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granite cut care by top rated local handyman

How to Cut Granite

Follow these steps to size a slab or tile of granite to fit perfectly on your new countertop or backsplash.

A popular choice for the upgraded kitchen and bathroom, polished and sealed granite has the timeless appeal, durability, and low maintenance that few other materials can match. But this natural stone is expensive, between $15 and $40 per square foot, with professional installation adding another $25 to $35 per square foot. A way to save some serious money on your dream upgrade? Learn how to cut granite yourself.

Granite is extremely dense and hard, so you need patience and the proper tools to get the job done. Here are all the instructions you need to successfully cut granite slabs (typically 1¼" thick, but up to 1½" thick) and tiles (about 3/8" thick) for your home improvement project.

Tools and Materials


Painter's tape

Tape measure

Permanent marker

Safety glasses

Dust mask

Hearing protection

Circular saw

Diamond blade

Water saw

Buy a vacuum cleaner


Cotton rags

Cut a granite slab


Choose a standard circular saw or a wet cut circular saw for cutting granite. Both will work, but the wet cut circular saw will produce very little dust, thanks to a small tube which sprays water on the surface of the granite when cutting. Cuts the slab of gr anit s exterior and possible to simplify cleaning.


Place the granite slab on a sturdy work surface and use the C-clamps, securing one every two feet along the sides of the slab, to fix it firmly. A designated workbench works well, but avoid placing the plate on anything that might move, such as easels. By securing the part with clamps, you will reduce vibration and movement of the sheet, which can cause splintering.


Protect yourself by wearing a dust mask, safety glasses and ear protection. Cutting granite is noisy and dusty without a wet-cutting circular saw.


Cover the section of granite you intend to cut with masking tape. Since the tape will simply protect the surface and reduce the risk of chipping, the positioning of the tape does not need to be precise. Simply place two or three strips along the top in the general area where you are going to cut - you will cut it.


Carefully measure and create a cut line above the painter's tape with a marker. The adage of savvy carpenters "measure twice, cut once" applies here.

Take your time and double check your measurements to make sure you are cutting in the exact spot. When you're cutting granite, you only get one chance to get it right.


Labeled Fita diamond blade for cutting granite on the saw. Next, make a short "back cut", about two inches long, from the end of the cut line inward. This will reduce the risk of chipping the granite when you cut from the other end and reach that point.

The back cut is essential because the granite material becomes very thin just before the saw blade breaks off the last piece of stone at the end of the slab. Without cutting backwards, the vibrations of the saw could chip or even break a piece.


After cutting backwards, reposition the saw at the opposite end of the slab and slowly cut along the line of the cut. Focus on keeping the blade aligned exactly with the line of cut and maintaining light, steady pressure on the saw without straining, letting the blade do the work. Use the same light pressure until the cut is complete.

Depending on the length of the cut, this may take 15 minutes or more.


Peel the tape off the granite and admire your smooth, clean cut. Allow granite dust to settle and vacuum with a shop vacuum. If you've used a wet-cut circular saw, you'll find fine sludge rather than dust; wipe it off the plate with a damp cloth. Sewage left on the sidewalk or driveway can be easily rinsed away with a garden hose.

Cut the granite tiles


Cut the granite tiles with a wet tile saw. Unlike a circular saw, which is portable, a wet tile saw is stationary and the tile rests on a sliding table. Wet tile saws vary widely; some have lasers to align the tiles, adjustable guides or the ability to make bevel cuts, but they all work on the same principle.


Fit the tile saw with a labeled diamond blade suitable for cutting granite. A blade designed for cutting ceramic or marble tiles is not suitable.

Granite is harder than ceramic and marble: the blade designed to cut these types of tiles will hardly damage the agranit.


Carefully measure the amount to be cut from the tile, then trace the cut line with a permanent marker. A regular marker can wash out when cutting granite. Any ink residue left on the tile after cutting can be removed with a little denatured alcohol on a cloth.


Fill the reservoir on the wet tile saw to the "fill" line with water.


Place the tile on the sliding table and align the cut line with the blade. Secure it in place using the guides. (Consult your owner's manual if you have any questions about using the guides on your machine.)


Rotate the saw and apply only a light forward pressure on the sliding table; let the spinning motion of the blade do most of the work. When cutting granite, water flows freely over the blade and tile, removing dust, cooling the blade and reducing the risk of chipping.


Turn off the saw before removing the granite tile fragments from the sliding table. Empty the tile saw tank and wipe up spilled or splashed water or mud with a rag. If necessary, water the exterior surfaces with a normal garden hose.

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