Any tips for the wet saw? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-10-2005, 08:06 PM
I noticed when cutting tiles diagonally it seems to break the small piece towards the end of the cut - maybe the last 1/2" or so. Luckily this has been the scrap side, but I know it will come up that I will need that piece too.

I tried a few different approaches, and the best one I can come up with is to cut from both directions towards the center of the tile. It still breaks, but almost straight across.

Is there an easier/better way to do this? I'm not forcing the cut either, even going as slow as possible and supporting both sides, it still seems to happen.

It's just a loaner from the tile store...not one I bought, and considering they aren't charging me, I'm not going to much :D

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07-10-2005, 08:38 PM
Sometimes there isn't any way to prevent it. I just laid a bunch of floor last week that was exactly like this. When I laid a straightedge along the back, there wasn't a single line that was flat. The tile was warped, so it didn't sit on the table flat and that's what I concluded caused the chip-outs.
Best of luck,

07-10-2005, 08:51 PM

Just a thought here,
might try running a brick or a small piece of block through the saw a few half dozen times to 'dress' the blade. This will make a difference if it's the blade that is causing the grief. If it's the tile, you're probably out of luck, like Shaughnn said.

Also keep the table of your saw clean of chips, so the tile can sit as flat as possible. Just shwoosh it off with the tray water before every cut or so.

Hope this might help,


07-10-2005, 09:22 PM
I noticed if I slow down towards the end of the cut, it relieves pressure on the blade and frame of the saw, and that crooked little break at the end winds up much smaller....

07-10-2005, 09:35 PM
I wonder if running a scoring line on the cutting mark would 'help' it break where I want it.

I'll try dressing the blade, I have a brick I could use...

I did find that masking tape worked good to mark it. Pencil and a sharpie marker washed right off with the water, lol.

07-10-2005, 10:21 PM
I don't think I'd score it.

What Splinter said, slowing down towards the end of the cut will help also.

I've noticed backing up the piece and cutting into a scrap can help too, akin to drilling through wood with a backer block, but it's hard with a diag. cut.


07-11-2005, 05:07 AM
it could be the blade is of poor quality as well makes a very big difference i find sometimes right blade for the right tile goodluck

07-11-2005, 05:56 AM
This is a common problem and my remedy is to cut half way one direction, turn the tile 180 degrees and cut the other half. If by chance the tile breaks in middle and in the wrong direction into the peice that you need, then also lightly score with the blade the cut line and it should break cleanly at the score line instead of a wild break of its choosing.


07-11-2005, 04:48 PM
I had good results cutting the tile upside down and going slowly at the end. The tiny chips I was left with were on the back (not visible) side of the tile.

07-11-2005, 07:05 PM
Hello Brian:

I've noticed that on rental saws the sliding table does not always stay flat and solid through the entire cut. Either one of the wheels gets worn, or one of the rails, and the table will rock a bit near the end of the cut. I've had luck holding the tile firmly down on the back right corner and cutting slowly while pushing through with just one hand. It eliminates any rocking while the back half of the tile is under the saw blade.

07-11-2005, 07:14 PM
I agree with everyone, and in Shaughnn's case i use a piece of cardboard from the tile boxes to lay on the cart, that seems to flatten and support the tile, then i slow down at the end and actually take my fingers off the tile to let it adjust itself on the table for the last inch of cutting.I also sometimes squeeze the tile together as i cut to avoid cracking. :)

Steve in PA
07-11-2005, 07:28 PM
3 tipsÖ

#1. lower the blade so it is traveling as deep as possible thru the table. this changes the angle that the blade passes thru the tile and it wont pull as much.

#2. set the piece you are cutting on top of two pieces of scrap on both sides of the table. this basically does what tip #1 does without lowering the blade.

#3. ***caution***carefully raise the back of the tile (the part that is already thru the blade) up off the table at an angle to the end that you are slowly cutting that last few inches. this also does what #1 and #2 does but even more extreme. again be very careful if you try this. you need to have a firm grip on the tile and 100% control. If you donít, a powerful motor will rip/wrench the tile from you possibly hurting both you and the saw/blade.

07-11-2005, 09:11 PM
I think this loaner saw isn't all that great. There is no moving table on it which to slide the tile through.

I've gotten better with it. I know what to cut and can make a pretty good guess as to where the break will occur. On a straight cut I cut from both sides and meet somewhere in the center. It still breaks, but very close to the cut line.

If this seems like something I'll get into more down the road, I may invest in a nice saw. That probably won't be for a while though...but this one works.

EDIT - I've also found it works even better if your 'helper' measures correctly, lol. My dad was measuring, and he was off 3 or 4 tiles by an inch each time. At least he was off the 'good' way, lol. So far I've been able to use a large chunk of scrap too, which is good. So I got some extra practice tonight :D

07-12-2005, 02:19 PM
Something I posted on another thread:

1. Have VERY WELL LUBED RAILS on your wet saw. Use a marine grease that won't break down with all of the moisture, and smear it on those rails. Keep it close.

2. Keep your deck clear of debris, and go slowly.

07-12-2005, 05:09 PM
What kind of blade are you using? Since I switched to a different brand of porcelain blade, I have had very little problems cutting any kind of tile.

07-13-2005, 09:16 AM
As mentioned by someone earlier just flip the tile. Make a 1/4" in length cut on one end then flip it over so the top side is up. Make your cut. If you were off a little bit GENTLY lay the cut side against the blade and run tile acrossed it achieving a "grinding/sanding" affect to smooth out the line. It's by far the easiest thing I've encounter so far in laying tile.