How to Use a Wet Tile Saw

If you are looking to redo your bathroom shower or tub surround, your kitchen backsplash, or even a laundry room floor, you are likely considering tile. As you’re likely aware, tile is a fantastic material to use for heavy-traffic, heavy-use, and watery areas. A wet saw is a power tool that uses a water-cooled diamond blade to make quick work of cutting tile. Although you can cut tile with a snap cutter, a wet saw is the best to use when a job requires numerous or specialty cuts (like openings for drains, AC registers, outlets or beveled edges).

Using a wet tile saw is not as easy as it sounds. It is not just any regular cutter through which we can score and tear as it consumes electricity, water and cuts through rotating encrusted diamond blades that give you an exclusive experience. However, using a wet tile saw is the top professional way to cut a tile, and they don’t involve chirping of the tile which is why the finish is relatively clean with exact specifications.

how to use a wet saw

Often, most of us are confronted with the question, “How to use a tile saw” for some petty jobs like replacing a single tile in the corner of the washroom or if the wet saw can be used to cut any the tile. Wet saw usually supports all kind of tiles coming from ceramic, vitrified, porcelain, travertine and even glass. Also, you can cut odd shaped angles, bevels and small shapes using a wet tile saw. For a $100, this tool helps you in avoiding expensive tools like Angle Grinders or in hiring professional who set the tiles.

It can be an unapproachable process in case you’ve never attempted it before, so here is a beginner’s basic guide to using a tile wet saw.

How It Works

The wet tile saw is equipped with a diamond-edged carbide blade. This is not like the blade with teeth that you use to cut wood. I like to use a more common tool–an angle grinder–as a comparison. Angle grinders can be fitted with thick carbide circular blades which cut materials more by relentlessly grinding them down, rather than by cutting with a sharp blade.

A tile saw employs a similar way of cutting tile. Sharp, “toothed” metal blades would wear down quickly and have little impact on tile. But the grinding action of the wet tile saw makes quick work of tile.

Add in the wet tile saw’s continually recirculation “fountain” of water to keep the blade and materials cool and to reduce the dust and flying particles

Read the Best Tile Saw Reviews: HERE

How to cut tile with a wet saw (Procedure)

  1. Initially, turn the water and fill the saw. Make sure that the water is not abundant and flowing that it can splash out of the drain tray. The water should only be free flowing near and around the end of the cutting blade.
  2. After making sure that it is not splashing out, make sure that your hand are dry before using the wet saw. The water keeps the tile and the blade cool and prevents the chirped particles movement in the air.
  3. Make sure that the blade is not in contact with anything and your other hand is not on the wet tile saw area and then turn the power.
  4. Bring the tile and push it slowly into the blade for it to easily cut the tile.
  5. As the blade is rotating at maximum speed and the tile is sliding into the blade, water should be copiously flowing it throughout the cutting. This is the most efficient method of how to use a tile saw without any particles flying outside or around in the air.

Safety Measures to be taken in cutting a tile with Wet tile saw:

  • Wet tile saws usually have the spaghetti outlook about them with all the hoses and pumps which may initially panic you. However, there are wet tile saws in the market which work with the garden hoses and which do not have pumps.
  • Electrical safety is a huge part of using a wet tile saw. There are only a few remodeling tools where you want to have water and electricity in such close proximity. Ordinarily, you wish to keep the two as far apart as possible. “Drip loop” with the electrical cord leading from the saw to the outlet is such a help in such a setting. The drip loop is lower than both the saw and the outlet, so that water does not drip down the cord and into the outlet.
  • Don’t be a cavalier about wearing the safety glasses while using the wet saw. If you’re so curious about how to cut a glass tile with a wet saw, not wearing glasses will only make you end up being blind.
  • In case where the water is splashing out, don’t use the blade as you can end up injuring yourself by junking the blade up, breaking both the tile and the blade. However, the individual procedure might differ with each specific tile as they are all different in nature.

Therefore, it is important to take necessary safety measures while cutting a tile with a wet tile saw as it is an intimidating process that most of us are not familiar with. However, because of the heavy use and the traffic functionality of the tile, keeping it neat and precise will enhance the beauty of the space and what’s better than a wet saw for a straightforward and efficient tile cutting? Subscribe to us for specifications and product specific details regarding various types of tile cutting and keep your place unimpeachable.

Is a Snap Tile Cutter An Alternative?

You can cut tiles as large as 12″ using a small, cheap tool called a snap tile cutter or rail cutter.  But the breaks with snap cutters can be uneven and wildly unpredictable (meaning: a lot of broken tile sent to the land fill).By contrast, the wet tile saw rarely makes unpredictable cuts.  If so, it’s usually operator error.

Pro tip : A wet saw will cost more than a table saw and a circular saw. If you have just one room to tile, I would recommend against buying a wet saw. These can be rented relatively cheaply from a local rental yard.

For two or more rooms, it will probably be more cost-effective to purchase an inexpensive wet tile saw. One pivot point in your decision may be the realization that these cannot be used for other purposes.  For example, a reciprocating saw has multiple uses and can even cut different types of materials–PVC, wood, metal, etc.  A wet tile saw is used only for cutting tile.

Also, if your storage space is limited, you may not want to purchase one.  With their water collection trays and stands, these are big, unwieldy items.

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