Cutting ceramic tile

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Old 12-11-06, 08:56 PM
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Cutting ceramic tile

I am installing ceramic tile on bathroom walls to a height of 48". I will need to cut openings in the tile for outlet and switch boxes. I bought a couple of coated sabre saw blades that are supposed to cut tile - they don't, I also bought a 1 3/8" tile hole saw designed to cut plumbing holes in tile - it doesn't, at least not with a rotary drill/drill press.

Is there an efficient tool available for making cutouts in 1/4" wall tile? I'm thinking a bit for a zip tool or something along those lines. I asked the "tile" guy at the big orange box and he didn't have a clue.
 
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Old 12-11-06, 09:08 PM
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I use a four and a half inch side grinder with a dry cut diamond tile blade to do out let holes. Mark the four sides of the hole and cut from the front to each corner. Then turn the piece over and cut from the back to finish the cut out. support the piece on a piece of wood to dampen the vibration to try to keep the piece from breaking and go slow and easy.
There are two tile hole saws, one has a very rough looking cutting surface, the other appears to have a smooth metal cutting surface. The second is very pricey but cuts great as long as it's kept wet for cooling while cutting. The first will do the job, but takes a while unless you're dealing with porcelain in which case you need the second kind. Some tile stores will do these holes for you for a price provided they're marked and you don't hold them responsible for breaking one.
 
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