How to cut porcelain tiles with an angle grinder without chipping
How to cut porcelain tiles at home
Hello All! Porcelain tiles, more and more often used for finishing works and, therefore, the question arises, what tools can effectively cope with the cutting of this material, which is characterized by high density of? Since the use of simple mechanical tile cutters and hand-held glass cutters leads to a lot of waste as a result of failed attempts to cut tiles, you have to look for ways.
Tools and equipment
For cutting porcelain stoneware with a thickness of 3 to 10 mm, you can buy or rent one:
Cutting thicker tiles and cutting rectangular or curved pieces will require more than the above. For these purposes they usually use:
- An electric jigsaw with a tile or stone saw;
- an electric plate cutter with a diamond wheel
- an angle grinder with adjustable speed equipped with a continuous diamond wheel.
If you want to grind the edge of the cut tiles, use the abrasive attachments on the angle grinder of various grits.
For convenience of work with the angle grinder, it is recommended to put a sheet material under the tile, which will not interfere with the rotation of the working disc. It’s easiest to use scraps of drywall or sheets of dense foam board.
When working with power tools, always wear goggles and a respirator to protect against dust and small splinters of porcelain stoneware.
What kind of wheel to cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder
There are many kinds of angle grinder discs that are suitable for cutting ceramic tiles. However, you should immediately refuse to buy cheap tooling, as their service life is small and their use can be dangerous.
Important! How smooth and splinter-free the cut will be depends on the right choice of disc.
The most economical choice, but inferior to all other disc types in terms of reliability. It makes a much thicker cut and generates a lot of dust.
During use, you need to monitor the condition of the stone wheel. And as soon as chips appear on it, carry out replacement.
It is the most reliable and durable type of tooling for angle grinder. Steel discs have a diamond coating on the edge. And their service life depends on its intensity.
Using a steel disc on tiles for an angle grinder, you can perform straight and curved cuts without any difficulty.
Segmented dry saws
The distinguishing feature of this type of tool is that its surface is divided into even segments. And the cutting edge is diamond-powdered.
Thanks to the slots, the disc is able to partially cool itself during use. It increases the continuous cutting time by up to 1.5 minutes. After that, you should let the tool cool down by taking it aside and letting it idle for 30 seconds.
Segmented discs are only suitable for dry cutting
Continuous dry-cutting discs
It is a solid disc with a diamond-coated edge. This tool is very handy for edging tiles. After using a solid tile disc for an angle grinder, the edges of the material are as straight as possible.
For cooling, periodic wetting of the tile is recommended, as well as spraying with a spray gun.
Combination disc models
This kind of tool is suitable for dry and wet cutting. But unlike the segmented ones, it loses in terms of cooling, and unlike the solid ones, it doesn’t give such a good cut.
Important! The disadvantage of combined types of equipment is that they are quickly clogged with small particles of dust, and for their cleaning can only be used concrete, silicate brick.
This type of tooling is recommended for demanding applications. Its peculiarity lies in a special spraying, which consists of small particles of technical diamonds, applied over a metal base. It allows the disk to withstand higher loads.
Features of the tool and abrasive cutting
Ceramics, porcelain stoneware, clinker and natural stone are all hard and strong materials that do not have any elasticity. They can only differ in their brittleness and their internal structure. For this reason, they can only be cut by means of intense heat or with an abrasive method (splitting does not count now, as it is not cutting). The first method is inaccessible to mere mortals, but on the basis of the second, all electric tools that cut these materials work.
Ceramic cutting with overhead motor
The very notion of abrasive is a solid, often mineral substance used for processing and cutting materials. The well-known principle from the earliest times is used. harder things grind “softer things”. Diamond dust is most often used as an abrasive. this mineral is the hardest of all known minerals. The cutting edge of the disc is dusted with it, and the discs for cutting ceramic are made of heat-resistant hard-alloy steel and different alloys.
How to cut porcelain stoneware
To grind the ceramic, you need to hit it quickly and powerfully. the motor of the power tool does this by making the disc rotate at a very high speed.
All these materials, although robust, are very brittle and easily damaged by impact. During cutting it is very important that both the disc and the tile are securely clamped. This will ensure less splintering. If the disk is skewed even slightly, it would be akin to a narrow, high-pulse impact, resulting in damage to the plunging edge.
