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How do you cut tile with an angle grinder?

Proper

Proper Safety

Never operate power tools without the proper safety equipment. While a dust mask is sufficient for the dust, you need to wear ear plugs as well as work gloves and safety glasses. Also wear a long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans so you don’t accidentally get cut by flying fragments of ceramic that chip off during the grinding process. Hold the grinder firmly with both hands as you cut the pieces of ceramic tile and clamp them to a cutting surface for best results. If the grinder has a side handle, use it. Also ensure the guard is in the proper position to deflect chips away from you.

The Blade

The best type of blade to use with an angle grinder when cutting ceramic tile is a diamond-tipped, smooth-edge blade without any notches or serration. Notched blades are for porcelain and serrated blades are more suited to natural stones. Once you have the right blade, make sure it is attached securely to the grinder using the accompanying tightening tools for your grinder. Vibration cracks ceramic tiles, so you want the blade on tight.

Masking Tape

Covering the edge where you are going to cut the tile with the grinder is a good trick to keep the edge of the ceramic glazing from chipping off due to the grinder movement. You can use a single layer of masking tape — or two or three — depending on your comfort level. The best method is to draw your marker lines, place tape on top and then trace the lines through the top of the tape and then add additional layers if you like. Anything beyond three is overkill.

Cuts

The angle grinder excels at helping make angle cuts against a tile wet saw, which is designed for straight cuts. Cut directly down into the surface of the tile, making gentle passes across the lines of your cut while holding the blade of the grinder vertically against the tile and along the mark. You can also hold the blade against an edge horizontally, flush with the face of the tile, working the edge of the blade of the grinder down into the tile slowly to make precise, rounded edges for drains, working your way around slowly as you grind away little bits rather than cut down into the tile. Straight cuts are made by pushing the blade into the tile vertically and cutting through the tile along the marks.

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