Cutting my own rectangular stone tiles? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-04-2009, 07:18 PM
I am planning on remodeling my bathroom in a few weeks and am interested in installing rectangular travertine tiles. I've only seen a limited selection or higher prices on pre-cut travertine tiles. Am I asking for trouble if I were to cut my own on a wet saw? I have found some 18" square tiles I like and was planning on cutting to 9" x 18" on the floor. For the shower I was considering either 9" x 18" (too big?) or cutting them down further to 4.5" x 9". This will be my first time working with a stone tile. Is this something that is done in the industry? Are there any issues I should expect when cutting these tiles. I have a small wet saw, but was planning on renting a larger wet saw because of the tile size and the amount of cutting I will need to do.



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Houston Remodeler
12-04-2009, 07:23 PM
Sure you can cut tiles to size, we do that all the time. Just today we cut 24x24's into 8x24's for some skirting. Just set the adjustment on the wet saw and rip each one exactly the same. Once you get a system down, you can produce a lot of cut tiles all the same in short order. Just keep the first cut tile handy to check every tenth tile or so to make sure they are all identical.

You'll need a good quality wet saw and a good quality blade. Our blade runs $130 and has no drift over 24 inches.

That said, what is the edge detail of the stone before you cut it? Will the cut edge look the same? You mentioned this is travertine. Is it honed and filled? When you cut it does it have hollow spots? I'd cut a few first to see how it goes with any particular tile.

12-04-2009, 07:37 PM
Greetings Craig. What kind of stone are you looking at? If its a soft stone like travertine, you can cut it like butter with a good blade, but thats the easy part. Cutting it down so that each piece is exactly the same size is the hard part. A good saw with a straight tracking blade is a must. Also might want to make a jig by clamping a piece of straight edge to the deck of the saw to make sure each piece is cut exactly the same. Unless your a super fast tile guy, it might be cheaper to buy a saw than rent. You can always sell it later to recoup at least half your money. At $50 bucks a day rental for a good saw, you can pay for a good saw pretty quickly. Plenty of darn good saws in the 300 to 400 area. Besides I dont trust a rental unit as far as I can throw one.

12-04-2009, 09:54 PM
The travertine tile is honed and filled. The edge is a straight cut. I'll probably grab a couple tiles and see how they cut this weekend. Good point about the rentals too.

Appreciate the help.

Houston Remodeler
12-04-2009, 10:04 PM
if your saw doesn't have a set gauge to make repeat cuts, use a speed square clamped to the table. They make nice plastic ones.

12-04-2009, 10:57 PM
I just cut down 300 sq ft of 16"x16" slate into modular units of:
The client wanted a wide "rustic" joint but I was able to talk her back down to a 1/4" instead.
The best thing about natural stone is that you can carve it all up, however you fancy, and it's still "all good".
Knock yourself out, Craig! :tup2:

12-05-2009, 09:26 AM
That turned out nice,could easily have went south.

12-05-2009, 09:58 AM
Just did the same with travertine. Project was started and then abandoned by another worker once all of the 6x12 travertine was used.

I finished it up by cutting down the 12x12's into 6x12's. The key is a good rio fence on an accurate saw.