Use a diamond-bladed wet saw for cutting curves into granite tiles, other natural stone tiles and ceramic tiles. With a bit of practice you can cut beautifully-smooth curves into your tiles easily and effectively. Follow these directions to make curved cuts with a wet saw.
Step 1: Measure and Mark Curves
Measure the radius of your curve from the center to the outer edge with a tape measure. For circles smaller than 12 inches in diameter, use a steel ruler with a cork backing to reduce slippage. Draw the curves and circles you want with a mathematical compass with a grease pencil mounted in the pencil holder. Outline the outside edge of the curve with masking tape.
Step 2: Prepare the Wet Saw for Operation
Plug in the wet saw and clear the saw table of any dust or stone slivers. Ensure a steady clean supply of water to flow over the blade. Turn on the saw and allow the blade to become completely wet before cutting.
Step 3: First Cut - Clear Away Excess Material
If you are cutting a curve that is less than a full circle, make two straight cuts to the inner curve, forming a right angle. Pull away the stone or ceramic tile carefully to avoid cracks or splinters.
Step 4: Next Cuts - Cut Thin Slivers of Tile
For the next cuts, place the blade so it will cut toward the inside of your curve at a right angle. The slivers will look like wheel spokes. Cut these slivers at 1/2 inch intervals around the curve. As you get more comfortable with the blade action, you can cut slivers as narrow as 1/8 inch. Remember to stop just at the edge of the curve. It is better to cut too short a sliver than go through the outer edge.
Step 5: Remove the Tile Slivers
Grasp each sliver with the tile nippers and move the sliver up and down slowly to break it off as close to the curve as possible.
Step 6: Smooth Out the Interior Curve
Going slowly around the interior curve, press the material up against the diamond blade, lifting it at a small angle, just 1 or 2 degrees, to shear off any tiny slivers that remain. Use slight sideways pressure to prevent damage to the diamond blade.
Step 7: To Cut A Full Circle
For holes less than 4 inches in diameter, use a correctly-sized hole saw to cut the circle. For holes more than 12 inches in diameter, cut a 4-inch hole in the center. Draw additional circles on the material at 2-inch intervals. Use a grinder to widen the circle to a point where you can insert the wet saw blade to make the sliver cuts described in Step 4.
Step 8: Safety Tips for Cutting Curves with a Wet Saw
Always wear eye protection when cutting stone or ceramic tiles with a wet saw. Wear snug-fitting, textured rubber gloves while cutting any tile on a wet saw to prevent material slippage and injury.