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I went to demolish and remove a 8'x4' pool table in our basement and discovered the top slab is marble. If it is even possible, we thought it would be cool to turn it into a bar top that we plan to make when we finish the basement.

It would be extremely difficult to move the slab with the set up of the exit and stairs to get it outside. It will need to be cut in the basement, at least into a few sizes, to make it easier to move it outside.

Any advice or tips on how to approach this? Is there a way to cut it into pieces with no water or minimum water.

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  • 6
    It got in there in one piece, so it can get out. Riggers or a pool table supplier would know how.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 11 at 14:59
  • 6
    Are you 100% sure it is one piece? Its possible it's one piece, but pool tables are often installed in sections and the seams covered/sealed.
    – spuck
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:15
  • 2
    Whatever approach you choose, if you choose to do it indoors you can buy a disposable spray tent for under $50 or make one out of plastic sheets and sticks that's good enough for single use. Wear a good mask. No mess.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:21
  • Yes it is a 1 piece. We tore the felt off and that’s when we realized it wasn’t slate and marble
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 11 at 21:34
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    @nigel222 you would probably remember, but usually it's because the door was changed and new trim installed.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 12 at 11:59

4 Answers 4

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Hire someone. Call a local marble yard. (Not a kitchen/bathroom store, but the places they send you to for your countertops). Ask them for a labor quote to come do it for you.

I'm guessing the price will work out in your favor. Not that you couldn't do it for cheaper but if you factor in:

  1. Actual cost (tool rental, blade, etc)
  2. Risk of failure, risk of injury
  3. As a DIY job, this is a skill that's hard to learn, requires some artistry, and unlikely you will use often or ever again. You're at the beginning of a learning curve and you'll never leave the beginning, unless you're planning to go work for a marble yard. :)
  4. They will shape the edges and corners, do minor polishing, cut holes if you want, etc. Each cut will cost you but the above 3 points apply to each one. They are really good at it. You're not.
  5. They can take it outside and do it there. Movers got the whole table in there, stone experts can get the slab out. It's what they do. Outside they can cut it wet, dry, whatever they want ... you don't care.
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    I have had the experience of watching people from these places do this type of cutting exactly . They do not use wet equipment and the control of dust is minimal. When the job is done you get a smile and your cut counter and rooms full of dust. So if cleaning for another 3 hours after is ok, go for it.
    – RMDman
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:04
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    Different shops will do it differently. Ask about dust control when you ask for quotes.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:10
  • @RMDman valid concern. I added point 5.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:11
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    Marble is virtually pure Calcium carbonate. The dust is the active ingredient of indigestion pills. Just a nuisance. I'd be a lot less happy about any other rock dust. Even sawdust is more dangerous. It can explode.
    – nigel222
    Commented Jun 12 at 9:16
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    @VladimirCravero OSHA is less concerned about marble, in contrast to other types of rock. The big danger is silica, and as nigel222 says, marble has little silica.
    – user71659
    Commented Jun 12 at 20:54
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Put down a lot of plastic around the work area. Have a good shopvac ready. Get a 7" diamond blade for a circular saw, and a spray bottle of water. Have at least 2 helpers ready. Have ear, eye, breathing and skin protection for everyone. (TY cr0)

Plug the saw into a GFCI protected outlet. Cut in 2 passes. of about 9/16" depth. Obviously the material must be supported well to keep it from sagging or bowing and binding the blade. Multiple saw horses will help.

As you cut, have a helper spritz water on the material before the blade. Just a little, not alot. Have the other helper hold the vac hose near the backside of the blade to suck up the dust and water spray. When done with the first cut,lower the blade to a greater depth and make the second cut all the way through in the same manner.

It won't be fun or neat, but it is what you must do for what you want to do.

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    this seems like the right answer to me, though I'd emphasize it's worth wearing appropriate respirator PPE for dust, for any helpers in the room
    – cr0
    Commented Jun 11 at 14:38
  • Doesn't all the dust and water-spray exit the cutting area from the front of the saw? Not clear what is accomplished by vacuuming behind it. Might be more productive to spritz the blade itself and let the blade sling the water into the cut where it will do the most good.
    – MTA
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:10
  • My circular saw has an exit port at the rear of the blade.
    – RMDman
    Commented Jun 11 at 15:14
  • Will 2nd cr0s concern. Marble dust is not good for the lungs. I believe its is almost as bad for your lungs as Asbestos is.
    – Questor
    Commented Jun 11 at 23:08
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    The easiest way to support the marble is to put a sheet of 1" foam board on the floor and the marble on that. Cutting into the foam has no effect on the saw blade.
    – Llaves
    Commented Jun 12 at 21:41
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The other answers are good workarounds, but do you know they make actual portable wet saws for this? For example:

enter image description here

It even includes a water line that you connect to a small pump.

The problem with trying to do this dry is the huge amount of dust, which is not just a nuisance, but very unhealthy.

You can use a straight board and clamps as a guide. Just go slow and/or do the work in several passes. Make sure to support the piece well, so that it does not drop/crack as you weaken it with each pass.

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  • Marble is almost pure Calcium carbonate. The toxicity is extremely low. Any other rock, be MUCH more careful.
    – nigel222
    Commented Jun 12 at 9:18
  • @nigel222 You are right. It's more of a nuisance than a health hazard, compared to silica-based engineered stones aiha.org/news/…
    – Cheery
    Commented Jun 12 at 12:58
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    As a former stone mason and DIYer I voted for this answer. OP might be able to rent one. The only caveats are 1) finishing the edges after the cuts. If edges are to be exposed, diamond sanding pads are normally used wet and may cause a larger mess than the cutting. It is also unclear if the large surface is already polished (I doubt it). 2) confirmation that it is really marble and not just the OP opinion as polishing marble vs slate vs granite is very different.
    – gns100
    Commented Jun 13 at 15:44
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Rent a diamond saw or put a diamond blade in a tool you already own, like a circular saw. It's going to make a huge amount of dust, but that's the tradeoff you make cutting dry. You'll also have to take regular breaks to let the blade cool or you'll melt it.

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  • also tent it and wear a respirator
    – Philip
    Commented Jun 13 at 21:04

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