wet saw

Which is the best: tile cutter or wet saw?

Let’s paint a picture. You’re replacing the tile kitchen counter. Or maybe it’s the tile bathroom floor. But your tiles just won’t line up. After an hour of frustration and a few choice words, you’re ready to call in the professionals. Good move, right?

Stop right there. Tile cutting isn’t difficult. Just because you’re an amateur tile setter doesn’t mean you should shy away from cutting some tile. It all comes down to choosing the right tool for the job.

Tile cutters and wet saws are the two best tile cutting tools for amateurs. But which you should choose depends on the specific job at hand, the materials you’re cutting, and more.

That’s why today, we’re bringing you our guide for choosing the best tool for your project. When it comes to the great tile cutter vs wet saw debate, we’re here to help. Let’s get started.

Installing tile flooring, backsplashes or countertops requires precise cuts, even grout lines, and a perfectly level surface. Completing a weekend tile project isn’t hard when you have a tile cutter or wet saw to help you achieve those precise cuts. But when it’s tile cutter vs. wet saw, which do you choose? Deciding which tool is best for your project begins with understanding the design of each one and considering the overall scope of the job.

Are you planning on building a house or thinking of renovating your house by fitting tiles for the floor, kitchen counter, or bathroom? Irrespective of the size of the project, tilling is a tricky job. 

During the planning, you must consider the best tile cutter tool for achieving precise, accurate, and perfectly level surface for your floor, backsplash, and countertops. 

It won’t be a difficult job when you have both tile cutter and wet saw to complete your project with a precise cut. But when it comes down to deciding which one is best, tile cutter or wet saw, you have to encompass the design of the floor, material types, and overall scope of the job under consideration. Our professional expert’s advice is standby to guide you to choose the right tool for your project. So, let’s move on to the technical aspects of the tools being discussed to give you a clear idea for making the right choice. 

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Tile Types and Composition

There is a variety of tiles, i.e. Ceramic tile, clay tile, and porcelain tile are available at the stores. Ceramic tile is made from sand, water, and clay and baked in a squire mould to make it moisture free. Porcelain is composed of a denser type of clay than ceramic tile while clay tiles are solely made of clay. All type of tiles is either glazed for interior use or unglazed for roofing or outer space. 

Other types of tiles, for instance, glass, cork, concrete, and stone, are used for any number of other applications. There’s no hard and fast rule to dictate the client which tile she/ he should or should not choose for a project.

cutting tiles

Measurements and Preparation

Every project has unique kinds of spatial challenges. It’s essential to take an accurate measurement of the area, including boundaries, diagonal interiors, width, and height, and plan out a layout for achieving the highest level of professional-quality performance. Accurate measurement of the total area of flooring, including abnormal boundaries and number of cuts, helps estimate what amount of tiles in Square feet is required to complete the project.

After the measurement, it needs to prepare the estimate of how many tiles are required for the spaces. Make sure that the surface is thoroughly scraped and cleaned of all debris to have the highest longevity of the floor and walls. 

Tile Installation 

After determining the size of the tile, draw out a layout for the chosen tile, which will act as a basic map throughout the installation process. Instead of choosing too many different tile sizes and layouts to choose from, it is wise to find the best one that fits every style of interior décor.

Measurements and Preparation

It can seem tedious but taking careful measurements of the area and planning out a layout are essential to achieving a professional-quality result. Measure the total area of the flooring to help determine how much time is needed to complete the project.

Once careful measurements are documented, prep the walls or the floors receiving the tile. Make sure that the surface is thoroughly scraped and cleaned of all debris. Any dirt or particles left behind will prevent the tile from properly adhering and will lower the lifespan of the new floors or walls. A little extra time spent on preparation can drastically improve the overall durability of your project.

