Cutting Villi Tiles and Drilling Holes in Tiles
There are various ways to cut Villi tiles. These include:
Scoring and Breaking
Scoring can be done using a glass cutter (tile cutter, e.g. hand cutter 6 or 8 mm carbide wheel housed in a ball bearing casing. The breaking is then done evenly, applying a constant pressure, using glazier’s pliers. The cut edges should then be sanded with sanding pads, to minimize risk of injury. The lighter you score (apply the least amount of pressure to score the tile) the better it snaps – the glass tile does not break because of the force, it breaks because of the heat generated from the carbide wheel.
Using a Wet Saw
Using a wet saw may result in chipping on both the top and bottom of the tile causing an irregular edge and some color loss. Using a wet saw is only recommended when the cut area will be covered by more than ¼” of switch plate or molding. Wet saws generally are not recommended for cutting VILLI tiles. Most wet saws cannot cut the tile without excessive vibrations, which cause chipping. If you do use a wet saw, use a Glass Blade 10” wet saw blade which is made specifically for glass. In addition, the tile has to be cut extremely slowly: Example: One piece of 4×4 glass tile should take approx. 1-1/2 to 2 minutes to cut. Use masking tape or blue painters tape all the way around the tile when the cut is being made and cutting the tile upside down will prevent the backing from chipping as much and will put the worst edge on the front of the tile. This edge should then be sanded and re-polished if needed.
Using a Water-Jet Machine
A water jet machine is an excellent option for cutting Villi products, especially for more difficult cuts. There is a difference in cutting glass versus stone. The water jet machines are set to 50-60,000 psi. For glass, it must be reduced to 18-20,000 psi. Also, there should either be a change to the metering disc to restrict the amount of sand that is used or a vacuum assist pump should be used. The water jet company can contact Villi for any further questions.
To cut out a section of the tile e.g. for power outlets:
First, mark out the piece which needs to be cut out. Where the mark-out lines intersect, drill a hole with a diameter of at least 5mm. Using a wet drill bit designed for drilling glass tile, drill half way through the tile from the front, turn it over and then drill half way through from the back, meeting in the middle. This is necessary to avoid chipping and stress fractures once the tile is set. The cutting should then be done using a water-cooled glass saw. The saw should be positioned at right angles to the tile.
Holes with a smaller diameter can be drilled using a diamond drill suitable for drilling glass, while constantly using cooling water. When drilling holes starting from a 10 mm diameter, care must be taken to drill on both sides. First drill on the colored side halfway through the tile, then drill on the glass side. This is necessary to avoid chipping the color and potential breaking due to stress. It is advisable to use a rabbet or similar aid. While drilling, it is essential to use cooling water.