Ceramic tile installation requires specialized tools that can cut through the rigid ceramic without shattering it. There are many different types of cutting tools available, each designed for different sizes and types of cuts. By understanding each one, you will be able to select the right equipment for your project.
Electric Wet Saw
Probably one of the most well-known pieces on the list, the electric wet saw is great for cutting notches, bevels, and, of course, center cuts. While this saw is one of the most expensive, it is a necessity if you plan to complete a large tile installation project. Many stores offer these items for rent if you don’t want to invest the money to purchase one.
An electric wet saw uses a diamond-edge blade to make accurate cuts. However, since the blade will quickly heat from scoring the ceramic, it utilizes a tube to feed water onto the blade. This keeps the blade’s temperature at an appropriate level and keeps dust from clogging the machinery.
Diamond Hole saw
For those who need to score tough tiles or drill a hole, the diamond hole saw easily completes the job. It fits any standard drill, so you can use your own equipment. To drill a hole, place the tile on a solid surface and gently press the bit until the tip scores the surface. You can also drill all the way through, if needed. The diamond hole saw creates clean cuts without damaging the surface finish.
Scoring softer materials does not require diamond encrusted cutting tools. One of the most common pieces of tile installation equipment is the scriber tool. This allows you to score the surface gently and then snap the ceramic in two. In order to use it, simply use a ruler or other straight edge as a guide and gently apply pressure as you pull the scriber across the surface. Normally, one cut will do the job and the piece will easily brake at the scribe line. However, should you need to make a second run across the score mark, do not apply too much pressure; if you do, the ceramic may crack.
Every tile installation job needs to use cutters. Not only do they score the surface for easy snapping, they also facilitate clean cuts when breaking the pieces apart. Cutters have an adjustable angle guide to help ensure the ceramic is properly angled.
To use cutters, place the piece on the cutting platform. Turn the piece so that the surface that you wish to cut is on the cutting guide. In order to keep it from moving, make sure it is flush against the stopper. Then simply pull the handle along the guide to score the ceramic. Once scored, push the handle down to break the pieces apart.
Tile installation can be a difficult process and is not necessarily a job for beginners. If you are uncertain of how to use any of these tools, or simply want to make sure the project comes out as you imagined, be sure to consult with a professional.