Plan Out the Project

Taking the size of your tiles into consideration, draw out a schematic of the layout for the tile chosen. This basic layout will act as a map or guide throughout the installation process. With so many different tile sizes and layouts to choose from, it is easy to find one that suits every style of interior décor.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tile Cutter vs. Wet Saw

Tile Composition

There are many different varieties of tile: ceramic, clay, porcelain, stone, and more, but the most common tiles you will use are the first three. Ceramic is made of sand, water, and clay. Porcelain is made of a denser type of clay. Clay tiles are 100% clay. These tile options are usually glazed for indoor applications, or unglazed for roofing or outdoor tile. Knowing the tile composition will determine the type of cutting tool you need.

Measuring the Floor Plan

Your floor plan refers to the way you will be laying down the tile. There are different spatial requirements for each room or area, so measuring the floor plan will ensure that you choose the right amount of tile and purchase enough materials to complete the job. Accurate measuring is imperative. Begin by measuring the floor’s boundaries, diagonal interiors, width, and height. Then, measure one square of the sample tile. Use these numbers to figure out how many tiles you will need for your project. Be sure to account for abnormal boundaries as well.

Cutting the Tile

In many cases, you won’t be working with a perfectly square-shaped room that fits multiples of your exact tile shape. Cutting tiles is part of the process and is the only way to make most of these tiling projects work. The two main cutting options are tile cutters and wet saws. The right tool depends on a variety of factors such as budget, project size, tile material, personal skill, and more. Here’s what you need to know about each option and the pros and cons of tile cutters and wet saws.

Tile Cutters

Tile cutters are the less expensive way to achieve precise, clean cuts. These handheld devices operate manually using a two-step process that involves scoring and snapping the tile. This method works more efficiently on softer materials rather than hard materials and does not work as efficiently on glass tiles. With tile cutters, the setup and break down is almost effortless. This makes them perfect for less intricate cutting, repetitive cutting, and smaller tile projects where the set-up of a wet saw wouldn’t be necessary. One drawback of using handheld tile cutters is that they are not able to perform bevelled cuts.

Tiles are placed inside the tile cutters and scored in order to break them along the scoreline.

Tile cutters are the less costly and precise way to have accurate cuts. They are the manual machine that offers a simple two-way process of scoring and then snapping the tile. This method is appropriate for softer tiles rather than harder ones. It’s not suitable for working on tile flooring materials which have higher PEI rating. Neither it’s a good tool to apply on glass tiles.

This manually operated tile cutter can be the right choice for use around the home. The tile cutter is easy to carry directly into the area being tiled for convenient cuts. It’s very effective for straight cuts. It does not apply to achieve curved cuts.

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Wet Saws

By using wet saws, you can perform precise cuts more efficiently. These devices include a rotating diamond blade that is able to slice through various types of tile materials. Many times, the blade on these devices may be angled, enabling easy and precise bevelled cuts when needed.

Wet saws aim a consistent spray of water to the diamond blade in order to minimize friction, in return cooling down the blade and allowing chip-free and precise cuts. Wet saws have a diamond blade with strong durability, making them excellent for cutting tiles with a higher PEI rating in addition to glass tiles, which manual tile cutters have a more difficult time cutting. If you have a large tile project to complete, a tile wet saw is a great option.

Although wet saws require more time, practice, and care than tile cutters, they are able to handle more complex and larger sized projects with ease.

The wet saw looks like a table saw. It has tile cutting abilities to the advanced level as it is run by electricity. This electric option to a tile cutter allows a rotating diamond blade to slice through a variety of different tile materials. The design of wet saw supports rotating blade to be angled that allows achieving precise mitre cuts.

Wet saws utilize the advantage of a consistent spray of water to minimize friction of the cuts. Also, the water spray enables the tile not to get smoked or burnt. Some tables incorporate in-built water reservoir while others have the system to connect to an external water source.

The design of the diamond blade gives wet saws the larger scope for the tiles having a higher PEI rating and glass tiles which manual tile cutter does not support. Different saws are equipped for different jobs. A wet saw is a perfect choice for larger tiling projects for its fast and precise cuts into intricate shapes.

The two main drawbacks of the wet saw are the mess and the skill needed. The units are large and need skill for operating the unit. The water spray and dust created by a wet saw, it recommends for the outdoor use. It can take more time to walk from the saw to the project so suggest measuring multiple tiles for cutting at a time and working in larger batches. Wet saw requires little practice and care to avoid accidental injuries and hazards. It recommends reading the instructions carefully before operation. 