The porcelain tile is firmly secured with clamps
We little by little got to the basics of cutting with an angle grinder. What distinguishes it from a professional tool is that it has no locking systems neither the disc (you have to hold the tool with your hands, which are constantly shaking), nor the tile itself (you can solve this issue by inventing clamps, following the example of the photo above). Also, nothing will help you to direct the cut along the planned line, except your eyesight. As a result, the cuts obtained with an angle grinder, are not distinguished by evenness and beauty.
It is not particularly important if the edges of these will be something to cover, but for open areas, you can not leave them so. What to do in such a situation, surely there are methods to improve quality? And indeed, there are such methods, about them we will talk further.
How to calculate the number of tiles on the floor
Is it possible to cut tiles with an angle grinder?
It is more effective to use a tool designed for this purpose. a tile cutter. But if you do not want to buy it “at once”, then you can use an angle grinder. Cutting with it will take longer, has a number of specific features that are worth considering.
For the work you will be suitable angle grinder with the most common disc diameter. 125 mm.
How to cut tiles with an angle grinder without dust and chips
Ceramic is a rather brittle material. To cut it perfectly, you will need skill and observance of some rules. When working with an angle grinder you are unlikely to be able to completely get rid of the appearance of dust and occasional chips, but we give some tips to help reduce their number.
Recommendations for working with an angle grinder without chipping:
- The greatest likelihood of splintering occurs when the cutting disc comes out of the workpiece.
- It is recommended to reduce the intensity of rotation at the beginning and end of the cut.
- Ceramic tile should not be cut all the way through, it is enough to leave a deep groove in it. Along the cutting line the workpiece will be easy to break by hand.
If you want to avoid chips as much as possible, start the sawing process to the right of the marked line. In this case, if any chips appear, they can be removed with a grinding wheel.
Wet method implies that when acting on the material, the cutting edge will be in contact with liquid: the working edge is immersed in water, or it is supplied by a jet.
This method is more difficult to implement, but it has advantages:
What wheel to cut porcelain tiles with an angle grinder
Cutting porcelain tile can be done in two ways, all depending on the thickness of the material and how complex in configuration the joint is to be cut. Since porcelain tile is still not a granite, but only an artificial imitation of it, two types of discs can be used for cutting:
- Vulcanite discs based on synthetic superhard ceramic. You can cut delicate grooves, corners, trim edges and much more with this wheel. In order to cut clay aggregate with an angle grinder over 10 cm, they are not suitable, but for minor works they are quite suitable;
- Diamond cutting-off wheels. You can cut unlimited lengths of joint with this tool. The only disadvantage of diamond is a fast mashing of cutting edge, which must be periodically restored and cleaned.
The optimum diameter for an angle grinder is 115 mm, so you can hold the grinder with both hands and control it more easily. For a blade with a larger diameter you need a more powerful tool, such as a circular saw.
Diamond cutting discs themselves are quite expensive and capricious tool, so most of the work try to do with Vulcanite discs, only the most delicate operations, such as trimming and plane fitting, are performed with diamond powder.
Tip! It is best to cut ceramic granite with special grinding wheels that are marked for cutting hard materials, natural stone and rock.
In addition, discs for cutting porcelain tile with an angle grinder must have a solid edge without a notch or turtle profile. Such tool cuts well natural granite, rubble stone, but at the slightest attempt to saw ceramic granite tiles along the cutting line appears a huge number of chips of enamel on the face surface.
Unless you have a specific preference for a well-known brand of cutting disc manufacturer, it is best to buy discs from leading manufacturers of hand tools. Simply said. if you bought a Makita angle grinder, buy cutting-off wheels with attachments by the same company.
Cutting methods for porcelain granite
The strong, glassy surface makes great demands on its processing, so cutting porcelain stoneware is a job that requires special skills and tools.
Despite the fact that porcelain tile has become very popular and is used everywhere, there are few methods of working with it.
Their difference from each other lies in the use of different tools.
- Cutting porcelain stoneware with a mechanical tile cutter;
- The same operation performed by an angle grinder;
- Work with an electric tile cutter;
- Waterjet cutting of porcelain stoneware.
Artistic cutting of porcelain stoneware allows you to create beautiful and durable solutions in the interior The techniques are conditionally divided into two groups on the basis of the likely location of the work. at home and at work. The first three techniques are used at home and on construction sites, the latter technique is used mainly at manufacturing sites, due to increased safety requirements, high water and electricity consumption, noise.
