First time tiler - wet saw question

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  #1  
Old 10-18-15, 08:57 AM
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First time tiler - wet saw question

Hi all,
I have been contemplating getting a wet saw for the bathroom remodel.
I am taking it slow, so renting a saw may not work.

The floor tiles are 13x13 and wall tiles are 15x10 (all inches).
Would a 7 inch saw like the one shown below work for cutting such long tiles?
Otherwise, I would like to hear your recommendations for other options. I will have another bathroom to do down the road.

Thanks
Tbone

7 inch wet saw

[ATTACH=CONFIG]57555[/ATTACH]
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-15, 09:43 AM
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It's definitely a toy, but it should work good enough for an occasional project especially if you're not used to a better saw. It's a very low price, not much to lose. You may want to replace the stock blade with something better once you test it out. A decent blade will cost more than half the cost of the entire saw.

May need a raincoat too since the blade spins in the water and comes out towards the user. I have no experience with this model.

You'll also want to buy a tile cutter and nippers of course.

Jaz
 
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Old 10-18-15, 09:53 AM
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I have a similar but cheaper saw ;eek:I was very impressed on how well it worked for my first tile job [non professional] but half way thru the 2nd job the blade started to get dull and chipped a few of the cuts. Not a big deal but was a little disappointed. I suspect a new/better blade will help.
 
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Old 10-18-15, 09:57 AM
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While I have done larger format tile on such a saw, it takes some skill as the overhang on the tile off the table itself will cause the blade to bind if not properly supported. The blade will also bind if you do not hold a perfectly straight line through the whole tile. I was able to do it, my helper on the other hand could never get the hang of it. I would listen in the distance and hear the saw constantly bind. While it was early on in my tile career, this saw and the lack of skill of my helper went a long way toward pushing me to invest in a more professional unit. I believe you can rent this unit and try it out before you purchase. And as Jaz said, you will be thankful for investing in a quality blade.

My regular saw is a bridge saw with the blade rotating from the top. I still have a slightly larger version of this table saw where the saw rotates from beneath. Yes you get wet, but it is great for cutting the toilet flange circle out of tile. I use it almost like you would an angle grinder to drag the tile across to make the arc of the circle (only after whittling out the majority of tile first).
 
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Old 10-18-15, 10:43 AM
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Appreciate all the input.

I could go the next level, say something like this:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]57561[/ATTACH]

But, now it will be almost competing with renting.
As a first timer, I am going to lose quite a few tiles to lack of experience.

JazMan, what does a tile cutter do that a wet saw wouldn't? Just curious.
I have nippers from a previous kitchen project.

Thanks
Tbone
 
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  #6  
Old 10-18-15, 11:27 AM
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TBone,

That saw is a toy too, just a better toy. It'll probably work, just have to fight it.

I certainly wouldn't wanna use a wet saw for every cut. That is only necessary when cutting natural stone tiles and is one reason we have to charge more $$$ to install marble. With a cutter you cut in the room and no need to dry the tiles etc. You need all three types of cutters to do a good job and be efficient.

Jaz
 
  #7  
Old 12-05-15, 08:29 AM
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Hi all,
I thought I will update you guys on this topic.
I got a tabletop "job site" wet saw from the big orange.
Between that and a straight cutter, I finished tiling the bathroom floor.
Used an angle grinder for the cuts around the toilet flange.
All in all, not bad for a first timer.

Moving on to grouting now.

I had the most difficulty in mixing the thinset.
I initially picked up a bucket of premixed thinset, but later read poor reviews of how it took weeks to cure. So, I returned it and went with the flexbond.

I got better with each batch...then I realized that patience is key

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and helping me through this project.

TBone
 
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Old 12-05-15, 09:32 AM
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I mostly used a score and snap tile cutter. While the 21" one I used might be overkill for DIY there are smaller cheaper ones that work well. Yes there are specific compound cuts that are best done on a tile saw but for 90% of the cuts a simple tile cutter works best in my opinion. I never understood why some many pros rely almost exclusively on tile saws. A tile cuter is a lot less mess, doesn't usually chip, and maybe a bit quicker. But that is just my opinion.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 12:40 PM
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I never understood why some many pros rely almost exclusively on tile saws.
Less waste is the simple answer and I can do so much more with a wet saw than a score and snap. I can cut literally a saw blade thickness off a tile if I wanted - can't do that with a score and snap. I can make any cuts around obstacles quickly. Easily cut glass mosaic and natural stone. Make factory cuts that are exposed at a threshold or Schluter trim strip. Easy to cut around door jambs and tuck under casing so the floor looks like it went in before the doors were installed. I can drop a speed square on the fence and make a perfect 45 degree cut. I can make corner miter cuts for wall cove base. I can make radius cuts that follow the contour of the tub around the edge lip and easily then make the tapered cut that goes down the side of the tub to the floor (tubs are angled at the skirt and not vertical). I can clamp a fence/stop on the saw and duplicate the exact same cut as many times as I want. I did a river rock shower floor once and shaped the bottom row of wall tiles to the exact shape of the stone so the wall melded perfectly with the floor.

I have used the score and snap cutter 2 times in the past 5 years. Both because it was so cold outside that my water lines froze in my wet saw between cuts and was un-usable. One was all square cuts. The other I made all the square cuts and then dry laid out the balance of the floor. Measured and marked all cuts around doorways and toilets etc. And then went to the wet saw and mass cut all pieces at the same time. The saw would not freeze as long as water was flowing. So the saw did not freeze that time, I did.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 03:22 PM
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I agree there are times when a saw is the only way. That is why I said 90% of the time. The times when you listed a saw is the only answer are the same ones I would have listed. I'll shut up now.
 
  #11  
Old 12-06-15, 04:04 AM
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I have a wet saw that looks similar the 2 that Tbone pictured that I paid a little under $100 for. It's at least 15 years old and it's been used on something like 6 to 8 tile projects; I'm still on the original diamond blade. It certainly isn't as accurate or as fast as a conventional wet saw, but it does a decent job for a LOT less money. The real downside is that you definitely need rain gear when you use it; part of that is that I took the guard off, but I want to be able to see the blade. I also like to mark all my cuts with a pencil and freehand the cut because the fence isn't perfectly parallel to the blade. I actually use my score and snap when I can because I can keep that where I'm working, but some projects like my last bathroom with porcelain and glass tile, could only be used on a wet saw.
 
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