Wednesday, February 8, 2023

How to cut facing tiles

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When laying tiles, you can never get by with just whole tiles – you have to cut them. At the same time, master tilers are dealing with expensive and very “nervous” material, which can be both too hard and incredibly fragile.

Sometimes there are a lot of cuts, and you need to aim for the maximum performance of the devices used, and sometimes you need to cut only a few elements, but do it with filigree accuracy and with a complete absence of chips. In many cases, there is nothing to do here without serious building tools, but it happens that you can get by with improvised means.

Electric tile cutter
Electric tile cutters are ideal devices for working with tiles. These network machines are distinguished by the presence of a desktop and a motor, on the spindle of which a metal disk with a diamond coating is installed. According to the layout, they can be divided into tile cutters:

With bottom motor, rip fence, tilt table and fixed tooling. These relatively inexpensive and compact tools are most in demand by domestic professionals.
With the top arrangement of the stretching power block. They are equipped with motors with a power of up to 2 kilowatts, they allow you to cut large format tiles and large thicknesses.

Electric tile cutter Fubag ExpertLine 1200
Electric tile cutter Einhell TC-TC 618
5 950 *
Electric tile cutter Fubag PKH35A120M
Electric tile cutter RedVerg RD-711620
Electric tile cutter Ryobi LTS180M, Without charger, Without battery
5 650 *
The main advantage of an electric tile cutter can be considered the stability of the structure, which leads to increased safety, high cutting accuracy and good quality of the edges obtained (including when cutting the cladding at an angle of 45 degrees to the plane).

All tile cutting machines allow you to cut with water supply to the equipment (in various ways), so there are no problems with the dustiness of the workplace, even the most durable materials such as thick floor porcelain stoneware or glass can be processed. Such tile cutters are also called “stone saw”, as they can cut clinker bricks, slate, concrete paving slabs, marble elements …

Mechanical tile cutter
The tool is a compact frame with a length of 40 to 90 centimeters (it depends on this indicator what size tiles you can work with). The craftsman moves the cutting unit along two parallel pipes with his hands, “on the tip” of which a solid metal roller is installed. To separate a strip of tiles, you need to draw a roller along the front surface and, by pressing the lever, break the tile along the markup.

In general, these devices work quite well and can be used even for intensive professional work. At the same time, inexpensive mechanical tile cutters are usually not able to cope with thick and durable floor tiles, and problems can also arise if the cladding is embossed.

Manual tile cutter Stayer 3303-50
2299 *
Manual tile cutter Topex 16B160
3 199 *
Advanced models of manual tile cutters have powerful guides and a reinforced separator, interchangeable cutters and a convenient system for cutting tiles at an angle.

Pliers
A highly simplified analogue of a mechanical tile cutter. Meanwhile, this is a completely working option for wall and floor tiles, perfect for working with mosaics. The main functional organ is a replaceable victorious roller, there is also a separator in the form of a V-shaped counterpart of the pincers. Many tilers have these tongs in their arsenal as an addition to their power tools.

Bulgarian
The only advantage of angle grinders when cutting tiles is their high performance and mobility. Serious disadvantages include the low quality of the cut (chips, burning of the glaze, it is difficult to maintain a straight line), the noise of work, dustiness and the possible emission of small fragments.

Angle grinder Makita GA5030 4 499 *
Angle grinder FinePower AGR900
1750 *
Angle grinder AEG WS12-125
Angle grinder Metabo WPB 36 LTX BL 230
108 999 *
To cut a tile with a grinder, you need to use a diamond blade for a dry cut. It is better to use a compact tool (designed for a small circle with a diameter of 115 or 125 mm). It is desirable that the angle grinder be with speed control in order to select the appropriate mode for a particular material. Then it will be a good option when you need to cut any type of tile, but do not spend money on an electric or mechanical tile cutter.

Mini circular (rotatorizer)
The tool, in fact, is a kind of centaur grinder and circular. It is good for its mobility, while it has a platform for stable plunge cutting, can be equipped with a dust hose and a water tank.

You can cut tiles with a thickness of more than 2 centimeters.

Also, the rotorizer copes well with cutting at an angle of 45 degrees (this is how tiles are processed for facing the outer corner).

glass cutter
Previously, every owner had this hand tool at home, but even now it is not a problem to buy it. If you need to cut several tiles at home, then you can easily get by with a glass cutter, because in fact it is not much different from a mechanical tile cutter or tongs.

To divide a tile into two fragments, it is enough to draw it over the glaze once, and then break the facing on a nail or on the corner of the table. By the way, if it’s completely pinned down, but there’s nothing like this at hand, then you can try to draw a tile with the tip of a nail / screw – many types of tiles cannot resist this.

Hacksaw with diamond thread
This method can be classified as budget and folk. The hacksaw is traditional, it may already be on the farm, you just need to buy a “string”.

It makes no sense to make straight cuts with such a tool, but curved trajectories and various kinds of holes are where it will show itself one hundred percent. By the way, diamond strings for manual jigsaws are also on sale.

Electric jigsaw
With this tool, you can cut curved lines and circular holes on the tile. As equipment, special diamond-coated ceramic files are used.

It is desirable to have a jigsaw with speed control.

By the way, ticks are pretty good at shredding a naughty mosaic. Before cutting, it is better to glue a sheet of tiles with masking tape according to the marking itself.

There are also specialized tongs for tile installers, they are distinguished by a small, neat beak.

Waterjet cutting
To do this, the tile must be taken to a company that provides such a service. Such work is quite expensive, since sophisticated equipment is used, often with CNC. The technology is the impact on hard finishing materials with a concentrated jet of water, to which the smallest abrasive particles are added – the cut is obtained with perfect cleanliness and accuracy.

Most often, this method of cutting tiles is chosen when it is necessary to create fragments of a very complex shape (panels, patterns, logos, holes, mosaics), or to cut ceramic strips of the same size with very even edges (for example, for use as a plinth or frieze).

As you can see, for cutting facing tiles, you can use the universal electric tool available at home, simply by equipping it with special discs or files for this. For very episodic work, a simple glass cutter or inexpensive “stacker pliers” will do just fine. The main thing is not to be afraid and practice on non-business samples. In general, the beast is not as scary as one might imagine.

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