Cutting porcelain tiles at home with an angle grinder does not cause much noise
Cutting discs for tiles
Cutting ceramic or granite tiles is performed with diamond-coated discs or steel discs (Suhores). Practice has shown that the best performance when cutting edges on porcelain stoneware or ceramic was found with diamond discs. about each disc below.
Simple stone discs
These discs are the cheapest ones for stone, their life time is short and they are subject to frequent changes. over, they are thicker than their diamond competitors, respectively, and the line for trimmer cutting with these circles is thicker, and the dust generation during operation is also greater. In these wheels there is a high risk of chipping of the cutting edge, and the disc seems to be intact, but it is necessary to replace it, because further destruction of the cutting edge could cause injury to the employee.
Die cutters can withstand high loads without overheating and breaking. The only condition is that direct contact with the cutting surface should not exceed 90 seconds, then the disc must cool down at idle speed, after which you can get back to work. When they buy a cutting tool, craftsmen tend to prefer the continuous diamond coating.
If during the cut you notice a glowing band along the entire edge of the circle, then immediately stop the process, otherwise the tile will be overheated and spoiled. But do not get upset, the disc is still working, but overheated. Just make a couple of cuts on any abrasive surface (rubble stone, granite, sandstone) and the wheel will be like new again. Dry cutters come in two varieties: segmented, solid.
- Segmented diamond discs. This type is represented in the form of a steel disc divided into segments. In fact, the disk has an interrupted cutting edge. Both ceramic and natural stone can be cut with this wheel. Despite their better cooling ability, these discs are more likely to leave splinters when cutting, so they are not suitable for filigree work.
- One-piece diamond wheels. These wheels have the ability to perform a wider array of applications, and in addition to cutting tiles and stone, they can work on the side edges to give it the proper angle and shape. Thanks to its minimal detonation, the wheel allows you to cut glazed tiles with almost no chips.
Cutting tiles without chips
To keep chipping to a minimum, try to adhere to the following rules when working with the tool:
- Linear cut. Mark up the face of the tile with a construction marker. Ensure that the disc is positioned correctly in the direction of rotation indicated on the grinder and on the wheel. Put the angle grinder into operation and let it gather working speed. Use rubber clamps to fix the tile on a flat surface so as to prevent its sudden position change while cutting. Along the line of marking without effort to make a uniform cut deep 2-4 mm, based on the thickness of the glaze and the body of the tile. Make the passage over the glaze very slowly and as responsibly as possible, after this step you can apply a little pressure and bring the process to completion. And also there is a variant not to cut the body of the tile to the end, and the cut edge break off and finish the edge with an abrasive.
- Cutting a round hole with a large diameter. Apply a marker to the point that will be the center of the circle. Then with a drill bit with pobeditovye tip drill a hole in the place of the mark with a diameter of 3-4 mm through. Now on both sides of the tile it is necessary to put a marking of the circle with the desired diameter. Then, using an angle grinder to make short 2-3 mm notches on the contour of the marked circle, only after that you can cut the circle from the inside through cuts, and remove the remains with pliers. For complete removal of chips the edges of the hole should be processed with a file and sandpaper.
- Rectangular hole. Make a linear marking of the hole with a marker and a template, then drill through holes with a diameter of 7 mm in the corners, without protruding beyond the marked outline. After that, you can use an angle grinder to connect the holes with even cuts. Now you can remove the cut piece of ceramic, and the edges can be processed until the chips disappear.
If desired, you can cut a hole of any diameter and shape in the body of the tile, especially in today’s building world, there are all kinds of attachments and accessories for angular grinders. The only thing you must never forget is to take the necessary safety precautions when working with an angle grinder!
How to do without dust?
The formation of large amounts of dust is an inevitable process that accompanies the cutting of tiles or tile. There are two ways to get rid of dust:
The first option is not very effective, because the high-speed rotation of the disc adds great speed and energy to the smallest particles of material. There is simply not enough time for the vacuum to catch it. Moistening gives the best result. It is done by filling the notch with water, passing with an angle grinder and repeating the procedure. Another option is to supply water through a thin tube to the disc or work area. This method is the most efficient way to keep the disc cool and keep the dust from flying around.
