How to Cut Marble the Right Way

How to Cut Marble the Right Way

Cutting marble might be one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to wood projects, as even DIY gurus struggle with this process. If you’re wondering about how to cut marble the right way, you’re in the right place!

The problem with this particular material is that any mistake can cost you a lot as it is a bit on the expensive side. The good news is that with the right knowledge and the appropriate tools, you can make short work of any marble cutting job.

That is why we decided to compile our experience regarding this issue in this really helpful guide which will teach how to do it with no hassle whatsoever. So now if you are looking to deal with this precious material, all you have to do is read through this article!

How to Cut Marble: Here’s What You Will Need

The best tool there is for cutting through marble is undoubtedly the wet saw, which is a special power tool for dealing with it. Here’s my recommended wet saw:

The wet saw has a high price tag though, so if you aren’t planning or renting one or you simply can’t afford it, you have to make do with an alternative. Luckily though, there is one alternative that works quite nicely, which is the circular saw. Here’s a circular model that I recommend checking out:

You can also check our guide on how to choose the right circular saw here.

You also need a diamond blade. Here’s my favorite:

You can also check our guide on how to choose the right circular saw blade here.

Alongside the circular saw and its blade, you’ll need the following tools:

Masking Tape
Craftzilla Colored Masking Tape - 6 Pack of 60 Yards x 1 inch Rainbow Color Craft Paper Tape - Colorful Teacher Tape for Art Lab Labeling & Classroom Decorations
2-inch rigid foam
Owens Corning 703 Fiberglass Board 2" QTY 6
Tape Measure
eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure – For Accurate Measuring – Time-Saving Construction Tool – Red Polycarbonate Plastic– 3 Memory Functions – 16 Feet
Craftzilla Colored Masking Tape - 6 Pack of 60 Yards x 1 inch Rainbow Color Craft Paper Tape - Colorful Teacher Tape for Art Lab Labeling & Classroom Decorations
Owens Corning 703 Fiberglass Board 2" QTY 6
eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure – For Accurate Measuring – Time-Saving Construction Tool – Red Polycarbonate Plastic– 3 Memory Functions – 16 Feet
Masking Tape
Craftzilla Colored Masking Tape - 6 Pack of 60 Yards x 1 inch Rainbow Color Craft Paper Tape - Colorful Teacher Tape for Art Lab Labeling & Classroom Decorations
Craftzilla Colored Masking Tape - 6 Pack of 60 Yards x 1 inch Rainbow Color Craft Paper Tape - Colorful Teacher Tape for Art Lab Labeling & Classroom Decorations
2-inch rigid foam
Owens Corning 703 Fiberglass Board 2" QTY 6
Owens Corning 703 Fiberglass Board 2" QTY 6
Tape Measure
eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure – For Accurate Measuring – Time-Saving Construction Tool – Red Polycarbonate Plastic– 3 Memory Functions – 16 Feet
eTape16 Digital Electronic Tape Measure – For Accurate Measuring – Time-Saving Construction Tool – Red Polycarbonate Plastic– 3 Memory Functions – 16 Feet
Grease Pencil
Dixon 00077 China Markers, Black, 12-Pack
Plywood
6mm 1/4" x 12" x 24" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood B/BB Grade, 6 Flat Sheets By Woodpeckers
Two Sawhorses
Metabo HPT Folding Sawhorses, Heavy Duty Stand, 4 Sawbucks, 1200 Pound Capacity, Built-In Cord Hooks and Shelves, 2-Pack (115445M)
Dixon 00077 China Markers, Black, 12-Pack
6mm 1/4" x 12" x 24" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood B/BB Grade, 6 Flat Sheets By Woodpeckers
Metabo HPT Folding Sawhorses, Heavy Duty Stand, 4 Sawbucks, 1200 Pound Capacity, Built-In Cord Hooks and Shelves, 2-Pack (115445M)
Grease Pencil
Dixon 00077 China Markers, Black, 12-Pack
Dixon 00077 China Markers, Black, 12-Pack
Plywood
6mm 1/4" x 12" x 24" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood B/BB Grade, 6 Flat Sheets By Woodpeckers
6mm 1/4" x 12" x 24" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood B/BB Grade, 6 Flat Sheets By Woodpeckers
Two Sawhorses
Metabo HPT Folding Sawhorses, Heavy Duty Stand, 4 Sawbucks, 1200 Pound Capacity, Built-In Cord Hooks and Shelves, 2-Pack (115445M)
Metabo HPT Folding Sawhorses, Heavy Duty Stand, 4 Sawbucks, 1200 Pound Capacity, Built-In Cord Hooks and Shelves, 2-Pack (115445M)

Since the saw you are going to be using is a regular saw, not a wet one, you ideally want to set up a water source, so for keeping it cool, you’ll have to use a garden hose coupled with a water supply and some clamps. Moreover, after the procedure the cut is left with a rough edge, so to smooth them out you’ll have to use an orbital sander plus some sandpaper.

