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Al Willits
10-22-2006, 11:58 AM
Beasty has now decided that she wants 12" sq 3/8th" granite tiles on her conter tops in the kitchen, so off we went looking at granite....
After about 4 or 5 stores she's narrowing down the style she wants and all is well....kinda.

Seems each store has a different opinion on what we need to spend to cut the granite and ceramic tile back splash, starting at $69 to over $400 for what ever saw they seem to be pushing.

Anyway, any of you guys done any of this and what do you recommend to use, figuring renting will cost as much as buying, as slow as I work...
Tia

Al

Jeffrey Makiel
10-22-2006, 12:43 PM
Al,
I have two wet saws. One is a small universal saw with a 4 1/2" diamond blade, the other is larger induction motor wet saw with a 10" blade.

For 12" granite/marble tile, I could probably use the smaller saw but with some difficulty and loss of accuracy. The 10" saw is much better for larger tiles, and has a much larger capacity if you plan on diagonally cutting a 12" tile.

The larger saw is an import clone of an MK saw. I've used Target saws in the past, but could not justify the $1,000+ for part time use. I bought the Grizzly saw for about $350 which includes shipping and a stand. Harbor Freight appears to have the same saw which sells for around the same price. I recommend this saw. It has cut ceramic and porcelain tile, marble and soapstone, red brick and paver block. Needless to say, its very capable.

The other advantage of an 10" induction motor tile saw is that it does not spin water all over the place as much as the smaller higher rpm universal saws. But I still recommend using it outside and using a GFCI power outlet or cord adapter. The larger saws are also quieter.

The down side to the larger saw is that the saw is not easily portable by one person, and takes more room to store it. For small tiling jobs, like 4" or 6" tile countertops and backsplashes, the smaller saw is more convenient and equally capable.

I also found that there are many folks these days willing to buy a used wet saw. So, selling either one after you are done is an option.

On another note...the granite tiles that you are considering are usually a composite of 93% natural stone, and 7% epoxy binder. Unlike solid granite, be aware that you cannot place a very hot pan on the tile or you will burn the epoxy. Also, make sure you use the correct adhesive (mastic or thinset) recommended by the tile manufacturer to prevent staining or discoloration. Lastly, the joints between the tiles will need to be filled. Usually this is a butt joint, so make sure the grout is unsanded.

cheers, Jeff :)

Al Willits
10-22-2006, 1:09 PM
Thanks Jeff, I'm looking for a saw brand and model to buy then look for a used one also, we will be doing the bathroom in a couple of years so might as well buy a decent one.

Seen the granite we/she likes ats Lowes, and the gal says its heat proof, but something to check further, as that's one of the reason we/she wants it.

Doesn't appear we'll be cutting anything fancy and we have a small kitchen, only unstraight cut would be the for the sink, and I'm wondering if the 4.5" Makita hand held grinder I have with the right blade might do this...more learning curve....:)

Al

Dino Makropoulos
10-23-2006, 9:55 PM
Al.
Use the tools that you have. :cool:
You need a diamond blade and one sponge
to keep the blade/tile wet.

Stop over the ez forum for some ideas and links.

Tim Morton
10-23-2006, 10:12 PM
Thanks Jeff, I'm looking for a saw brand and model to buy then look for a used one also, we will be doing the bathroom in a couple of years so might as well buy a decent one.

Seen the granite we/she likes ats Lowes, and the gal says its heat proof, but something to check further, as that's one of the reason we/she wants it.

Doesn't appear we'll be cutting anything fancy and we have a small kitchen, only unstraight cut would be the for the sink, and I'm wondering if the 4.5" Makita hand held grinder I have with the right blade might do this...more learning curve....:)

Al
I totally different stone...but I recently cut some bluestone using my 4" grinder and a diamond blade....it was like butter....but VERY dusty....I think with some kind of jig you could cut very straight lines.

Lee DeRaud
10-23-2006, 10:13 PM
I've got about the cheapest tilesaw Home Depot sells (about $75 IIRC)...goes through 3/8" granite like butter. I suspect that with a bit of creativity in your layout, the sink opening won't really be an issue.

(Yes, it's possible to buy a diamond blade for your circular saw and juryrig a way to keep it wet, but (1) it won't do the job as well as the $75 tilesaw, (2) it's incredibly messy, and (3) you've got a rather high probability of buggering up a perfectly good CS.)

Bob Childress
10-24-2006, 8:14 AM
For tile saws, think Felker. Felker TM 75 is a good all-around DIY tile saw for $160 or so on this web site http://tileyourworld.constructioncomplete.com/tilesaws.html

I have the Felker FTS-150 which I bought for our remodel (about $500) and will sell it when (if ever) I am done. It is a smooth running machine. On another (nameless, unlinked) forum frequented by tile pros, the Felker almost always wins hands down.

