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Cutting Mosaic Tile

I have been to two Home Depots, talked to 4 different people, and have gotten 4 different ansers.  We are about to install ~30sf of mosaic tile as a backsplash in our kitchen.  It will most likely be all glass.  Based on my measurements and eyeballing it, there will be no need for "L" shapped cuts.  If one is needed, it will be hidden up at the top of the cabinets anyway and not noticeable.

We are $6,000 deep into the remodel.  Being skimpy on the tile cutter is kind of ridiculous, but spending a fortune for the same results and overkill is wasteful as well.

What is the recommended path to take?

1.  Glass tile cutter:  cheap, can score and snap the small tiles easily.  Cannot make "L" cuts if needed.

2.  Rubi Star tile cutter:  slightly more expensive, HD has a demo showing it, and no need to polish the glass after the cut and snap

3.  Wet saw:  To get good results, need a higher quality saw.  Water makes the backing on mosaic more difficult to cut.  Must put mosaic on a backer piece to make good cuts.  Although not necessary with mosaic, cut glass on the visible edge needs to be polished.  For mosaic, oyu just use the uncut edge on the outside.
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Posted 2014-07-23T07:58:57+0000  by BigRedNole BigRedNole
You'll probably get a better quality saw if you go the rental path and the Ridgid saw you're looking at gets mixed reviews.  I would suggest reading them and deciding if its flaws (which mostly seem to be with a slop in the table guides) are something you can live with.  Working with poor quality tools can be extremely frustrating.

Remember too that you can always sell the saw after you're done using it and recoup some of the investment.  Craigslist is full of tools that homeowners purchased for a project or two.

Best Answer

Posted 2014-07-25T12:48:29+0000  by Adam444
Hey BigRedNole,

Thanks for joining us here on the community.

Not even 2 weeks ago, I did a pretty extensive write-up here entitled How to Cut Mosaic Tiles.

Click here to view the post, in it I go over detailed instructions on how to use a wet saw...the absolute best way to cut mosaic tiles.

Please click the link above in bold, and it will take you directly to the post. As the image below shows, I've personally used a wet saw when I refinished my coffee table a while back and had to cut mosaic tiles.

For mosaic tiles, ONLY use a wet saw. Your other 2 choices you listed, the Rubi Star cutter isn't recommended for mosaic tiles, but the glass tile cutter is used only for small corner cuts.

Remember, any cut tiles are typically hidden or placed at the edges of the installation so only the uncut smoother edges are seen.

Let us know if you have any further questions,
Posted 2014-07-23T12:50:27+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Thank you.  I did watch the video before asking the question.  I wanted to ask to be sure.   My granite is being cut tomorrow.  We will be going to pick out our tiles on Thursday.  Sometime next week is when I plan to start the project.  I have to decide on which wet saw to buy.  I know once the backsplash is done and if it turns out as expected, the next  honey-do will be to tile the bathroom.  I am from the addage buy the right equipment the first time so you don't have to buy it twice.  

Time to do some wet saw research.  My local HD has the following unused, open box available.  I may go with that one.  

RIDGID7 in. Tile Saw with Stand

Model # R4030S

Store SKU # 311220

Posted 2014-07-23T13:19:58+0000  by BigRedNole
You are quite welcome.

As an added note, you don't have to necessarily purchase a wet tile saw to get the granite tiles cut successfully. As stated in the post I linked above, you can opt for renting a high-quality wet tile saw.

Better yet, you aren't 'stuck' with a tile saw, unless you plan on doing future tile projects. I typically tell my customers they should only purchase a wet saw if they are doing these projects for a living or have a massive quantity to cut.

So, if the backsplash and later bathroom involve a lot of tiles to cut...invest in a wet saw. However, if too many tiles aren't going to be cut, then consider renting one instead.

All Home Depot's that have a Tool Rental Center has these available, and are much less expensive than buying one outright.

Please update us on your progress, and I hope your backsplash turns out great!


Posted 2014-07-23T17:43:02+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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