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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    MA
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    71

    Default How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    I will be tiling up to a MAAX shower similar to this with 8x8 ceramic tile. What is the best way to get clean rounded cuts right up to the base?

    Thank you

    http://www.fixturesetc.com/Maax_Cont...20&%20door.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    Don't try to make a finished cut on the first pass. Get it close enough to just fit into the space, hold a Sharpie Ultra Fine or similar marker against the shower base, and scribe. One rough cut and one finish cut should be all you need to leave a minimum 1/8-inch joint between the tile and the shower base.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
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    1,211

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    When cutting, it really depends on the tile you are trying to cut: If the body of the tile is relatively soft, I use biters followed by a rubbing stone to produce a clean ropunded edge. For porcelain and hard stone, I prefer to use a wet saw blade. Page 57 of my book has an example of using biters to produce a curve while page 61 shows the tecnique I use with the wet saw. This use of a wet saw is hard on blades. I tend to use up at least 60% of a blade's cutting rim on making straight cuts before I relegate the blade to do freestyle work which tends to wear one side of the blade more than the other (and ruins the blade for further straight cutting). After cutting with the wet saw, I still use a rubbing stone to round over the edge. rounding the edge usually finishes the cut unless the color of the tile body contrasts with the glaze. When this occurs, I only lightly round the glaze and try to avoid the bisque.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    I've never used a rubbing stone, will have to pick one up, thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    For what it's worth, I have used an angle grinder with a diamond blade. Because I do this dry, I always do it outside, with a respirator, goggles, and hearing protection. I don't do it often (mostly for the round cutout for a toilet flange).

    Hope this helps.

    Tim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    trenton, nj
    Posts
    1,032

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    if your using a grinder watch the direction you cut, going in one direction in some tiles will make it chip fairly easily, but by going the opposite direction you can get a pretty clean cut. i think if the blade is spining clockwise you want to cut left to right, and counter clockwise right to left. i might be backwards though, its been a while since ive needend to make a clean cut with my grinder, but i know if you go the wrong way, whichever way it is, it will chip the glazing up pretty bad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    At what angle are you holding the grinder to the tile? Are you using the curve of the blade to follow the curve you are cutting? Or holding the blade perpendicular to the tile and cleaning out the cut?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    trenton, nj
    Posts
    1,032

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    i would do like mbyrne said, and do a rough cut 1st, then scribe your mark, then holding the grinder on an angle, more horizontal then vertical, using the side of the blade on the grinder to trim the tile.

    it depends on the radius of the curve, a long sweeping radius you may be able to make the cut with the grinder perpendicular to the tile, but the tighter the radius the more difficult that will be to do without damaging the your good peice of tile. it will also depend on which side of the cut is scrap, and which side is your good peice. the inside radius will be less affected then the outside peice.

    play with it and see what works for you. and by the way, youll want to clamp the tile down, for your own safety, and to keep the tile from jumping and ruining your cut

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kiawah Island, S. Carolina
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: How to cut curves in tile to accomodate a round shower base

    When using ANY kind of rotating blade to cut tile, make sure the rotation is into the face of the tile cutting through the body, instead of the blade rotqation cutting into the body and emerging through the face of the tile. There is no way to tell (except by experimenting) how badly a tile's edge will spall or flake when cut, but ensuring the blade's rotation causes it to cut through the glaze and then into the bisque will minimize flaking.

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