Robert Mickley
10-24-2006, 8:40 AM
Seen the granite we/she likes ats Lowes, and the gal says its heat proof, but something to check further, as that's one of the reason we/she wants it.


I would buy one tile of whatever your going to use, bring it home and heat up a pan and set it on it to see if really is heatproof. Better than getting it all in and finding out it really isn't ;) A little destructive testing now could save you some labor later on.

Al Willits
10-24-2006, 10:08 AM
Thanks guys, Robert we did just that, and will try this weekend to see if it burns or discolors.
The MK 75 at $170 would be in our price range, so I'll go see if I can find one of them to look at, thanks.

Starting into wood working and then jumping right into a kitchen remodel has been one heck of a learning curve, gotta say thanks to all you, and the help and info I've received over the last couple of months.

Dino I'll check your website also, need to anyway to figure out how to asemble and use that new EZ Smart you sent me...:D
Thanks for the great customer service btw.

Al

Al Willits
10-25-2006, 10:11 AM
Ended up ordering the Felker TM 75 for the website Bob suggested for $158 with free shipping, considering Craigs list had one used for $150 and it was gone in a day, I have the feeling we can use this for the kitchen and bathroom then sell it for $150 so it costs $8 to use...or....maybe just keep it.

Hard to get rid of tools...:D

Have to admit, using a skill saw to cut this stuff sounds like a way to get a skill saw full of granite/ceramic dust, so I'll save that for wood.

Thanks all.

Al

Scott Coffelt
10-25-2006, 12:35 PM
If you don't plan on using it again or enough to justify the expense, I would just rent one for the day. You can get a prefssional model and they are much easier to use. i personally have a cheapy and have used a pro model and there is not comparison, yes both will cut, but so does a handsaw vs a circular saw.

Al Willits
10-25-2006, 1:58 PM
""""""""
I would just rent one for the day

""""""""""

We thought of that, but we figure it'll take several days for us to complete the project, being this will be a first timer for us and I'm not exactly as fast as I used to be.
This will give us the time to go slow and hopefully get it right.
Kitchen has both granite counter tops and Beasty wants a ceramic back splash.
Cost of renting would get to high for us, plus I'd rather not hurry..:)

Thanks for the thought though.

Al

Hal Flynt
02-20-2007, 6:10 PM
I found this on a search. THe tile saw Felkner TM 75 is now $298 on sale, bummer.

Al Willits
02-20-2007, 7:10 PM
To bad your so far away Hal, ya could borrow mine, its just like new...er..in fact it is new, I've yet to get the cabinets done...:)

Al...who thinks this worked out better than the Edsel stock he bought...

Hal Flynt
02-20-2007, 7:35 PM
After 2 years of engineering and sketching, I started building the face frames and doors. Now my wife and her 2 girlfriends have decided that we do need to take out the 4 foot by 7 foot pantry and everything should fit in the new 4 foot of wall space.:p So it will be a while before I really need the saw.

Belinda Williamson
02-20-2007, 9:13 PM
Al,

Don't know if you checked into this or not. Some stone shops will cut and edge stone tiles for you. Too late since you already bought the saw? I'm not sure about the info regarding composite tiles. Most tiles sold as granite are granite, and should take heat well. In case you don't know, don't use an adhesive (such as Liquid Nails) which is petroleum based. Over time the petroleum will "stain" the stone. "Composite" or engineered stone is 93% quartz with 7% resin binders. These products are heat resistant to a degree and should be fine with everyday use. When my company first started working with engineered stone I kept a 10 x 12 piece of white beside my stove for weeks and did everything I could to damage it - including taking a cast iron skillet straight from the burner, placing it on the stone, and leaving it to cool. No damage. However, intense heat will "white out" areas on dark colors. Some engineered stones also contain recycled glass. Intense heat can cause the glass pieces to fracture due to difference in heat transfer between the glass and the resin binders.

Good luck with the cabinets and counters!

Al Willits
02-21-2007, 12:21 AM
Thanks Belinda, we have a pretty good tile shop that's been helping us, and they have all the stuff we'll need.
We're also looking at something to use as maybe a cutting board/ hot pad just in case.
Also with just the two of us we usually have space on the stove to leave hot pans.

Also going to add a granite top inlay to the side board I'm gonna make, kinda excited considering I haven't a clue what I'm doing, but learning as I go....with a lot of help from this forum..:)

Al