1

I am getting ready to do a tiled shower project, and after that, a roughly 800sq ft floor. In both cases, I will use porcelain tile and the tile will be large format tile (LFT) that measures 12"x24".

I have a wet saw, but the shower is on the second floor and it would be much easier if I could cut the tile in the same room or at least on the same level of the house. To do this, I am looking at purchasing a tile cutter similar to this one. I understand that tile cutter can only cut straight lines, and I am OK with that.

My concern is that I've seen numerous websites/comments that say a tile cutter does not produce a clean edge, and that since porcelain is harder than ceramic, getting a good cut is much harder with the tile I want to use.

I am wondering if anyone can confirm or refute my concern. I am by no means a professional, but I would venture to say I'm an above-average DIYer. Given that, do I stand a reasonable chance of being able to use a tile cutter with a somewhat high degree of success?

7
  • 1
    Gadgets are great. But it would cost a lot less than $278 to hire a couple helpers to move the saw for you before & after, and for the same price they could spend an hour helping move other stuff in/out (800 sqft of porcelain tile is heavy), clean up, etc. Not a contractor/handyman, just a couple of basic helpers. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 2 at 18:47
  • 2
    "Basic helper" = neighborhood kids, mid- to late-teens, looking for beer mon... er, lunch money. – FreeMan Mar 2 at 18:49
  • The comments on my answer at diy.stackexchange.com/a/209544/42053 suggest you should not use a tile cutter. – MonkeyZeus Mar 2 at 18:58
  • Moving the saw isn't the issue, the issue is I can't use it in the house due to all of the water it throws, which means I have to climb the stairs for every cut. I can batch my cuts to cut down on the number of stairs I do, but doing no stairs is better than a few stairs. – Carl Mar 2 at 19:30
  • @FreeMan - thats funny. I had a neighbor growing up that was a bit lazy and I got along with him well. Very often I heard something like "wife is out shopping today. I have to mow the grass but there is a case of beer in the way. Let me know if you know anyone that can move that case of beer out of the way for me" – DMoore Mar 2 at 20:53
1

Using something like this you better be willing to practice and make sure you have the best tool. You can score and snap and it can be clean. But it can go the other way too and you can have tail pieces, cracks or flaky edges.

We have a tile guy that uses one of these from the 1960s and he sharpens the cutting wheel daily. His lines are great and it saves time. However I have seen many many people use these and I have had to tell them that "hey that cut is crap, don't use it on my floor".

So if you are going this way, you better practice and make sure it is worth it. Those are some big @ss tiles and imperfections will be noticeable.

If I were you I would keep the saw where I was laying down the main floor (not the shower). Honestly if you are making that many cuts in your shower area for that large of tile you have not planned well.

Also know that if you want to snap the tiles - them being porcelain - you will have to score the crap out of them. You will have to make sure the scoring wheel is sharp and is digging deep and you will have to practice putting pressure on the entire mechanism. Putting pressure equally and holding the tile at 24" is really a two person job.

So can you snap tiles and have them look great? Yes - for sure. Seen it done. Is it probably the most reliable method? Probably not. Would I prefer a wet saw? Yes. Can wet saws chip porcelain? For sure.

The answer you want has to do with the quality of the tool you will buy and the amount of time you will invest (or money for scrap tiles) to use it correctly. The guy I hire for high end tiling jobs uses a snapper... At the same time I hire a lot of other guys that do a great job and none of them do.

1

I have both a wet saw and a tile cutter/snapper.

The tile snapper is nice for ceramic tiles. It's quite fast but requires practice to use. But it is a cheapo tool. The one you link is way overpriced. There is no point in buying an expensive version of a tool that, by design, will never do a good job. I wouldn't pay more than 50€ for that.

Also, if your porcelain tile is what I think it is (different language here) then a tile snapper will not work. These tiles are just too hard. It will just leave a mark on it. If you really insist, it will make half a cut, and then the rest of the tile will snap at a random angle.

The solution to your problem is a cheap, portable, light diamond wet saw, which is worth less than 80€:

enter image description here

This makes a much smaller mess than a "table" style wet saw, but it does make a bit of a mess. If you put just the right amount of water in the tank though, not too much, you'll get no dust and very little water thrown out. With some plastic sheet taped on the wall in front, it's not a problem. If you fill the tank all the way though, it will spit a lot.

1
  • This simply isn't true. If you score your lines correctly and the snapper puts good even pressure on the entire tile you will in fact have less issues. The table saw can produce a chip while you are making a "perfect" cut, that is not the risk of the snapper. If you do everything right with the snapper and you have a good sharp wheel and a good snapper you will have far less variance in issues. It also depends on the tile you use, some top coats are thin or poor - I can tell you these will have issues with any saw. – DMoore Mar 2 at 22:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.