Tiles, wet saws, and granite blocks

I have about 15-granite cobble stones about 6”x6”x12”. I would like to cut these into a whole bunch of 6”x6” tile like squares. Would a wet saw be able to cut granite? If not, then what would?

While it’s true that wet saws are commonly used for this purpose, the small wet saws that I often see used for trimming tiles and flagstones are not up to the job. You need a 14-15" dia. blade (preferably larger) to cut a 6" tile , since the depth of cut can’t be more than (dia. - hub)/2 (the usable radius of the blade)

Cutting a tile in 2 passes pretty much assures a ridge down the middle of the tile, which I suppose you could smooth down. I’m sure there are jigs to help minimize this. If you don’t need smooth/flat surfaced tiles (e.g. for outside use) and are interested in learning a new skill, you could score the tiles, say, 1-2" deep, and then split them with cushionedwedges. I’ve seen a experienced stonemason do this to produce some very nice looking bordered tiles. Of course, his expertise and choice of stone probably made this seem easier that it was, even when I was wielding the mallet.

Or are you, perhaps, speaking of a straight wet saw? I son’t have any specific knowledge of those, but it should work in principle.

You might be able to rent a large enough saw and stand locally, but it wouldn’t hurt to check what a local stoneworking shop would charge. The quality their equipment could produce might outweigh the difference in cost.

Actually, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t try to cut a 6" tile with a 14-15" circular wetsaw. The risk of chipping or cracking the down side, which would be unsupported and struck obliquely by the teeth, would be very significant. Definitely go with a larger saw.

I am planing to use these outside, but not to walk on. I want to use the 6”x6” granite “tile” for the vertical side of some steps that I’m building. I already have the slate tile for the horizontal surface and I thought that the granite on the vertical part would look good. I don’t want it smooth (in fact the more natural it looks the better), I just want to know how I can make these blocks of granite into thin (about ½ inch thick) tiles somehow.

A diamond bladed tub saw would indeed saw right through granite. In my experience each cut would take about a minute to make and the process is LOUD.

I gather from your OP that you intend to make cuts across the width to produce a 6"x6"x1/2" slices. If so these will be quite smooth but will require some polishing to get rid of the dull appearance of the cut face. A “wet look” sealant applied after the tiles are installed and grouted may provide a shortcut to buffing.

An adequate saw for the job can be rented for about $75 a day here. I would make a mark on the deck of the saw to serve as a thickness guide. Bear in mind, as your material gets shorter, it gets increasingly harder to hold it square to the blade. When is is down to 4" or so it becomes suicidal to get you fingers that close to the wirling blade of death.

Even if you are very meticulous, your cuts are going to vary in thickness and be difficult to set, especially on a vertical surface where you cant “float” them.

I once had the bright idea to save money by sawing a pile of used bricks into paving tiles. The cost and the time involved proved to be hardly worth the effort. Though the customer loved their “polished Brick” patio.