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Cutting ceramic tile

Posted by Henry in MI on March 31st, 2003 10:02 AM
In reply to cutting ceramic tile by Carrie on March 31st, 2003 09:15 AM [Go to top of thread]

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Carrie, there are 2 kinds of ceramic tile and the difference is in the firing temperature when they are made. Floor tiles are fired at a high temperature and are difficult to cut with anything other than diamonds. They are a little brittle, so you may be able to break these with tile nippers to close to your required shape but this is not usually successful for real close fitting work.

Wall tiles are fired at a lower temperature and are softer. I cut these with a Roto-Zip tile cutting bit in either a Roto-Zip or Dremel tool. They cut pretty easily this way. You can sweeten the cut with a 50 grit sandpaper drum in a drill press, if you wish. Both of these processes will produce LARGE amounts of dust and you will want to wear a good mask to prevent breathing the dust.

I have seen ads for tile cutting blades for scroll saws that had diamond impregnated blades but have not tried them and do not think that I would. I think that the possibility of catching an expensive blade and snapping it would be very large and lead to a lot of frustration.

For what it's worth, you can buy 4 x 4" wall tiles in white at home centers and tile stores for under $.20 each. These are good to practice on and you can use them as a field for designs that you cut out of the much more expensive colored tiles.

Henry in MI

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