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Cutting a quartz side-splash
Old 08-10-2014, 12:13 PM   #1
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Cutting a quartz side-splash

I have two side splashes, about 21" long x 4" wide x 3/4" thick.
The material is quartz composite. It is flecked with stones throughout.

Need to cut off a small piece from the ends, maybe 1/4". So this is a cut across the 4" width of the side-splash.

Has anyone done this? I know this should be done with a wet saw, but thinking it might be ok to make this small of a cut with a masonry blade in table saw or cutoff saw.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:46 PM   #2
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Why wouldn't you use a wet saw? You can buy them for ~ $50 - I've got one that I figured would barely get me through a small job, and I've done about 5 projects plus some small jobs with it.

Or you might take it to a tile shop to be cut.

If you have some scrap to test on, you might get away with an abrasive cut-off wheel. I'd take very shallow cuts, and let them cool in-between each pass, and make an animal sacrifice to the quartz composite gods for good measure.

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Old 08-10-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Why wouldn't you use a wet saw? You can buy them for ~ $50 - I've got one that I figured would barely get me through a small job, and I've done about 5 projects plus some small jobs with it.

Or you might take it to a tile shop to be cut.

If you have some scrap to test on, you might get away with an abrasive cut-off wheel. I'd take very shallow cuts, and let them cool in-between each pass, and make an animal sacrifice to the quartz composite gods for good measure.

-ERD50
I love this answer.

We have a wet saw - so that's what we'd use. But I'd also be giving sacrifice to the quartz composite gods. Some of the composites are harder than stone - the resins are pretty impressive.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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I'm familiar with some natural stone tile (installed about 220 sq ft on the walls/floors of my bathroom and threshhold, and about 20 ft on my kitchen backsplashes), but not quartz.

When you say it's a 'composite', is it resin-based, or more like terrazzo, where they take chips and cement them together with a concrete-like substance? If the latter, then lots of dust will be flying out, and you'll definitely want to have a wet saw, not only for dust control, but the blade can sometimes chip small flecks off if you try doing it dry (speaking from experience here). While quartz/granite are hard materials, natural stone can sometimes do funny things you don't expect.

Especially when you have just 1 more inch to cut on a 20 inch cut, and have to suddenly come up with Plan B (again, speaking from experience).

I wouldn't bother taking the chance doing it dry, because Murphy will likely rain on your parade somewhere, somehow.

Also, is that masonry blade a diamond-tipped blade? I know quartz is hard, but I don't know how your specific piece compares to solid granite. You don't want to try cutting something super hard with a whimpy blade not suited for the task. A very sharp, hard diamond-tipped blade will cut with a fine edge.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
I'm familiar with some natural stone tile (installed about 220 sq ft on the walls/floors of my bathroom and threshhold, and about 20 ft on my kitchen backsplashes), but not quartz.

When you say it's a 'composite', is it resin-based, or more like terrazzo, where they take chips and cement them together with a concrete-like substance? If the latter, then lots of dust will be flying out, and you'll definitely want to have a wet saw, not only for dust control, but the blade can sometimes chip small flecks off if you try doing it dry (speaking from experience here). While quartz/granite are hard materials, natural stone can sometimes do funny things you don't expect.

Especially when you have just 1 more inch to cut on a 20 inch cut, and have to suddenly come up with Plan B (again, speaking from experience).

I wouldn't bother taking the chance doing it dry, because Murphy will likely rain on your parade somewhere, somehow.

Also, is that masonry blade a diamond-tipped blade? I know quartz is hard, but I don't know how your specific piece compares to solid granite. You don't want to try cutting something super hard with a whimpy blade not suited for the task. A very sharp, hard diamond-tipped blade will cut with a fine edge.
Picture attached. The manufacturer's page is here:
US Marble // Stone Colors & Products
Quote:
Engineered Stone Quartz is approximately 93% crushed or ground natural quartz and 7% stain-resistant polymer resins. The resulting product is extremely durable; a low-maintenance, versatile product combining many of the best features of Natural Stone and Cultured Products. Its non-porous surface is highly resistant to scratching, bacteria, mold, corrosion, stains, and never requires the sealing that Natural Stone Granite and Marble demand.
I have access to a wet tile cutter (2nd picture below), but that might just do thin tile.
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File Type: jpg 2014-08-10 16.44.03.jpg (410.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 9KyYQWHldQ95BM_.jpg (4.8 KB, 88 views)
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Why wouldn't you use a wet saw? You can buy them for ~ $50 - I've got one that I figured would barely get me through a small job, and I've done about 5 projects plus some small jobs with it.

Or you might take it to a tile shop to be cut.

If you have some scrap to test on, you might get away with an abrasive cut-off wheel. I'd take very shallow cuts, and let them cool in-between each pass, and make an animal sacrifice to the quartz composite gods for good measure.
I'm looking for a wet saw that costs $50. That would be a time saver.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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Check Harbor Freight.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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Check Harbor Freight.
4-1/2 in. Tile Saw with Wet Tray

Cuts up to 7/8"

I used a very similar saw to cut a backsplash of 1/2" material. It worked very well. It won't cut fast, though, so don't force it. Patience...
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:44 PM   #9
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4-1/2 in. Tile Saw with Wet Tray

Cuts up to 7/8"

I used a very similar saw to cut a backsplash of 1/2" material. It worked very well. It won't cut fast, though, so don't force it. Patience...
Thanks. That is similar to the picture I posted above.
This cuts from below, and doesn't look like you can adjust the height. So you went all the way through on a cross cut, I'm assuming.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:33 PM   #10
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Here is a handheld wet saw. $89 at HD.
Ryobi TC400 Handheld Tile Saw-TC400 at The Home Depot

Gonna check their tool rental location tomorrow. I only need to make two shorter cuts.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:34 PM   #11
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Thanks. That is similar to the picture I posted above.
This cuts from below, and doesn't look like you can adjust the height. So you went all the way through on a cross cut, I'm assuming.
Yup. Nothing fancy. Just making it fit. Git 'er done...
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:07 AM   #12
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I borrowed a friend's motorized tile cutter (Chicago brand - this friend is truly a best friend). Also bought a new diamond blade, and had excellent results. It took a bit of time to set up something stable, but workmates came to rescue. A went around each piece with a red line, to make sure the side splashes had straight edges. After that, I clamped the piece to craftsman table saw mitre gauge. That allowed me to set up a square piece, and reliably push the material through the saw blade. I also used packaging tape around the piece to reduce material flying out. Water was a key ingredient, and I controlled what was flying off the blade by tilting the guard down, and had a sizable sponge on the piece to catch most of the water being cast off the piece into my face.

The cutoff waste pieces are 1/2" and 3/8" thick. My cutoffs were much smoother than the unpolished factory edges. The actual cutoff time was much shorter than I thought initially. Maybe a few minutes for each piece, taking care to just let the saw do most of the work.
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