A plywood table clamped to the tile saw’s bed.
A plywood table clamped to the tile saw’s bed.

A.Contributing editor Michael Byrne, an industry consultant in Los Olivos, Calif., responds: Unless its finish approximates the finish of the uncut edges, the cut edge of a transparent glass tile can be glaringly obvious. To minimize chipping, I use a smooth-running wet saw equipped with a blade made specifically for cutting glass, such as the MK-215GL (800/421-5830, mkdiamond.com). So that there is plenty of clean cooling water, I fit the saw with a second pump that has its own feed line (this is in addition to the saw’s built-in pump). I also reduce vibration and support the kerf edges by clamping a 3/4-inch plywood table to the saw bed, which provides backing and reduces the chipping that tends to occur at the tail end of the cut, where the tile body is at its weakest (see photos). I feed the tile into the diamond wheel very slowly, easing up even more as I near the end of the cut.

Most glass blades leave a surface finish in the 200- to 400-grit range; subsequent grinding and polishing are required until the edge finish comes close to the tile’s original finish and luster. Production installers use wet-bath disc or vertical belt sanders, but you can also get satisfactory results with sanding blocks and fine grades of wet...

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