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Unread 10-12-2021, 08:22 AM   #1
bcs001
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Cutting 36" Tiles

Looking for recommendations on how I would make cuts on 36" x 36" porcelain tiles I may be using for a shower project. The boss (wife) is looking at these large format tiles and my MK 101 wet saw may not be up to the task.

On a past project using 18" x 24" tiles, I was able to build a simple fixture to use on top of the sliding table to make the cuts I needed but I don't think that's possible for 36" tiles.

Since I'm not a pro and this will probably be my one and only job with tiles that large, I can't see buying a really expensive bridge saw. That leaves me with renting or making dry cuts with a straight edge and 7" diamond blade in a circular saw.

Any other options I've missed?
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Unread 10-12-2021, 02:11 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Bruce,

How about a snap cutter/cutting board?
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Unread 10-12-2021, 11:14 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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What about the little wet-circular saws? If so…

A flush-cutting jig made from a 3’ straightedge mounted to a thin piece of ply with its edge precisely aligned to the offset of the blade from its sliding plate is extremely helpful. Very easy to use. Very accurate. Big time saver.

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Unread 10-13-2021, 07:04 AM   #4
bcs001
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I've never used a snap cutter but but I would like to try it sometime. I think I know someone who has one and I may try it on some scraps to get the feel for it.

I like the wet-circular saw suggestion. Didn't know they were available and I can see how they add a lot of versatility to all kinds of stone and tile jobs at a fairly minimal investment.

Being an engineer, I can easly design up and build fixturing and tooling to make accurate cuts.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
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Unread 10-13-2021, 03:10 PM   #5
bcs001
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Now that I know I'll be able to cut these very large tiles, I'd like some pointers on how to install them on Kerdi. My project is a 44" x 60" x 8' 3-sided shower with full sized Kerdi bench, Kerdi curb and 28" Kerdi niche.

The boss has found these 32" x 32" polished porcelain tiles she may want for the walls. I've done a pretty good job getting and keeping the walls flat but are there other considerations with really big tiles?

I wouldn't think weight would be any issue since smaller tile would weight the same per sq. ft. I'll have to make a 4-3/4" round cut in the middle of a tile for my Hansgrohe Ibox valve body but I've done this before using an 4" diamond blade.
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Unread 10-13-2021, 05:05 PM   #6
jadnashua
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I don't know if this is still considered good practice, but a bunch of years ago when large format tile were just coming out, at a class, they suggested using a handheld oribital sander (with just the rubber or felt pad on it) to help vibrate the tile into the thinset to get the needed coverage. It worked. I'd also look into getting a slant-notched trowel, which after combing, is a MUCH flatter surface so it's easier to avoid unfilled notches when setting such a large tile (it's REALLY hard to move it back and forth to spread those typical notches out on a large tile and the PSI you can apply over that rigid surface is miniscule)...the slanted thinset towers fall over on them selves after combing. Also, be very careful to not comb things in arcs...you want a path for the air to get out on at least one edge when embedding the tile so nice, parallel strokes when combing out the thinset.
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