019, 04:07 AM
Hmmm One of my snappers is that rubi and I have no problems with it.