Before setting out to lay 16″ tile diagonally, you must consider how you are going to cut it. After all, every single piece around the perimeter will need to be cut and that’s just for starters. Even my larger Felker saw will not cut this tile diagonally because the lip of the sliding tray is simply too close to the blade to fit the tile. To get a saw that will diagonally cut a tile this large you will need a monster of a saw. Instead, I thought I’d share my method for getting the most out of my tile saw.
The idea is to build up the tray so that the tile will set over the fence but still have something solid to rest on. You can use a variety of materials for this. One time, I made a larger tray using plywood and added a fence that was further back. This worked, but it took more effort than was probably necessary. This time, I just stacked two pieces of leftover 1/4″ hardibacker on either side and I was good to go.
Having the tile a little higher means that you the fence will not be in your way, however, it also means that you won’t be able to use the fence or any attachments to help guide your cuts. I found this to be less of a problem than you might expect. It means that before I make a cut, I start by marking across the entire tile with a wax or graphite pencil. This mark will be my guide to make sure I cut straight.
I have a small combination square that seems to be the perfect tool for marking tile, especially if I’m making a lot of 45 degree cuts.
Start slowly and get the hang of it. If you are making a larger cut from corner to corner, it’s usually best to stop before going all the way across and flip the tile around before finishing. Otherwise, it’s fairly likely to break off meaning you get to start all over again. With a little practice I’m guessing that you can learn to make these cuts without investing in an industrial size saw.