Cutting travertine tile

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Old 11-16-14, 07:29 PM
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Cutting travertine tile

I'm trying to figure how to make my 12" x 12" travertine tiles plus two 9/16" pencil liners fit exactly underneath a fireplace mantel shelf (there is no surround, just the shelf)--a span of 53". I'm going for 1/16" grout lines.

I have suggested to two different installers that the width of the tiles be cut to 1 @ 10.5" and 4 @ 10.25", and both have nixed the idea. One guy just said it isn't done that way. The other tiler said the cuts could never be made precise enough on all five tiles to fit exactly--and besides, I would "lose the factory edge." (The tiles are just cut, not polished or beveled.) He suggested looking for a different tile.

Is it true that really precise cuts aren't possible?

Why is the one tiler concerned about losing the factory edge, when only one of four edges will be visible?
 
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Old 11-17-14, 02:49 AM
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Welcome to the forums! More information is always better. Can you post pictures of what your project will entail? Are you filling in between pilasters, or just a fireplace front? Cutting travertine is not as easy as it sounds. Any vibration in the blade can cause sniping of the finished edge, as your contractor says. Sometimes they can be polished out. We'll wait on the pictures to give further advice. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 11-17-14, 11:29 AM
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The mantel shelf is on the floor, with the tiles and pencil underneath as I would like to have it over the fireplace. There is no way to get around cutting the tiles for this project. The top row would need one cut per tile, the sides and bottom two cuts.

Should I start over with a different type of tile--one that can be cut precisely and without damaging the edges?

Attachment 41838
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Old 11-17-14, 02:53 PM
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Pictures didn't show up. Did you follow the instructions as indicated in post #2?
 
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Old 11-17-14, 03:53 PM
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Pictures of fireplace travertine tile project

Name:  FireplaceWall.jpg
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Size:  16.2 KBName:  MantelShelf.jpg
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Size:  36.1 KBName:  MantelShelf-BottomLip.jpg
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Size:  30.5 KB

Pictures of fireplace tile project: fireplace wall, mantel shelf with tile in position, and underside of mantel shelf showing where the tile needs to meet up with the shelf. Seems they will only appear horizontally.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 03:59 PM
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Will you be bringing the tile down around the firebox opening? Or will you only have one run across under the mantel?
 
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Old 11-17-14, 06:27 PM
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My intention is to have the tile surround the fireplace, with the pencil liner along the right and left sides. And hopefully a hearth set into the floor.
 
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Old 11-18-14, 04:02 AM
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A random orbit sander with 400 grit disks will help ease the edge on the travertine if you want to cut it. Make your cuts slow and deliberate on a wet carriage type saw, and you will minimize chipping. You will need to start in the middle above the fireplace and work outward for a symmetrical look. The edge cuts can be polished and your grout will help cover boogers, if you have any. Making cuts on the tiles toward the middle will show up as poor planning and will look out of place, IMO.
 
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