To ensure safety when cutting tiles, it is necessary to comply with the following requirements
- use a dust cover;
- Hold the angle grinder firmly, do not turn it vertically;
- Use appropriate PPE. protective clothing, goggles, respirator, gloves, etc.д.;
- Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
In addition, it is necessary to observe electrical safety precautions, not to use defective tools with broken insulation of the body and wire. Before you cut tiles with an angle grinder, you should prepare the workplace, ensure appropriate conditions. lighting, ventilation, etc.д. If you follow these simple rules, you can avoid injuries and do the job without damaging your health.
To ensure safety when cutting tiles, the following requirements must be met:
- Use a protective cover;
- hold the angle grinder firmly, do not turn it vertically;
- Use the appropriate PPE. protective clothing, goggles, respirator, gloves, etc.д.;
- Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.
In addition, it is necessary to observe electrical safety precautions, not to use defective tools with broken insulation of the body and wire. Before you cut tiles with an angle grinder, you should prepare the workplace, ensure appropriate conditions. lighting, ventilation, etc.д. Compliance with these simple rules allows you to avoid injuries and perform the work without damage to health.
Of course, the cutting methods we discussed above are suitable for those who are not in a position to spend a good amount of money to buy a machine for cutting porcelain stoneware. However, for professional tilers to save time on the operation of cutting porcelain tiles is fundamental, so the machine will be very helpful. Although only a straight cut is possible with the machine, most cuts are straight. Besides, a good machine can cut tiles at different angles.
In addition to the large allowable cutting thicknesses, the machine has several other advantages. Firstly, it will be possible to use wet cutting of porcelain tiles. This method reduces the probability of overheating of the cutting disk and the appearance of chips on porcelain tiles. Second, the hands are free from the power tool’s weight. The machine has a platform on which the electric motor and the cutting edge are rigidly mounted. Thirdly, the machine has devices for rectilinear translational motion: either the tile or the motor with the cutting tool. This avoids irregularities and greatly improves the quality of the cut. The only thing left is to control the feed rate along the rails while the cut is in progress. But the main advantage is the absence of dust when cutting tiles, which is especially important when renovating an apartment.
Depending on how often and how much the craftsman has to work with tiles, he may think about what type and size of machine for cutting porcelain tiles he will need. For example, if the work is done in a confined space or not often, then more appropriate will be a machine with the location of the engine below the desk. Such machines are less bulky, lightweight and much cheaper in comparison with the machines that have the top position of the engine (for example, the model Praktika 1860 has a medium range). But this version has a greater restriction on the depth of cut. Not every model is equipped with guides for straightforward tile feeding and fixtures for fixing tiles, which requires some skills from the master. Also, cutting at an angle of 45 degrees is not provided in many models.
opportunities and comfort when cutting porcelain tiles provide machines with the location of the engine above the working table. For a craftsman who specializes in working with tiles, this option will be clearly preferred. Although these machines will have large dimensions, they will provide safer and more comfortable working conditions, much greater cutting depth (up to 100. 135 millimeters), some models allow you to cut not only at an angle of 45 degrees, but also in the intermediate values. Naturally, this type of machines will have more powerful motors and larger diameters of diamond cutting wheels. Some of these machines will be stationary, which means that they have very large size and weight.
Depending on the manufacturer, equipment, size and ability, top-mounted machines come in a wide range of prices. Here you can read a detailed review of tile cutters.
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Gourmets of quality and sophistication
It is no secret that there is a special category of customers, which can be called a gourmet of quality. They are ready to pay big money for the work to be perfect. Most likely, this customer will be difficult to convince that you can do enough high-quality cutting of porcelain tiles by hand. Water or water jet cutting of porcelain stoneware can be of great help. This is a modern technology that allows you to cut porcelain stoneware with the highest quality. This operation is not performed at home, because it requires special equipment. The main disadvantage is the high cost of this work, which is likely to be unaffordable for the average customer.
The thickness in waterjet cutting can reach several centimeters, and the product does not need additional grinding. A great advantage of this method is the possibility of high complexity of the cut, which is impossible with manual methods. And the complexity is not only in terms of the pattern of the cut line, but also in terms of the width of the cut parts. Waterjet cutting of keamogranite allows you to cut parts at an acute angle to the edge of the tile, cut thin elements, cut holes and other complex cuts. This makes it possible to create drawings, mosaics, panels and other images of porcelain stoneware in different colors. Since the cut is controlled by computer, it is possible to match the mating parts with perfect accuracy. Indeed, gourmets will get the desired result.
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