Tile Cutter vs. Wet Saw: Which One Will You Use?

Understanding the primary differences between a tile cutter and wet saw makes it easier to determine which tool is best for your project. Take a moment to consider the overall scope of the project and the likelihood for future projects down the line. If it is a quick project, it may be better to keep the budget low and opt for a tile cutter. If a whole room is being retiled, and there are options for future tile projects, a wet saw can be a very convenient investment.

Of course, certain materials require a wet saw to prevent damage to the material, such as glass tile and harder tile materials. If that is the case, and the cost of a wet saw is a drawback, consider renting the tool at your local home improvement store.

Taking on a do-it-yourself tiling project doesn’t have to be intimidating. Proper prep work and gathering the right tools will help you achieve the consistent grout lines and precise cuts that the pros provide. Both tile cutters and wet saws are go-to tools of the trade, and both come in a variety of different styles and price points.

Choose the tiles first and use the material content as the main factor in the tile cutter vs. wet saw debate. No matter which one you choose, make sure to clean it properly when finished for proper storage. A little maintenance after use will help prolong the life of the tool and ensure it is in tip-top shape when you need it next.

Comparative Features of Wet Saw and Tile Cutter 

Wet Saw: Electric run, Skill/ training required, Suitable for glass and hard tile, Precise mitre cut, Accelerated service for a large project, Designed for heavy-duty.

Tile Cutter: Manual, Easy for beginner, Ideal for softer tile and straight cut, quick, low-cost project, minimum mess, Portable

So, if you are ready to initiate your tiling project, don’t forget to knock us for professional advice. Our experts would be happy to hear about your project and guide you to choose between a Tile Cutter and a Wet Saw and ensure the best tool you are going to buy for your project. 

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Which is Best for Your Project!

Choose your tile first, so you know if it’s too hard for a tile cutter. The next factors are the size of the job, the cost of the tool and whether you have time to practice with it. Buy extra tile to cover mistakes.

Amateurs doing a small space with soft tile should use a tile cutter, especially when cost and a short timeline are important. If you’re tiling a large space, expect to do more tile later and have both space and money, the wet saw is the way to go.

The above discussion, comparative advantage of each tool and differences gave you the understanding to decide which tool, and Wet Saw or Tile cutter is best for your project. Major factors like material, project size and skill etc. dominates your choice. However, the best choice for your project isn’t always easy and straightforward. Among other factors, sometimes money, time frame, tile type may influence which tool to choose. 

While making a decision, the overall scope of the project and prospect for future projects is considerable. If it is a quick project, opt for a tile cutter could be preferable with a minimal budget. While for retiling of larger spaces or ground, a wet saw could be the best for your project.

The guide above should serve as a good start in the tile cutter vs wet saw debate. Material, project size and skill all factor into your choice. However, the best choice for your project isn’t always straightforward.

These tile cutter and wet saw best practices and facts should help you get on the right track as you begin planning and preparing for your tiling project. However, sometimes the best choices for your project are not as clear as you might hope. Sometimes the type of tile material, cost of materials, and time to complete the project influence the equipment you need. If you’re short on time or don’t have the luxury to purchase expensive equipment, how can you still ensure a quality tiling project? For questions and challenges like these, it’s best to consult the experts.

Sometimes money, time frame, tile type, and more can all influence which tool to choose. If you’re short on time, do you have the luxury of ordering an expensive wet saw?

That’s where we’d like to help. Our experts would love to hear all about your project and help you decide between a tile cutter and a wet saw. We’ll take the time to ensure you’re buying the right tool for the job.

If you’re planning on tiling often, it might make sense to buy a tile cutter and a wet saw. You’re likely to run across situations where you’ll need each tool. It’s always best to have the proper tool for the job.

So if you’re ready to get started on your tiling project, get in touch with us. We can help you choose the best tool for your project. We guarantee you’ll leave satisfied.

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