Best blade for cutting marble, ceramic, porcelain or glass
It is commonly (and wrongly) believed that all tiles have the same composition and in consequence, they can be cut with the same equipment, in the same way. The first thing you need to know is that each kind of material has a different composition and needs to be treated differently. In this article, we will explain how to proceed specifically with each kind of material.
Porcelain and ceramic are and always have been a trend, but glass has arrived to make the competition. As these materials are increasingly popular, we receive questions about how to cut these tiles without damaging the material and ending up wasting money. So, if your project involves tiling a floor, backsplash, shower, etc. and you want to know the best way to cut marble mosaic tiles or any other fragile material such as glass, porcelain or ceramic, keep on reading to learn how to do it.
Cutting tiles: Wet tile saws vs masonry saws
Good news: the same saw works for all these materials, plus others like travertine or granite tile. We have received questions such as “Can you cut marble with a jigsaw?”, and the answer is yes, with an angle grinder and a masonry saw. But in this case, with these fragile materials, your best choice is a wet tile saw or a masonry saw, because both of them are thought to cut through abrasive and rough materials such as granite but are commonly used with tiles.
Another option would be a tile saw because they are cheaper, smaller and lightweight, but they would not work with other materials.
Advantages of a masonry saw: they will cut tile (ceramic, glass, porcelain, etc.) as well as a tile saw. Besides, they can be used for other projects that involve cutting through heavy, abrasive and rough materials such as stone. For this purpose, they have a stationary table and it is the user who guides and moves the blade through the tile.
Advantages of a tile saw: they will obviously cut tiles professionally, but they cannot be used with other materials. These machines are cheaper, less heavy, and easier to move around and use. This would be a perfect choice for small projects that do not involve hard materials.
Third option: if your project is really small with soft and few pieces, you might be interested in a manual tile cutter. However, it requires control of the technique and patience if you wish to avoid splitting, chipping and you want to accomplish a professional finish.
What blade use to cut porcelain, ceramic or glass tiles?
Now that you have chosen the saw that you are going to buy or rent, let’s move forward into the next step, as important as choosing the saw: the blade.
How do you choose the proper blade? You need to take into account the resistance and hardness of each material, because the mentioned above are very different from each other.
It has to be a diamond blade, but there is a wide range of them, and you have to think wisely and read the tag to understand which one will suit your needs better depending on the abrasiveness and roughness of the tiles.
Let’s find out which blade you should get:
Best blade to cut porcelain tiles
Porcelain is the hardest kind of tile and the hardest of the three materials mentioned in this article, so you will need a diamond blade for “ultra-hard materials”. A standard diamond blade will not get the work done, meaning that using one would mean wasting your money and time. There are blades specifically designed for porcelain, which would also be ideal.
If you don’t use one of these recommended blades and try to cut with a softer one, you will find out that the cut is not properly performed, the life expectancy of the blade will be short or it will be extremely damaged, because the abrasiveness nature of porcelain will melt its metal bond and cover the diamonds. You would have to constantly take pauses to sharpen the blade and end up doing sloppy cuts and chipped tiles, being positive. To sum up, it is not worth the effort and patience.
Best blade for cutting ceramic tiles
Ceramic is the next hardest material, right after porcelain. Again, the best blade for this material would be labeled for ceramic or an “ultra-hard” diamond blade. There are blades tagged for both ceramic and porcelain, that you might consider depending on the materials you need to cut for your work.
Just like with porcelain tiles, cutting with the wrong tile cutting blade will make you lose your patience, time and money. In the best-case scenario, you would have to constantly dress the blade, pausing many times and ending up with a messy tile. The proper blade is a small investment.
Best blade for cutting glass tiles
Glass is the softer material of the three, as it is extremely fragile and gets easily chipped or broken. As you can imagine, you need a professional diamond blade designed for glass, because they have a very fine grit that avoids the chipping. If you do not know how to cut ceramic glass tiles, let us explain: there are a few options, but it depends on the size of your project.
Small projects: We do not recommend using a standard manual tile cutter on glass, because it is likely to break. However, we can offer you manual lass cutters that have lubricated rotary blades. How do they work? They slice through the material without crushing it like other blades do.
Larger projects: we suggest buying or renting a wet tile saw or a masonry saw, but always using a diamond blade labeled for glass. They will allow you to work safely, fast and they are easy to use. Wet cutting prevents the diamond blade from overheating and reduces the friction that makes the glass chip and crack.