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Setting Up a Tile Saw | Your Ultimate Step by Step Guide

Set Up a Tile Saw
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When it comes to home improvement projects, one of the best ways to add style and substance to your surfaces is with tile. Whether you’re redoing your bathroom, your kitchen, or some other room in your house, tile can make it pop.

The other great thing about tile is that it’s relatively cheap. In fact, the most expensive part of your project would be the labor cost of getting the tile cut and fitted to meet your needs. However, if you learn how to set up a tile saw yourself, you can save money and learn a valuable skill.

Today we’re going to go over all of the necessary steps in getting your tile saw ready for action. These machines are not overly complicated, but they can be dangerous if misused. Let’s find out how you can upgrade your home with a high quality tile saw.

Step by Step Guide

Step One: Gather All of Your Materials

Working with a tile saw is more intense than using other power tools, so it’s necessary to get everything you’ll need beforehand so that you can get started without any problems. Although some tile saws are a little different, these components should be necessary for all models.

Safety Goggles: when cutting your tile, you will have to keep the saw wet. This will spray a lot of dirty water your way, so you want to keep your eyes protected.

Face Mask: unless you want to be spitting dirty water out of your mouth the whole time, you need a mask to breathe.

Work Gloves: you’re going to have to hold the tile down to keep it straight while cutting. Since it’ll be wet, you need gloves to provide better grip. Cutting bare-handed is a great way to lose a finger when your hand slips.

Waste Bucket: no matter what kind of setup you have, you will generate a lot of dirty water in the process. Keep most of it together with a large (five-gallon or so) bucket.

Water Hose: fortunately, tile saws will have their own pumps and spigots to pour water over the material. However, you have to connect it to a water source for it to work.

Tile: what are you going to be cutting if you don’t have your tile ready to go?

Step Two: Connect Your Saw

There are two things you need to get your saw up and running - water and electricity. As you can imagine, however, these things don’t mix. As such, you have to be careful when connecting them so that you don’t accidentally ruin your saw and cause a short.

When attaching the hose, be sure that the water is turned off. Also, the saw itself should be in the off position so that when you plug it in it won’t activate by accident.

We recommend mounting your power cord so that it doesn’t get wet while cutting. If necessary, you may need to tie it around itself so that it doesn’t drag on the floor. Even with a waste bucket, your floor will get wet, so it’s crucial that you keep the cord dry at all times.

Most tile saws will have two water connectors - one for water coming in and another for waste. Running a small hose to your bucket will keep the mess to a minimum. We recommend finding as short a tube as possible so that it won’t get kinks on accident. If that happens, you’ll have wastewater spitting back up onto your work surface, which can create a lot of problems. 

Step Three: Position Your Tile

Once the water turns on, you will want to work quickly. The one thing you don’t want to do is have the water running while you’re still getting set up. At this time you should put on all of your gear and protective clothing. We suggest wearing a poncho or a raincoat to keep your clothes dry while working.

Another thing that you could do is put a dropcloth on the floor. Depending on where you’re working, you may not like having a bunch of dirty water to mop up afterward.

Step Four: Turn the Water On

It’s imperative that you have the water going before you activate the saw. If you don’t, it could damage the blade and the tile.

Make sure that you know which switch is for the water and the power. You never want to get them confused. If necessary, make a sign so that you can always know. 

Step Five: Turn the Blade On

Before doing this, you want to make sure that the tile is not touching the blade yet. Also, watch where your hands are located so that you don’t bump into anything by accident. If possible, try to avoid touching the water while working so that you don’t slip. You may check our top list of tile saw blade on the market. 

Step Six: Start Cutting

When using a tile saw, the blade will be stationary. This means that you have to feed into it with your material. To keep your hands and arms safe, you want to make sure that they are not in line with the blade at any time. Keep them off to each side so that you can go all the way through without any danger.

Move slowly while cutting. Let the saw do the work. If it seems difficult to move the tile, then it could mean that the edge is getting dull or that water is not getting into the cut. Improper lubrication can stall your work, so check the water if necessary.

 Step Seven: Check Your Cuts (and Your Waste Bucket)

As long as water is flowing, you can cut as much tile as you want. Each time, make sure that your cuts are straight and even. If they are rough or curved, then you have to adjust your position to correct it.

Also, keep an eye on your waste bucket. It will fill faster than you think, so don’t let it overflow onto the floor. When it’s full, shut the saw off first and then the water.

Step Eight: Turn it All Off

Always shut the saw off before the water. Wait for the blade to stop spinning completely before doing anything else. 

Step Nine: Clean the Machine

Your Tile saw will get dirty quickly, and you don’t want to use a filthy saw for your next cut. The best way to clean it is to unplug the unit, take it apart and rinse everything with clean water. 


Thanks for reading our blog! Operating a tile saw can be a little nerve-wracking at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature. As long as you follow proper procedure and keep your materials clean, you will have a great time. Happy cutting!

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