How to cut slate tiles: Circular or wet saw?
Slate has been always popular among the construction industry, valued for its durability and natural strength. It is an ideal material for building both inside and outside of a house, adding an elegant touch to the structure. However, cutting a slate tile without damaging it requires some previous knowledge. That is why in this post we will explain how to cut slate slabs with a circular saw or a wet tile saw.
How to cut slate tiles
One of the reasons why slate tiles have always been so in demand is thanks to its composition, that makes it simple to split them into soft and thin sheets. This material is also known for its resistance to high temperatures, because when it is too cold, materials tend to expand and contract until they crack, but slate resist. Moreover, it is fire and waterproof, absorbing practically no water.
Even though it resists so much, slate is still a smooth type of stone. That is why cutting slate slabs or tiles can be challenging if you are not equipped with the proper tools. Other aspects to keep in mind before cutting slate, is to decide how large and thick are the tiles you want to cut, and how many of them you have.
How to cut slate tile with a circular saw
If you don’t have a specific wet saw for cutting tile and you don’t want to make that investment, sometimes you will be able to replace it with another tool. In this part of the article, we will explain how to cut slate slab with a circular saw. But first, there are a few aspects you need to consider:
If you have too many slate tiles or if the ones you need to cut are too thick, you will probably waste a lot of time and the task can be frustrating and cumbersome, so in this case we would recommend renting a tile saw.
Make sure you use a proper diamond blade designed for soft stones like slate in your circular saw. If you rent a masonry or tile saw, check the blade just in case, but they usually have this kind of blade.
You should not wet cut with a circular saw. Some people ask an assistant to run water over the blade and tile while cutting, but this is a dangerous practice. To dry cut, you will need an appropriate blade. Besides, you will have to perform shallow cuts and stop often to prevent the blade from overheating.
Safety first! Wear a respirator mask and if you are dry cutting with a circular saw you must work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Cutting slate tiles with a wet saw
Masonry saws, tile saws or any other type of wet saws will make the work a lot easier, faster and safer. These machines are highly recommended when you need to cut through large pieces, many pieces or heavy-duty materials. With all being said, a circular saw will come in handy for small projects if you follow the instructions above. However, there are many benefits on working with a tile saw instead:
- The result will be more accurate, smooth, clean and the work will be done quicker. These machines are comfortable to use, and you won’t have any problem with the slate tile thanks to its bench design with sliding table and the moving cutting head.
- Most wet saw for rent suit the standard blade, which is also adequate for cutting slate.
- Once again, safety first! These saws reduce de risk of electric shock and accidents due to slippage.
- Thanks to the water flow, the dust in the air will be reduced to a minimum, so you won’t be breathing these particles at all.
- The water cooling system makes it possible to work for longer periods of time and perform deeper cuts without taking many breaks, because the blade won’t overheat.
In conclusion, we strongly suggest that you use an appropriate equipment for your project. Don’t try to save some money at all costs if it could put your safety at risk or take you too long. Using a circular saw is only recommended for small jobs and small pieces of material. If that is not the case, you will end up saving time and money by renting a tile saw. In fact, if you use a circular saw you will need to buy the proper diamond blade for cutting slate, but if you rent a tile or masonry saw, it will come with a general purpose diamond blade, so you will be avoiding that investment.