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Unread 02-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
lyu370
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Cutout in porcelain tile

OK, I'm stumped. Putting in some porcelain tile in a bathroom. Trying to cut a cutout for a register in one of the tiles and I'm having no luck whatsoever. Trying to cut a 4 1/2 x 10 cutout for a register in a 12" tile. Using an angle grinder with a diamond blade, but the tile keeps cracking. The cutout is about 2" from one edge, and about 1/2" & 1 1/2" on the other two edges. Already snapped three tiles, which I can still use along the walls.

But how do I make the cut? It's driving me nuts!

Long time lurker, finally need some advice.

Thanks.
Andy
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Unread 02-14-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
muskymike
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Hi Andy, welcome! You will most likely need to cut the tile onna wet saw. Some porcelains just blow out when you try to cut them.
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Unread 02-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
ceramictec
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are you using Marazzi from home depot ?

I have the worst luck with small cuts with that stuff.
great tile but breaks all over the place.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 06:54 AM   #4
cleveman
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At some point, especially if you don't want to get a wet saw, you may have to just piece it in.

When you get down to real narrow pieces holding together a big piece, it is just not feasible. Imagine you wanted to cut a piece and leave a 1/2" strip holding it together.

Anything is possible, but if you don't want the aggravation, just cut it up in pieces and observe your regular joint widths and go with it.

By the way, you can pick up a cheap wet saw at the big box stores probably for < $80.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 08:26 AM   #5
Hammy
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Take it to BIG BOX store, get them to cut it. ( take an extra tile with you ) Hammy
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Unread 02-15-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
lyu370
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The tile I'm using is American Olean, got it at Century Tile. I do have a wet saw, works great for the straight cuts, guess I'm just not sure how I'd use it to make a cutout.
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Unread 02-15-2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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give us a drawing of what youre trying to do. That might help us to instruct ya. Hammy
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Unread 02-16-2009, 03:12 AM   #8
oogabooga
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Hmmm, from what you describe I'm wondering whether it can actually be cut without breaking. Guess it would depend on how cantankerous the tile happens to be

Cleveman's suggestion might be the easiest solution, but if you can't live with that (aesthetically speaking), you could try making the rest of the cut on the broken tiles and glueing them back together with clear epoxy. Worth a shot maybe?

Rob.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 03:44 AM   #9
Aquera
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there's a few things you can try - first use the angle grinder but don't cut all the way through on the first pass, try a few passes. Also make a relief cut down the middle and accross the area that's getting cut out - if the tile is going to break, it will tend to break in the direction of te area you've weakened.
you can use your wet saw, even if it doesn't do plunge cuts - you either need to remove the splash guard, and drop the tile down (you'll get wet) or if you aren't cutting a hole in the middle, you can simply just make a bunch of straight cuts, about blade width apart, and then break off the little pieces...
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Unread 02-16-2009, 10:30 AM   #10
MudGuy
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Andy –

Some porcelains are too hard, and taking the cuts that close to the edge, they’ll snap. I had the same situation, snapped five of em’, bought a new 4” blade, snapped two more…hard headed. I ended up marking a full tile, installing it over the register duct, allowing it to dry for several days before cutting it in place. Worked great…until a couple days later, I noted a very small hairline crack.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
Rd Tile
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Take your time with the grinder, don't force the issue, almost make the cuts with the just the weight of the tool doing the work, go SLOW.
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Unread 02-16-2009, 10:50 AM   #12
bbcamp
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Your register will cover most of the tile, so if you piece it, very little of the joints will show.
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