How to cut travertine tile

Written by robert ferguson
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Cutting Travertine tile is easy if you use the right tools. A wet saw is best for straight or L-shaped cuts. An angle grinder with a diamond blade is best for cuts where a notch is required, around a door jamb or for a shower head, for example. These tools can be purchased or rented at most local home improvement stores.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Wet saw
  • Angle grinder
  • Diamond blade for angle grinder
  • Extension cord
  • Sawhorses or work bench
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Level or straight edge
  • Carpenter's square
  • Acetone
  • Rags or sponge

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark the tile to be cut with a pencil. Use the straight edge and/or carpenter's square for accuracy. Mark lightly, so it will be easy to clean off later.

  2. 2

    Select a tool for cutting. If making a straight or L-shaped cut, use the wet saw. If cutting around a door jamb or shower head, use the angle grinder with a diamond blade attached.

  3. 3

    Place the tile on the wet saw table. With the power off, make sure the tile is square on the table. Line up the pencil mark with the cutting blade of the saw. Turn on power to the saw and make the cut. Cut slowly, as cutting too fast can cause the tile to chip.

  4. 4

    For an L-shape, cut to the intersecting points of the pencil marks and then turn the tile to line up the other mark to be cut. Turn off power to the saw to line up the second cut.

  5. 5

    Cut the second mark until reaching the intersecting point and turn off the saw. Gently lift the tile and apply slight pressure to snap the two pieces, using extra care for the cut piece that is to be used. The corner of the cut piece may have to be cleaned with the saw or angle grinder, as you cannot cut all the way through an L-shaped cut.

  6. 6

    Use the angle grinder to make cuts around door jambs. Although the wet saw can be used, it is easier and faster with the angle grinder.

  7. 7

    Mark the tile to be cut. Place the tile on the sawhorse or work bench. Make sure your work bench or sawhorses have flat and sturdy surfaces. Slowly make the cut to avoid chipping and/or breakage.

  8. 8

    Clean off all pencil marks before installing the tile. Stone, Travertine in particular, is a porous material, and sometimes the pencil marks are hard to get off. Marks that won't wipe off with a damp sponge may require the use of acetone.

Tips and warnings

  • Sand cut edges if they are to be exposed.
  • Keep the wet saw full of water.
  • Make light pencil marks, especially when working with stone, for easy removal.
  • Always wear safety glasses when using power tools.
  • Use caution when working with power tools.
  • Use caution when using electric tools around water.
  • Follow the warning label on the acetone bottle.

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