Can You Cut Tile With A Circular Saw?
Tiles are relatively brittle and shatter easily, so we can surmise that it would be easy to cut them, right? However, practically, this notion does not hold true. This is because despite the fact that tiles break easily, it is fairly difficult to cleanly and presentably cut them. By extension, cutting them with a saw is not effortless either.
Now, let’s envision a scenario: you want to neatly cut and place tiles in the kitchen or any other room. However, after hours of strife, the tiles just will not cut neatly. Finally, you decide to forget this nonsense and just go to a local tile store. But wait just a second. Cutting tiles is not that painstaking.
If you were wondering if you could cut tile with a circular saw, this article is here to show you the basics and resolve your queries. First, let’s look at the types of blades you would find with a circular saw.
Which Circular Saw To Use For Which Tile?
While many tiles can be cut with nearly any kind of circular saw, it is our job to tell you the specifics. Here are some different kind of tiles and the kind of saw that would be best for cutting them.
1. Mosaic and Ceramic Tiles
Mosaic and ceramic are some of the more common and easy-to-use materials out there. Almost any kind of circular saw will do the job great. There’s no need to invest in an incredibly expensive diamond-blade saw; the tungsten ones will do just fine.
2. Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain is essentially a harder and more expensive mix of ceramic. This also translates to it being much harder to cut. You could use a dry saw, but it would get ugly real soon if you don’t take extra care. Chips and dust will be all over the place. Hence, it is recommended to get a diamond-blade wet saw, but you could do the job with a dry saw and a lot of finesse.
3. Stone Tiles
For stone, a high-quality lubricated blade is a must. Other blades, such as those composed of tungsten, will wear out very quickly, making the whole process irksome.
4. Marble Tiles
Marble is just as hard as stone, making accurate cuts a challenge. Hence, you will require a diamond-coated blade with a worm drive saw, as it is preferable for longer cuts. A thing to watch out for is the chips, as they can easily wedge into the skin.
5. Glass Tiles
Glass is one of the trickiest materials when it comes to tiles. A diamond-coated blade is optimal because while other blades can cut through glass, they may damage the material. For normal cuts, a dry saw will work, but for bigger ones, you will need a wet saw. A special thing to note is that the teeth of the blade must be small to prevent any damage to the glass.
Difference Between Wet Circular Saw And Dry Circular Saw For Cutting Tiles
Dry Circular Saw
It serves the purpose well but not without a few drawbacks such as its low abrasion resistance and high sawdust production. Sawdust is produced whenever an object is cut with a high friction cutter. It can spread and cause lung poisoning and breathing difficulties.
Furthermore, dry circular saws wear out relatively quickly because of the high friction produced while cutting. Plus, high friction leads to heat, which is the mortal enemy of all machinery.
Wet Circular Saw
Wet circular saws are fitted with a water projector which can drench the blade, decreasing friction and increasing resistance to wear. This leads to a decreased heat production, thereby extending the lifespan of the machine. Another plus point would be the lack of sawdust produced since the ejected water holds the dust particles together.
Cutting tiles with a circular saw may be a tad troublesome, but the truly cumbersome task is getting a clean and pristine cut. A wet saw has diamond or carbon compound coating on its blade, allowing it to cut much more cleanly and easily.
Which Circular Saw Should You Choose For Cutting Tiles?
The wet saw seems the more lucrative choice of the two, but all those extra features come at the expense of one thing. You guessed it: cost. Wet circular saws are far more expensive due to their superior blades and other benefits. A cheaper alternative would be to get a dry saw with a dust collector inlet. This might not allow for lubrication of the blade but serves its purpose well.
Your choice really depends on the kind of work you are doing. For instance, while most tiles can be cut with a wet circular saw, you will get the most bang for your buck if you deal with marble tiles, stone tiles, glass tiles, porcelain tiles or granite tiles.
Just in case you are not interested in doing it yourself, the best option would be to take the tiles to a local Home Depot or tile store. They will take care of the brunt of the work for you, making the whole process effortless. However, if you are willing to try out something different, it is all a great experience.