Tile Grinding Wheels: Essential Tips and Tricks

Tile Grinding Wheels: Essential Tips and Tricks

Having tools on hand to make DIY projects and renovations easier is one of the best gifts anyone could give you. These tools are great for providing a cleaner look with great precision and professionalism, plus it lets you get your task done much faster.

If you are remodeling the bathroom floor or adding new tile to your kitchen backsplash, a grinding wheel can be a tremendous asset to getting that perfect look you’ve always wanted.

Before you head to the hardware store, check out this article, where we provide you with everything there is to know about tile grinding wheels so you can get a result to be proud of.

What Is a Tile Grinding Wheel?

Cutting tiles can be very difficult for many reasons, mainly because they are so fragile, so getting a perfect cut without damaging the tile or causing it to chip isn’t easy.

A large variety of grinding wheels on the market can be used to get the perfect straight cut, curved or circular shapes, or buff out imperfections. Each task should be done with tile-friendly products and various techniques.

How to Select the Best Grinding Wheel for Tiles

Whether you are cutting through brick, marble, granite, stone, glass, or ceramic tile, utilizing the right grinding wheel will keep them looking smooth and clean.

The best wheel type is a dry-cut diamond blade with continuous particles and avoids those with segmented rims.

Diamond particle wheel grinders are made with industrial diamond particles attached to the outer rim of the blade; these are durable and strong, ensuring you receive a smooth finish.

The blade size is another important factor when choosing the right blade. Most standard grinders use a 4 to 4 ½ wheel. These wheels are found on various grinding tools, but cutting tile is typically done with an angle grinder.

Cutting Tile with a Grinding Wheel

Man using tile grinder to grind angled tile

Now that you have your grinding wheel, let's discuss how to use it. You can use a grinding wheel to create different cuts in various ways.

You can get straight cuts and even perfect circles using an angle grinder. Getting different results requires you to hold the tool in various positions. You may have to start from the back or move the tile from its resting place to get a better vantage point.

Cutting Circles with an Angle Saw

Watch this video for great tips on getting a perfect hole in tiles with an angle grinder.

When doing renovation projects with tile, you will often find that holes are required to accommodate pipes, drains, etc. You can use an angle saw to get close to perfect holes by holding the grinder at 30°. Slowly chip away at the tile layer by layer to get a perfect circle.

Cutting Small Holes with an Angle Saw

While cutting large holes with an angle saw is fairly simple with the right skills and patience, smaller holes aren’t as easy. However, just because doing it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

You can get small holes in tiles using the plunge cut method. This requires plunging the grinding wheel onto the back of the tile, creating a straight cut line that penetrates it completely. Then use the angle technique on the back to get a clean circle.

Cutting Smooth Straight Lines

To resize any material tile or cut shapes with straight lines for lighting fixtures, outlets, etc., you can simply use the diamond grinding wheel by marking your line and following it with the tool. Like any other cut, you have to go over and over the outlined shape you want with the wheel to chip down the tile, layer by layer, slowly.

Tips for Using a Tile Grinding Wheel

Man using a tape measure to mark a floor tile

Using a tile grinding wheel is a simple way to get the perfect look without paying a high price for professionals.

  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Cutting tile with a dry-cut grinding wheel can get messy, and there will be dust and particles everywhere, which can cause complications and irritability in your lungs, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cut tiles on the wall. You can make clean cuts in tiles still on the wall. You can easily do this with an angle grinder and a grinding wheel.
  • Mark out your pattern. Using a pencil, always mark patterns before cutting into your tile. This is going to help you get the perfect shape and patterns possible.
  • Use a slow and steady motion. Never apply force to your grinder while cutting. Always let the wheel do the work for you.

Other Ways to Cut Tile

While a dry-cut diamond wheel and an angle saw are the most common ways to cut tile, it isn’t the only way.

You can also cut through tiles with the following:

  • Glass cutter
  • Carbide tipped pen
  • Manual tile cutter
  • Wet saw

These are all great options depending on what type of tiles you are cutting and what you are trying to accomplish with the project.

Final Thoughts

Using the right grinding wheel when cutting tile is a great way to ensure a clean, crisp look without damage or defects. While you can try other types of grinders if you want, you will find that nothing works better in these situations than diamond grinding wheels.

To get an idea of how to use these wheels for specific looks and tips to ensure the cut is as close to professional as possible, keep the information listed above handy.

Why pay a pricey company when you can work right from home?

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