A quick search for the phrase "tile blades" in your favorite search engine yields some interesting results. At time of this writing, the results showed mostly 7 inch tile saw blades. Perhaps it is because there are so many tile installers working with small saws and in need of a diamond blades for tile saws that size. However, when it comes to ceramics, and particularly porcelain tile, the need for blades designed to cut larger tiles is becoming increasingly evident. In this article, we are going to explore the topic of tile blades in their various forms. As we do, we will take a look at a development that is creating the need for blades designed to cut porcelain panels and even additional tools for working with large format tiles. So let's get into our consideration of the various kinds of tile blades.
Working With Tile Requires Blades
As is the case with any other hard surface material, working with tile requires the use of blades. Cutting materials like natural stone, engineered quartz, sintered stone, and ceramic materials such as porcelain tile takes blades made for the task. Diamond blades for cutting tile are among the most effective type of blade. These are available in many sizes and styles. Which blades have traditionally been used for cutting tile?
Blades for Traditional Tile Sizes
Traditionally, porcelain tiles have been produced in a variety of sizes, and they still are for the most part. Traditionally, regular tile sizes - that is, tiles
not considered to be "large format" - were tiles with all edges less than 12" in length. Those are what we are talking about when we say traditional tile sizes. Tile blades used for these sizes of tiles would depend on what task was being performed on them. We have an article here on our site that talks about choosing the right diamond porcelain blades. In that article, several kinds of blades are discussed as they relate to the task, tool, and tile being cut. We do have a page that shows a selection of standard porcelain tile blades all in one area. It is important to realize that cutting porcelain tile is much easier an the result are better when the correct blade is used for doing the cutting. Chip-free cuts are one of the benefits to using a tile blade made for porcelain when cutting this material.
Large Format Becoming Bigger
In recent years the definition of what size tile constitutes "large format" has changed. Rather than requiring a side to exceed 12". Large format tiles now are defined as having any one side 15" or longer. And still yet there are porcelain tiles large enough that they are referred to as "porcelain panels". When cutting these, there is obviously a need for a saw that can accommodate the size. But what about the blade used? Well, if you are using a saw large enough to cut a porcelain panel, for example, a bridge saw, you will need one of the
larger blades for cutting porcelain or sintered stone. There are even specific ceramic blades for large slabs available.
Tools for Leveling Large Format Tiles
One of the potential challenges when working with large format tiles is leveling them. When you think about it, each tile spans a greater distance. That means that there is more of the bonding agent applied at once and getting it applied evenly is not always easy. Where two tile meet, the edges might not be level. To cure this issue, there are leveling systems available for spacing and leveling. However, these can take more time to apply. Another solution that professionals use is a tool known as a
vibrating suction cup tile leveling tool like our Tile Quake Tile Leveling Tool. This tool assists the installers by allowing them to grab, lift, set, and then vibrate the tile to the proper depth. Using this method of tile leveling is very efficient and allows for accurate leveling while speedily working.
Being Versa"tile" Is Best
Adaptability in any industry or profession pays off. As an industry changes due to technological advancements, regulations, or just consumer preference, the pros that respond to meet the need do better in the long run. As we have seen in this article time has proven to influence the use of larger tiles; redifinin
g what "large format" is. Additionally, as Porcelain tiles become panels, larger saws and therefore, bigger blades are needed to cut them. And, streamlining the workflow by using newer tools such as vibrating tile levelers allow a business to keep in step with the industry and perhaps even to remain toward the top.