HOW TO CUT MARBLE: Remember to Stay Safe

In every DIY project, safety comes first so you should really make sure that you have the right gear when you attempt this job. The most crucial ones are an excellent and durable pair of gloves along with some good shielding for your sight and hearing. If you want to take it to the next level in order to ensure even more safety, you can wear a set of work coveralls and forget about any danger.

Moreover, ensuring you are doing the job on a hard surface that withstands the pressure is also essential.

We recommend the setup that we are about to cover in detail, which is composed of two sawhorses alongside plywood and some foam, but smaller marble pieces can be dealt with safely even on some grass. Another constraint to keep in mind is to avoid making cuts that are too large, as when it surpasses the length of two inches you should ultimately call in a professional cutting service.

How to Cut Marble in Three Steps

First Step: Prepare for the Cut

When the time for cutting your piece of marble is due, by then, you should have been properly prepared for it.  First things first, you should start by putting a plywood sheet on top of the two sawhorses, so your working table is set up.

We recommend putting the thick foam piece on top of the table so you’ll avoid much damage to the material since the surface is less hard on it. This set up is not really mandatory if the pieces you want to cut are of a limited size. Next, place the marble slab over the setup.

The next step consists of taking the measurements needed to guarantee the cut’s accuracy, which is a crucial step. What to do first is use some masking tape to cover the edge you want to work on, so you avoid damaging it late on. Then you start measuring and marking on it.

The last step is to prepare your circular saw for the process, by setting up the hose in such a way that water covers the blade’s front edge at all times since a wet saw is not used here. You can clamp it in place to ensure it doesn’t move throughout the cut. Please make sure to use a diamond blade that’s made for cutting marble.

Second Step: Make the Cut

After you’ve done all of the preparations mentioned above, you may now start cutting through marble by pressing the saw against the marked the area and slowly moving it up and down, taking your time through the process as to not rush it. keep in mind that the water should always be running over the front blade, so it doesn’t heat up too much.

Third Step: Sand and Finish the Edge

Now that you’ve finished the cut, chances are its edge are highly uneven and need some smoothing out. So now, remove the tape and start rubbing it with the orbital sander, moving throughout from rougher to gentler sandpaper. Don’t stop until you get a satisfyingly smooth result. We recommend working your way up from 40-grit up to 400-grit sandpaper for the best outcome.

Alternative Method: Wet Saw

This is a much simpler method since this powerful tool is specifically made for cutting marble and other hard materials. Moreover, it has a built-in diamond blade that is water-cooled by default, so you don’t need all that garden hose set up. Thus, it makes the cut a lot easier and effortless instead of going through all the hassle. However, you might not be able to afford its high price tag, but don’t worry as you can just rent one from any of the many home improvement stores that offer it.

How to Cut Marble: Final Thoughts

The process of cutting this sturdy and expensive material might seem hard at first glance since even the smallest mistake can cost you a lot, but it becomes easy once you acquire the know-how and the tools needed to finish it without any trouble. You just have to keep in mind that small cuts are safe to work on by yourself, but once you have a need for a bigger one, you should just call the professionals to ensure your safety and a satisfying final result.

PS: if you want to take your skills to the next level, check our buying guides and reviews, where we cover everything you may ever need in your tool box, be it a Table Saw, Random Orbital Sander, Chainsaw Mill, Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Cordless Circular Saw, Chainsaw Chaps, Tile Saw, Cordless Tool Set, Circular Saw Blade, or even Chainsaw Under 200 bucks. We also like to compare power tool brands, such as DeWalt and Milwaukee.

References:

  • https://www.familyhandyman.com/kitchen/countertops/how-to-cut-marble/
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Cut-Marble-Tiles
  • https://www.ehow.com/how_8494682_cut-marble-grinder.html
  • Our own experience

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