HOW TO CUT URBATEK PORCELAIN TILES
URBATEK porcelain tiles stand out for their resistance, low porosity, wide choice of finishes and broad tile-laying possibilities. Given all the above, plus the wide choice of increasingly large formats in which Urbatek tiles come, it is essential to be familiar with the tiles’ technical characteristics and to keep up to date with the latest tools and handling and cutting methods.
The key to all URBATEK products is the use of top-quality raw materials: clays, feldspar, sand and, on occasions, kaolin, phyllite and pigments. These are bound together when they are pressed, fusing when fired at temperatures of between 1150 and 1250°C, and then gradually cooling at room temperature to form a highly resistant, uniform material.
This is the rigorous manufacturing process behind URBATEK tiles, a range that encompasses a wide variety of increasingly resistant, aesthetically demanding and technologically advanced products. As a result, the required cutting methods will differ for each particular collection, from the range’s extra-thick tiles like the 20MM collection (as its name indicates) to the 119x119cm large-format tiles in the STUC collection, made of recycled materials, or the MARBLE polished porcelain tile collection.
Given the specific characteristics of these collections, tools that are specially designed for cutting very hard materials must be used. A wide range of tools and equipment can be found that facilitates the cutting and drilling process. They must be specially suited to the specific thickness and format of the tiles and meet the requirements of the work to be done on the worksite in question.
90% of the cutting work that is done during the tile-laying process comprises straight cuts, and so in most cases a hand cutter can be used. These cutters are a swifter, cleaner, more easily affordable option when doing tasks such as finishing off the perimeter of a tiled surface or laying tiles round features like columns, door frames, and plugs. This type of cut edge is usually hidden by skirting or by other trims. In such cases, URBATEK recommends a scoring wheel with an 8mm diameter for tiles with a smooth surface and a 10 mm diameter for rough surfaces.
When the cut section will be visible, as in the case of meeting points with corners or drains, the best method, in the case of porcelain tiles, is to use an electric water-cooled continuous rim diamond blade cutter. This type of machine can cut edges with complex lines, even through the most rigid of materials.
When specific shapes are cut in the surface of porcelain tiles, it is important for this work to be done by skilled building professionals using special tungsten carbide or diamond drill bits and the appropriate cutting or drilling technique. For this reason, URBATEK offers regular training sessions so that professionals can find out first-hand how to handle PORCELANOSA Grupo’s most popular porcelain tiles.