Straight Cuts On A Wet Saw
There are two main options for straight cutting, using a manual score-and-snap tile cutter or using a diamond bladed electric wet saw. Depending on your project size and the type and thickness of the material you are cutting, a wet saw will cut more precisely with a cleaner and generally, chip-free and smooth cut edge. This is also the type of saw to use if you are cutting natural stone tiles, glass tiles or harder to cut porcelain tiles. The wet saw cuts with a rotating diamond-tipped blade that is cooled by water (which also reduces any dust). They are ideal when you have a lot of heavier, thicker, dense tiles, stone tiles or pavers to cut and when you want a pristine straight cut edge.
An electric wet saw looks like a tabletop that the tile sits on. A circular diamond-tipped blade connected to an electric motor sits above the tile. Depending on the type of wet saw, either the tabletop moves under the fixed saw blade or the rotating cutting blade moves over the tile on a fixed tabletop. Either way, the water-cooled diamond blade cuts the tile. There is a range of blades available to suit different types of tile cutting.
Wet saws are usually operated outdoors due to the water spray but will give a professional cut and are not very difficult to operate once you know the process and have had a little practice.
To cut with a wet saw, mark tiles in the same way as when using a hand tile cutter but use a fine marker pen rather than pencil so your line does not wash off. Do not force the saw through the tile, it should cut without slowing the blade. Ensure there is sufficient water flowing when operating the saw to keep the blade cool and optimise the cut.
Once the tiles are cut, they will be covered by muddy cutting water. Do not allow this to dry on the tiles - rinse the tile (front and back) in clean water after cutting and allow it to dry before installing.
Our Hot Top: Depending on your project size and the type and thickness of material you are cutting, a wet saw will cut more precisely with a cleaner, generally chip-free smooth cut edge.