While covering the floor, kitchen cabinet tops, and walls with marble tiles are an excellent way to bring class to an area, whether in your home or office. Marble tiles, like many other stone tiles, are hard and can prove challenging when cutting. So while they are aesthetically pleasing, cutting the right size for the tile location requires special attention.
Tiles come in specific sizes and need cutting to fit the area. Marble tile is expensive, so breaking or damaging the tiles while cutting will cost a lot. Cutting marble tiles using the right materials and following the correct process will significantly reduce tile damage when cutting.
If you want to cut the marble tiles you’re working with, follow the guide in this article as we discuss the different ways to cut marble tiles. You can cut marble tiles into different shapes depending on your needs. Remember that cutting marble tiles is different from cutting marble.
4 Ways to Cut Marble
Cutting marble tiles sometimes the wrong way can prove an expensive mistake, so choosing the right method is essential. Luckily, you can cut marble tiles using different tools. In different ways, so you’ll find a process that is convenient and effective.
1. Using a Wet Saw
A wet saw is one of the most popular ways of cutting marble tiles. It can be used by professionals and beginners due to its easy-to-use process. This stationary power saw is specifically made for cutting stone tiles. It is called a wet saw as it continuously wets the blade while cutting.
The wet saw is ideal for straight cuts since it requires the tile to be passed through the blade. It has a table, so using the wet saw is comfortable and straightforward.
2. Angle Grinder
Hence, to make intricate curved cuts on your marble tiles, the angle grinder is the ideal tool for cutting. Handling the angle grinder is slightly more difficult as control is limited. With the angle grinder, you place the tile on a surface and cut through, bypassing the grinder blade through the tile. Although there are other types, like the bench angle grinder, which you attach to a bench and pass the tile over. This tool can also be used for grinding, as its name suggests, sharpening, and polishing.
Ensure to fit the angle grinder with a diamond-encrusted blade which can make cuts into the hard marble tile. This tool cuts marble tiles quickly but can also be dangerous, so extra measures should be in place.
3. Jig Saw
Jig saws come with narrow, elongated blades that allow you to make straight and curved cuts as you move the saw over the marble tile. While the regular jig saw blade is insufficient to cut marble tile, replacing this blade with a diamond blade will provide the necessary strength to cut through the hard tile.
Just like a wet saw, pouring water on the diamond blade helps the cutting and prolongs the blade’s lifespan as it cools it down. Jig saws are generally easy to use as you can handle them with one hand, so even people with minimal experience can use them.
4. Diamond Hole Saw
If you want to make holes in your tiles to fit in faucets, plumbing works, and electrical switches, the diamond hole saw will cover all your needs. It helps when you want to drill a hole in the tile without making cuts out of the tile. The diamond drill bits can cleanly cut through the marble tile and produce the desired hole.
You will need the diamond hole drill bit size that fits the hole you want to create. Like the jigsaw, the hole saws were working but drilling its teeth into the stationary marble tile. Use plenty of water on the saw’s teeth to keep the blade cool and remove slurry material that may affect precision.
Tools and Materials Required
- Water-soluble marker
- Rubbing stone
- Wet saw
- Rubber gloves and other safety materials like earmuffs and goggles
- Damp cloth
- Angle grinder
- Jig saw
- Hole saw
Steps to Cut Marble Tile
After finding out the tools for cutting marble tiles, the next step is to understand the process to avoid mistakes. Here’s how to cut your marble tiles:
Step 1: Assemble and Prep the Tools
Gather all the tools and materials required for cutting marble tiles, including the right wet saw. Renting is ideal if you only need the saw for a small project. Still, you may consider buying if cutting marble tiles is a frequent activity.
Read the owner’s manual to understand how to use a wet saw, especially if you’re not conversant with a wet saw. Choose the cutting tool you need based on the type of cut required. For a wet saw, you may have to connect the saw to a specialized water tank or use a hose to connect to a water source. The aim is to give a continuous water supply to prevent inconsistencies while cutting. The other saw blades and teeth need water to cook them down, so keeping water close by is great.
