Tool to chamfer cut granite tile edges?

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Old 06-14-10, 01:55 PM
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Tool to chamfer cut granite tile edges?

Hello to the group,

I'm installing new granite floor tiles (12" x 12") over a P-T concrete slab in our powder bath. Is there a power tool that will create the 1/32" chamfer edge that comes on the factory cut tiles? I have read that you can use a diamond abrasive pad to do this freehand, and also a chamfer stone, but I want to make sure that the edges of the cut granite tiles will exactly match the factory edges to insure the grout lines are uniform.

This floor will have an intricate pattern on it that will feature lots of cut edges, so I'm trying to make sure that all of the edges will be uniform in width. Is there a diamond based router/right angle grinder bit (water or dry) that will make this tiny chamfer?

Also, these tiles will be set with the Tuscan leveling system as well. Anyone here using this system? Thanks for helping a granite tile newbie...

Tiling in Texas...
 
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Old 06-15-10, 06:05 AM
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How much tile are we talking about? Creating a finished edge on granite can be very time consuming. It's typically a 6-7 step process of sanding with finer and finer sand papers. To get get what you want to achieve, I'm sure you would have to setup a jig of some sort to make all the edges uniform.

I have never used the TLS system personally, but have had heard good things about it. Not sure how beneficial the system would be to a novice DIYer, and if the expense is worth it for a single job (depending on size), but the results are usually most excellent.
 
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Old 06-15-10, 10:55 AM
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Hello HotinOKC,

(It's plenty hot here as well...)

Thanks for your reply, the powder bath is about 80sqft in total, but the design will require a few hundred detail cuts including those for the baseboards, clipped edge points for the lighter tiles in the main field, square inlays in the clipped areas, a thin band to separate the darker tiles near the wall from the start of the diamond pattern in the main field and possibly clipped edges on portions of the baseboards.

The chamfer I'm trying to duplicate is only 1/32", like the ones that come on the four edges of the tiles from the stone manufacturer. In looking at this chamfer, it is polished somewhat, but it does not appear as highly polished as the face of the granite tile. This chamfer will be covered by grout when the tiles are grouted, or at least partially covered.

Because there will be so many cut surfaces (with sharp edges), I wanted to duplicate the chamfer/tiny bevel that the rest of the tiles will have (uncut areas), so the grout lines will be uniform and so there will not be any sharp edges when you walk on the floor in bare feet.

Most of what I've read says to use a diamond stone on the edges, or a smoothing stone. That might work, but these tools are used freehand, which may introduce imperfections in the amount, width and angle of the chamfer. Seems like using a diamond router bit (water cooled perhaps) would be an easier and faster way to do all of these cut edges, but I have not been able to find something like this at GQ, or GCT as yet.

Most of the contractors around here do little if anything to cut edges, leaving a sharp transition that is easily discernible when felt by the hand or when walked across the tiles bare footed. When these edges are accentuated by lippage, the problem is exacerbated. That's what I want to prevent. Since the granite tiles will be set very close together, variances in the grout line will be easy to notice.

Seems like a small trim router and a diamond chamfer bit would do the trick, but I have not been able to find anything specifically designed to produce a 1/32" chamfer on the cut edges of granite tile. It may well exist though, but I have yet to find anything powered that will produce uniform results.

I purchased the Tuscan Leveling System to eliminate any challenges with lippage. It's none too cheap, but I'm more concerned with doing the best job I can possibly do and not so much with how much the tools will cost to get the job done. I will also be laying a granite floor in the master bath area (250sqft) and another bath (60sqft) as well in the near future.

When that's done, I will be laying Travertine in the LR, Kitchen and Mstr BR, (1,550sqft), so my wet saw and tools will get plenty of use in the next few months. What's typically used to chamfer cut edges to ease the sharp 90-degree transition before installation? I do not mind having to fabricate a jig... Thanks for any help you can give this rookie...

Tiling in the Heat and Humidity Capital of the known and unknown universe - HOTston, Texas
 
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Old 06-18-10, 12:41 PM
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Looks like this topic died...

Hello,

Well I have yet to find anyone who could refer me to a power tool to create the tiny chamfer found on new granite tile edges. If one is out there, it must be a closely guarded secret.

No worries, I have found a diamond router bit that will work perfectly. The router bit will keep the chamfer angle uniform, so any worries about non-uniformity have been eliminated.

I will need to build a cutting jig to keep the chamfer depth and width correct, but that's no biggie. The jig I have designed will allow tiles as small as 3" x 3" to be chamfered accurately. I'm also looking at making a small sled that will push the tile under a stationary mounted router, instead of moving the tool across the cut tile edge.

This should make the overall throughput much higher and will be easier when working with repetitive cut shapes, like clipped corners and mating inlays. My powder bath will be a good test of the jigs, since there will be several hundred cut edges to process. Looking back, this was a simple fix...

Tiling in the Heat and Humidity Capital of the known and unknown universe - HOTston, Texas
 
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