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How to Use a Wet Tile Saw : Detailed Guide with Safety Tips, Warnings, & FAQs

How to Use a Wet Tile Saw : Detailed Guide with Safety Tips, Warnings, & FAQs

An easy way to redesign your home could be working on the tiles. Yes! this will be a much cheaper and clever idea. Imagine the next time you have a new guest. They will be in awe and keep wondering how you did it without breaking the bank.

For tile cutting, you really don’t need a professional if you have the right equipment in your arsenal, like the wet tile saw. Wet tile saws are best for larger projects. These electric table saws help you cut tiles while spraying water to lubricate the work material.

Choosing the right tool for the right job is the key here. Here we will show you how to use a wet saw yourself without the help from a professional.

Types of Cuts You Can Make With a Wet Saw

You can cut different types of tiles with a high-quality wet tile saw, such as ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, glass tiles, stone tiles like marble or granite, and more. If the tile you want to work with is hard and dense, they will smoothly work with it.

How to Use a Wet Saw to Cut Tiles?

It’s easy to work with a wet saw if you keep two things in check –

  1. You follow all the safety measures and procedures
  2. You clean water and debris whenever needed

To use a wet tile saw, you will need a ceramic, porcelain or any other material and feed it to the blade of the saw slowly. This will cut your preferred part of the tile as long as the water supply is there to lubricate the blade and the tile.

Tools You’ll Need to Cut Tiles

  • Your wet tile saw machine
  • Tiles of your choice
  • Faucet/ Tap
  • Small hose
  • Wastewater bucket
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Face mask

Metrics of Project

  1. Total time- Two hours (One hour working time for 16 sq.ft tiles)
  2. Price of the Saw Machine- $90 to $400
  3. Skill Level – Intermediate

How to Use a Wet Tile Saw- Step By Step

using a wet tile saw

Preparation is always the key. Before you start to work with your wet tile saw, appropriate readiness will smoothen your work experience. Today we are going to discuss all the essential steps in getting your tile saw ready for action:

Step 1: Prepare the Saw

The first and basic step is to prepare the tile saw and your working tiles. Compared to other power tools you will need to take extra preparation beforehand because it works with both electricity and water.

Next, you need to connect water and electricity to your wet saw.

  • Connect Water to the Wet Saw

Connect Water to the Wet Saw

While you are connecting the water supply, check that both water and saw are switched off to avoid any unwanted accidents. You can either use the same water to recycle within the collection tray or continuously supply it with new water. If you use fresh water, you will need to empty the used water.

The easier option is to recirculate the same water as it saves water and doesn’t let the tile get dry in the process.

However, re-using water may mean there is a possibility the water will contain unwanted particles. The machine is designed to get rid of those particles but it could clog the strainer if there is too much of it. So, make sure that your saw has a built-in pump to recycle the water.

  • Connect Electricity to the Wet Saw

Wet saws have two electrical connections:

  1. One leading to the main outlet
  2. Internal connection to run the re-circulating pump

You can place your wet saw near a power source or arrange to connect it to a 120V outlet. We know that if electricity and water are close to each other, there is a high chance of risks. Due to this, you can make a drip loop, which will be lower than the saw and outlet. It will prevent water drip along the electrical cord to the main power.

2. Use a Bucket for Storing Wastewater

If you are not careful, you might end up making a mess with the water. If you decide to use new water instead of reusing the previous water, then operate the machine outside.

Another idea is to run a small hose to your bucket. This way you will avoid puddles forming near your feet and you can  also clean the debris before you use the water again.

3. Turn on the Water to the Wet Saw

Before you turn on the saw, make sure you turn on the water supply first. What will happen if you turn the saw on first? This will be a huge mistake, you could damage the saw blade as well as the tile.

You also have to make sure the water flow is adequate by adjusting the faucet and the water lever.

4. Make Sure Water Is Flowing to the Saw Blade

There is no point to turn on the water first if you don’t ensure water is flowing properly over the saw blade. The water reduces the friction and helps avoid causing damage to the blade and the tile.

5. Mark the Cut

The first thing to do when you prepare your tile is mark the cut. You can use a lead or grease pencil to mark the desired place to be cut. You can also use a scale to maintain a straight line.

6. Get Ready to Cut

Get Ready to Cut

While you are getting ready, make sure your hands are at a safe distance. You should keep your hands on both sides and not on the line of the blade. There is no need to hurry in this process – whether you use a manual tile cutter or a wet saw – as this could lead to injuries. Take enough time to get ready for action.

  • Turn on Power to the Wet Saw

Now is the time to turn on the power of the wet saw. When you do this, the water will start dripping and the blade will start rotating at it’s fixed place.

  • Push Tile Into the Blade

The blade will not come to the tile, you will have to feed the tile to the blade and slowly move it. If the tile seems not moving smoothly, you should check if the water is properly getting into the cut.

7. Cut Tiles as Desired

The water should be flowing properly over the blade and the tile. You will need to push the worktray slowly into the blade. The blade will cut through the ceramic tile smoothly without having to put much effort as long as the blade is super sharp.

Safety Measures

how to cut ceramic tile with a wet saw

  • Wear safety goggles, face mask, and hand gloves
  • Switch on the water before the saw blade
  • Avoid water puddles on the floor using a waste bucket and water hose
  • Do the needful to keep the electrical cord dry at all times
  • Keep your hands at a safe position
  • Do not hurry during the different steps of preparation and operation
  • Shut the saw off before the water and wait for the blade to stop spinning
  • Check on the bucket for wastewater and impurities at regular intervals
  • Clean when necessary to avoid injuries and damaging the machine

Troubleshooting Tips

If you find your work tray is not gliding smoothly towards the blade, rather you feel it is rigid then check your tile position first. This might be because of the dull edge or the water supply. Remember this, your water should be flowing properly; so check the faucet.

Furthermore, if your floor is getting wet or there is too much debris gathering then turn off the power and clean your waste bucket. Also, check the water nozzle if it needs adjustment. The tile saw will get dirty quickly so clean it before the next cut.

Warnings

  • Electrocution may occur if precautions are not taken
  • The cord has to be kept dry at all times
  • Keep your hands and arm at a safe distance

Conclusion

You can start getting ready for your DIY home improvement project with a wet tile saw. This tool will help you save on the labor cost and give you the satisfaction of working on your own. However, this is only suitable for large projects. If your project is smaller and you don’t want to invest in something expensive then there are also other options for you.

FAQ

Q. 1: Can you use a wet saw without water?

Ans: No, this will create friction and damage the blade and there will be the possibility of injury.

Q. 2: Are wet saws dangerous?

Ans: No, but they are prone to accidents if you don’t follow the proper procedure. You have to be aware of the fact that it uses both electricity and water, which can cause electrocution if you are not careful.

Q. 3: How do you cut tile with a wet saw without chipping it?

Ans: With proper positioning, moving the work material slowly and ensuring the correct flow of water, the tile won’t chip. Also, check for any troubleshooting needs.

Q. 4: Does porcelain tile chip easily?

Ans: Porcelain tiles are known for their hardness and they are prone to chipping. However, if you take good care of the saw blade and take some extra steps, there will be reduced chances of chipping.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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