question for floor installers out there (1 Viewer)

robsmith32

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I'm about to purchase a new tile saw. the diy workforce that I got from the depot was good enough for most of the job, but coming to the backsplash, the 45degree angles.., there's no way those will be able to cut accurate on that thing with that wobbly angle guide. Neat concept, reality bites. if tighten to the point would be constant correct angle, would be difficult to slide it.

Now i'm looking at 2 diff saws.. the mk370exp from mkdiamond.. cuts up to 18" tiles, 13 diag. i believe.
or a chicago tools bridge saw that will cut up to 24" tile. I"m considering some larger format tiles for the dining room. And look to kind of do some on the side.. Neighbor already asked if would do his baths after seeing just getting the medallion set in the foyer.

I started to get the Husky mkclone they have that will do 18" tiles.. but after closer observation at the rip guide.. Can't even get it to be square. because the 0degree stop on it isn't all the way square, as well as useless cutting on the opposite side of it as it's angled to begin with. Thankfully, looked closer at it before I got it home and messed up some tiles.

the chicago bridge saw is only 199.00 though, vs. 319.00 for the mkdiamond.
Have any of you used the bridge type saws? I've only seen the conventional one's being used by people.. but again, when looking at mkdiamond's site.. their bridge saws are on the pricey side, which would easily deter most contractors from using them. for the bang for buck..

would like to see some pro's vs cons..
 
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robsmith32

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ok, hitting this one time.. since i know not too many of installers/contractors out there.. but wont' ever search for this...
 

Shockmo

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My opinion, if you are someone that needs the tile "locked down at the correct everything" before you cut, get the expensive saw that does it well. If you can wing it, like drawing a line down the middle of the diagonal cuts and not needing a guide, then the less expensive saw will do fine.
I'd say it depends largely on amount of use, if you are looking to do some work on the side then the better saw will more than pay for itself very quickly. Out of curiousity, what are you planning to charge others for installation per foot? Just wondering.
 
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robsmith32

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pef foot, can't say a standard rate because jobs vary. just take putting that medallion, with a 3.5" border that was 1 square out from medallion... that 16 sqft added about 4 hours to the job. Granted, same job wouldnt' take half the time the next go round.
But still more difficult than doing at 100sqft kitchen. That is all squared.
just like an installer that i got trained by, was charging 3.50 a foot but for diag cut pattern would be 4.50 a foot.
probably do a 2.50-3.00 a foot for a few jobs.. and that includes making sure it's right even if have to rip half up and redo it... I might be an amateur, but it will be right...
and also, i take longer than the pro's.
I wish i could do like some and just use the right angle grinder with the diamond wheel. but with my hands.. it's hard to cut straight with one of those.. still comes in handy for those reall awkward cuts. Like around Water closet drain...
i've come across another saw, used i might grab if guy hasn't already gotten rid of it.. 65 bucks for a workforce tha't more of the traditional type with the sliding tray like the MK has.
I know the MK has a good rep.. i was shocked that husky clone rip guide wouldn't even go square.
The bridge saws, i'm just starting to see, and question if they are better or worse than the traditional type.
I can readily see how that traditional wet saw is better than the wet saws that are like a reg table saw, but with water in the bottom. Especially after using one. I made use of one for the foyer, 1/2 bath and kitchen floors. but that backsplash with it's 45's are impossible to do on that thing. of course, i did the 6.5 feet at about 18 degrees on it, time consuming with going slow along the line. and retrimming to make it fit right. Not to mention the pieces wasted.
I've considered cutting a wood block to use as a rip guide for the 45's though. Would be nice to be able to put a bullnose profile blade on it too.
 
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Robsmith,

If you are in the New Orleans area, I can get you in touch with a friend of mine who in my opinion is without question the best / most experienced tile and wood floor installer around.... He's done many many of New Orleans rich / famous houses along with many of the resturaunts..... PM me if youre interested and I'll give you some information about how to contact him..
 

Rickboy

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I'm working on a big tile job in my house. I'm laying 16" tile from the front door all the way to the back door. Only the bedrooms will have different flooring.

Anyways, I'm using an offset pattern and I have A LOT of cutting. I started using a cheap wet saw but my brother (who owns a flooring store) gave me this advice. Go buy a hand held grinder and a wet/dry blade. It is amazingly easy to control and cuts faster than a wet saw (except for the professional models)

I bought a DeWalt 7amp 11000 RPM grinder and a 4" wet/dry blade (has to be wet dry) For cutting tile, I just draw my cutting lines on the tile with a sharpie. I set the tile down on a particle board that is sitting on my work table. I then just cut away. It takes about 60 seconds to cut one full 16" tile. Less if I'm not being too careful. The surprising thing is that it is so easy to control. It wants to go in a straight line.

If you go this route, be sure to buy a good resperator and do all your cutting outside. It will generate a ton of dust. Of course be sure to wear your safety goggles and some gloves as well. The grinder I got is on sale at Lowes for $49 and the blade (hitachi 4") was $22.
 
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robsmith32

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Rickboy, if you notice my last post.... i have a angle grinder and blade already.. my hands shake. and impossible for me to cut straight with that. that's the exact method the installer who did the training, i was in said to use.. He hates the table saw types, as it had to be designed by a pshychotic former navy diver with the way it shoots water back at your face. lol
and you're right about the dust it creates.. especially with travertine.
hollic, theres a particular satisfaction of doing that kind of job yourself.... and also the price difference is significant.. i could have had an installer do my kitchen floor for instance.. but if had, that kitchen floor would have been it for the price i'm completely redoing my downstairs flooring.
plus, i'm looking to make a little money.... ;)
 
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robsmith32

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Ok, to further go this.. the mk370EXP cuts up to 18" can be had for 319.00
or the qep bridge saw cuts 24" tile. (wishing to find those with experience using the bridge saw for comparison) for 299.00
I trust the mk brand a little better. also found a chicago tools 10" blade saw that cut's 18" tile for 199.00 IT looks well made... only thing is quality 10" blades come at a price... especially those bullnose.
 
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Shockmo

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He hates the table saw types, as it had to be designed by a pshychotic former navy diver with the way it shoots water back at your face. lol


This puzzles me...all the wet saws i've ever used (about 5 different ones) always shoot the water out of the back, not towards your face. Was he talking about a large amount of water stream or just the mist?
 
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robsmith32

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no, no, the type like you find for $50-$150. They look like mini-table saws weith the blade sticking up thru table. not the typical saw that has blade over the top. the one i have, i just stand over the side of it, instead of front because of this. Its almost a constant spray.
 

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