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Old 12-14-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


Greetings Everyone,
My Buddy came over yesterday all excited about the new tiles he purchased for his Kitchen Backsplash. They were a special order and he paid a crazy amount of $$$ for them. Since this is my best friend I'm on point to install these for him.
I have done quite a few backsplashes but never with this kind of tile. I am at a loss of how to cut them. Here are the specifics:

1" x 2" Stainless Steel tiles
Brick pattern on a 12 x 12 sheet
They look like a small ceramic tile with a Stainless steel "capping" on them. (Not my taste but I cant seem them from my house so ....)

How should I cut these tiles? I dont know if the wet saw can handle the Stainless Steel part of the tile? I would need to cut these at the begining and end of the run and around the outlets.

I was thinking a Dremel with a metal blade or maybe a grinder, problem is that the tile is so small it would be hard to manage the material with a grinder? In addition I have to be concerend with scratching them since they are stainless steel.

ANY ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks once again!

Tool Junkie

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


may get different ideas but i'm for 4" .110 diamond blades,,, just saved the bride's backsplash freehanding the cut w/4" grinder,,, same for tile replacement on the hall floor,,, for metal tile, i'd be using the tabletop tile saw & cut wet,,, if i owned a dremel, wouldda tried that 1st.

roger on the ' can't see 'em from my house '


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Old 12-15-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


Honestly, it really makes a difference on what the manufacturer says. I will be doing a copper backsplash in the upcoming months. I did quite a bit of research on metal covered tiles. Some manufacturers tell you to use a carbide saw blade, others state a metal cutting wheel on a grinder and still others say it's ok to use a wet tile saw. I can foresee issues using any of the above. If you are dry cutting the metal, once you hit the ceramic it will become a dusty mess and you might start chipping the tile. Same goes with a grinder. Of course, using either tool with a 1x2 mosaic tile means you need to be super careful you end with as many fingers as you started with. Finally, using the wet saw, I'd imagine you'd chew up the blade some. This is what I'm going to be dealing with and I'll be using a wet saw with a "disposable" blade.
Oh yeah, make sure you file the metal edging after cutting too. Otherwise, it could be a bloody mess the first time someone goes to clean the backsplash!
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


didn't think about that part & angus' right,,, there are blades for just about anything 'cuttable',,, that doesn't mean you can find 'em at the apron stores, tho,,, i'm not a fan of carbide when diamonds're avail.

ps - all blades're disposable
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


Quote:
Originally Posted by yesitsconcrete View Post
all blades're disposable
True...although I will NOT be using one of my $70 porcelain cutting blades for that job. I'm thinking a quick trip to Menards and see what tool shop diamond blade is available for $25.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


A tile wet saw will cut the stainless steel tiles that are clad over a backerboard material. Go slow don't get too aggressive.

If the tiles are hollow your best bet is a ban saw using a fine steel blade 18 teeth per inch or more.

An abrasive metal blade can also be used but it will tarnish the steel with no way to really recover from the damage.

Or, you can arrange your layout so that none of the steel tiles must be cut.


With copper tiles a very firm grip is required while cutting. The copper will cause the blade to drag and can snatch small tiles from your grasp.

In any case if the tiles have a protective cover over them, leave it there as long as possible to protect the surface of the tile.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:53 AM   #7
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
A tile wet saw will cut the stainless steel tiles that are clad over a backerboard material. Go slow don't get too aggressive.

If the tiles are hollow your best bet is a ban saw using a fine steel blade 18 teeth per inch or more.

An abrasive metal blade can also be used but it will tarnish the steel with no way to really recover from the damage.

Or, you can arrange your layout so that none of the steel tiles must be cut.


With copper tiles a very firm grip is required while cutting. The copper will cause the blade to drag and can snatch small tiles from your grasp.

In any case if the tiles have a protective cover over them, leave it there as long as possible to protect the surface of the tile.
Thanks Bud and everyone else for thier input. Not cutting the tiles is not an option since it is a running bond brick pattern .
I think I will try the wet saw with a backup plan using the dremel or grinder, dont have a band saw so that is not an option.

Much appreciation to all for thier good advice!
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:28 AM   #8
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Cutting Unusual Backsplash Tiles


we use a fair amt of .110, .250, .375, & .500 4" blades along w/.500 & .375 v-shaped crack chasing blades along w/turbo 12 & 24segment cup wheels,,, best place i've found's a guy on ebay - fc727 - pay him & you've got it 3 days later,,, NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN HIS SUCCESS OR FAILURE - NONE ! ! !

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