How to Cut Mexican Tile
How to Cut Mexican Tile Video
It's very easy to cut Mexican tile. To put it another way, it's one of the easiest tiles you'll ever cut in your career.
Soft and Absorbent
Mexican tile is not hard because it was fired at a lower temperature and for a shorter amount of time while it was in the kiln.
The tile starts out as a wet clay and heat transforms it into a soft stone.
The softness of the tile allows it to soak up water. On the negative side, you'd never want to use Mexican tile where the temperature drops below 32F. Water in the tile will freeze, expand and cause the tile to surface spall.
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Cut Mexican Tile With an Angle Grinder
An inexpensive angle grinder is the best tool to cut Mexican tile. You can use a wet saw if you have access to one, but they are very expensive to rent.
Be sure the grinder has a dry diamond blade. This blade will cut through the tile like a hot knife through butter.
Cutting Circles In Tile
It's very easy to cut a curve with the angle grinder. A small-diameter blade allows you to cut a curve.
To cut tighter curves, don't bury the blade into the tile. Make shallow passes and enlarge the cut line on the outside of the curve where it doesn't matter.
Dust Control Is Important!
It's important to realize you'll be creating lots of dust if you use the angle grinder and dry-diamond blade. Stay upwind of the cutting area if it's windy. If no wind, consider using a large fan to blow dust away from you and the grinder.
The Mexican tile will probably have silica in it and it's not a great idea to breath lots and lots of dust that contains silica.
Here's a dust mask that works quite well: