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Different Uses for a Tile Saw

Aug 17, 2007
A wet tile saw cuts tiles made of ceramic, leaving a clean, smooth edge. A tile setter needs to trim tiles at the installation site to fit the edges of a room or create inventive designs. A table-mounted, portable wet tile saw allows her to cut tile as they are needed to exact specifications. The saw combines a circular blade, similar to a wood table saw, with a water pump and hose to constantly drench the cutting area with water to reduce friction and cool the surface.

Since tiles are so thick, brittle, and made of ceramic, a special saw must be used. An ordinary circular saw for wood or metal would either break the tile or get so hot that it would seize up and stop cutting. However, ceramic tile is not cut well with sharp blades. The wet tile saw was invented to address all these unique properties of ceramic. It doesn't overheat, uses a relatively dull blade with no serrations, and can be transported to a job site and set up on top of an existing table or sawhorses.

A manual tile cutter can be tedious when working with a larger quantity of tile. The manual model has a round cutter that rolls along the tile, scoring it as you push the handle downward. The kickstand pops up and pops the tile in two pieces as you apply pressure.

A motorized wet saw, however, features a diamond cutting blade and makes quick work of cutting tiles. The blade remains stationary as the tile moves through -- but the blade must stay wet. Because of this, a water pump pulls water from a reservoir and sends into across the blade before the water is recycled.

A motorized wet saw uses a diamond-cutting blade. The blade stays stationary while you move the tile through it. The blade needs to stay wet throughout the process. A water pump pulls water from the water pond below the blade and sends it across the blade. The water falls back into the pond and is recycled. The pond must be cleaned every so often to keep the system from becoming clogged. A carriage system moves the tile past the blade. It can be adjusted to fit the size of the tile.

If you are replacing your kitchen countertop on the top of the materials listwill be a Tile saw. If you consider the price to just rent one at either of these places (about $50 per day), you would have to be a fool not to buy one, especially if you will be doing other projects where one might come in handy. You will also need a rafter square, a notched trowel or spreader, a level and a sponge. Grout float, tape measure and rubber hammer, grout sealer (you can buy grout with this already mixed in), and tile spacers if needed.
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Melih ("may-lee") Oztalay, CEO
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