Set the marble tile on a thick but sturdy foam to prevent scratches on the marble while moving across the wet saw table. The foam also helps to protect the marble while cutting.
Step 2: Mark Measurements
Measure the area you wish to install the marble and then calculate the marble size you require. Use this information to mark the marble, so cutting is accurate. You can mark using a pencil and a ruler or tape for a darker marble tile where pencil lines may be difficult to see.
Step 3: Wear Protective Materials
Working with power tools like the wet saw with sturdy and sharp diamond-crusted blades can be dangerous without the necessary protective measures. To avoid injuries and accidents, you need to put on all the protective materials. These include rubber gloves to cover your hands, protective goggles to prevent tiny marble pieces from entering your eyes, and earmuffs to prevent the screeching sound of cutting tiles.
You should avoid wearing loose clothing that may get caught in the machine. Sandals, slippers, and other open footwear may also leave your feet exposed, so put on boots with thick soles that cover the feet.
Step 4: Wet the Blade
Wet saw diamond-crusted blade requires a continuous water supply to function optimally and prevent the tiles from breaking. While the saw will wet itself from the connected hose once it starts working, it may require an initial boost with water. Pour water directly on the diamond-crusted blade before turning it on.
Step 5: Cut
Now is the time to cut your marble tile, and you’ll start by positioning the tile the correct way. Depending on the type of wet saw, the best way to place the tile is by aligning the part to be cut to the right side of the blade. Place the finished side of the marble tile downwards into the foam. Practice with a test piece to know the correct alignment to use.
While a wet saw will keep its blades wet, you may need to manually wet the blades of other cutting tools to cool it down. Clamp the marble tile using a hand clamp with soft pads to keep the tile in place and ensure the cut follows the marked point. Cut slowly to avoid chipping your tile with the presence of smoke, indicating you may be cutting too fast.
To avoid chipping, feed the marble tile slowly and cut till about 1-3 inches in before making a slight cut at the back of the tile. Flip the tile so the finished side faces up and starts cutting from the opposite end. Cutting with other saws requires a slightly different approach, but the overall concept of cutting quite slowly remains.
Step 6: Clean
The diamond-crusted blade does a good job of cutting the tile smoothly; however, some parts may be rough and need smoothening. Clean up the rough edges using a wet or dry fine 120-grit sandpaper. Follow up with 2500-grit sandpaper to give it extra smoothness. Wetting the sandpaper makes sanding easier.
You can also use the automatic angle grinder to smoothen the surface and eliminate the manual sanding process. Other options include using an orbital sander. The downside to automatic sanders is the reduced control you get.
Finish your cleaning by wiping down the table surface and the saw blade when it cools. Sweep the floor area to eliminate any time shards.
Step 7: Add Finishing Touches
Complete the tiles with finishing touches where necessary using a dry-cut diamond wheel attached to a grinder. You can make finishings like holes, sink cutouts, and more.
Read More: How to Grout Tiles in 9 Easy Steps
Questions usually come up about marble tile cutting, so we put together the common questions and their answers.
Ans. While the tiles itself is hard, cutting the tiles is not that hard with the right tools and blade.
Ans. No, marble tiles are hard and can break easily, so they require special blades like the diamond blade with the right strength and precision to handle the delicate tile.
Ans. Yes, you can cut marble tiles using powerful waterjet technology.
Ans. Pure water does not ruin or stain marble tiles, so ensure you use purified water for cooling the saw blades.
Cutting marble tiles is easy with the right tools and following the correct steps. There are so many tools that can cut marble tiles, with some being common saws found in most sheds. A change of blade to a stronger blade is often required to cut through the hard marble tile.
You can make different cuts, from straight to holes in the middle of the tile, depending on your needs. The variety of cutting tools makes using marble tiles even more attractive.