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jdraughn 12-11-2009 05:15 AM

Trimming installed tile with tile blade in normal circular saw?
I also just posted a question about tile drill bits, it was kind of wordy so I am posting a second post with this separate question.

When I tiled my shower enclosure I thought I remembered making absolutely certain that the walls were level when I was remodeling my bathroom. Both walls already existed and I do remember shimming one wall because it was made with old rough cut 2x4's that were really 2x4s. But I was in a huge hurry and trying to get projects done in time so I could get my house refinanced before my mortgage ballooned (I succeeded at least).

I got about halfway up one shower wall with tiles before I realized that the walls were not very plumb. As a consequence my grout joints are not perfect because other then cutting the tile, something had to give. While not totally happy with how they turned out, I think I can live with the tiling job. It's not very obvious unless your looking for it, and it was my first time tiling. I learned a LOT from that experience.

But, the main problem I have now is that the tile was supposed to extend past my shower enclosure a few inches, but then the amount of tile extending past the shower enclosure varies from top to bottom which IS totally obvious.

I think the best thing to do at this point is to draw a plumb vertical line and use a circular tile to cut the tile so it's square with the edge of the shower enclosure that attaches to the tile itself.

Could I use a normal circular saw with a tile blade for cutting tile? I have about 12' of tile to cut total, 6' on each side. I am also worried that the shower pan will block the saw from reaching the very bottom part of the tile and am wondering what I am going to do about that. I am trying to do this spending as little money as possible, any tools I buy are going to end up on credit card which i'm cutting up as soon as dig myself out of this debt hole i'm in.

If need I can post pics once I get home.

hankscorpio 12-11-2009 07:48 AM

sounds dangerous. I'm no expert but I would think the best thing to do would be to remove the last line of tiles. Then draw your plumb line you are looking for and reinstall new tiles that are cut properly on a tile saw.

I think it would be difficult to cut a perfectly straight line with a circular saw through tile anyway, regardless of the balde you are using.

Someone is bound to have a better idea of how to clean that up and I would post pictures if you can.

user1007 12-12-2009 08:23 AM

I would not recommend your approach but you can do it with a nice new blade and a corded saw and probably not a cordless one. You will need a friend to keep water on the blade to keep it cooled. You had better be sure you are not in danger of becoming the electrical ground using a circular with water in a bathroom though should something go wrong. I would definitely get a GFCI to plug on the end of the saw or double check the outlet equipped with one you plug it into in the bathroom. Not worth getting electrocuted for this.

I agree that unless you can figure out how to affix some straight edge for the saw to follow, you will probably not be happy with the end result in this. If you did not compensate for the out of plumb situation as you went along so it would not show so much, I am not sure how you fix it at the very end of things.

PaliBob 12-12-2009 01:17 PM

I agree with the note of caution and risk of failure spelled out in posts 2&3.

If you plan to get more tools anyway, here is a solution that needs about $50 in tools.

4 Angle Grinder

2) Saw Guide

3)Diamond Blade

You absolutely need some kind of a guide rail to cut the tile. Doing this cut freehand is guaranteed to fail. Use a couple of 2x4's. One section as a guide rail offset plumb to the vertical cut line and the other used as a long wedge against the opposite wall to 'securely' hold the guide rail in place. Use screws or nails to temporarily hold the 2x4's together. Use a short piece of 2x4 against the opposite wall to prevent damage to that wall.

To finish the cut near the bottom of the wall you may have to use a small Dremel or RotoZip rotary cutter.

nap 12-12-2009 01:55 PM

Unless there is some reason you cannot simply remove the tiles that need to be cut, I would mark the tiles, take them down, have somebody with a tile saw cut them and then re-install them. Even if you have to purchase new tiles to replace the ones being removed, I think you would have less cost than if you bought the tools to do this daunting task.

Trying to remember who had it but I think it was Lowes that has a tile saw in their store and will do cuts for you. Don't know what it cost but bound to be cheaper than buying the stuff, especially if you have to put it on a credit card.

I'm kind of lost though because if you cut the exposed end of the tile, what are you covering it with? You do not want an unfinished cut edge of a tile exposed like that.

glgreg 12-13-2009 09:07 PM

Palibob is right on. I would use the tools he suggested. I just got done cutting some floor tile in between a door jamb to make room for a hardwood floor transition "T". It'll be really dusty, I would cover up anything you don't want to get dusty. I used my circler saw first than I could not get into the corners, than I had to use my Makita grinder to get the edges of my tile. I had to slice into the door jamb to cut the tile all the way. I will caulk the line and no will know, except you fellows.

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