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8 asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 1 decade ago

Installing ceramic floor tile- how to handle floor vents?

We are installing 16" x 16" ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen, bath and laundry room. We have 3 air vents on the floor that we need to tile around. No matter what layout pattern we have tried, all would require that we cut a triangle for all 3 floor vents. Is that even possible??? If so, what is the best and/ or easiest way to do that? What tools, etc. would be helpful too. Thanks.


EDIT- My apologies! I have been up 20 hours ripping up old wood flooring and OSB. I DID mean to say RECTANGULAR.

We DO have a wet saw, but I still don't understand how that would cut a rectangular, say approx. 11" x7" rectangle out of the center of a 16" x 16" tile. Am I so tired I am missing something??? LOL We have laid several thousand sq ft of wood flooring- even 7 3/4" very wide planks but even with wood that wide, you don't have to custout a rctangular peice in the center of your board, like will have to be done with the large tile squares. THANKS!

Update 2:

Thanks but still don't see, or perhaps understand, the answer to my Q.

Need to get 2"x10" & 4"x10 rectangles cut out of the CENTER, or very near center of 16"x16" tiles. NO, wet saw won't work & circular won't make a 2" cut. As mentioned- a U shape cut that could be done with either tool is not what we need due to layout options that work around all the other obstacles. Maybe I am not phrasing it right- How do we get a HOLE started in the center of the tile? Perhaps we could just nip away if we knew how to do that, BUT still, seems like a ton of nipping. YES, vents just drop in and any area we nipped would be covered- just need to know how to best get a center hole started- period. Are you saying theres a tool that could get a whole in the CENTER at least started?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No offense meant to anyone, but I tile every day of my life. In my own home I pulled the vents, Cut the openings, set the tile, then re-set the vents.

    I have every Tile tool one can own, but I'm curious about triangles? Most floor vents are rectangular.

    I use A Diag. Grinder OFTEN, with a diamond blade, mark the cut out with a sharpie or pencil, cut to corners as close as possible in the line out, flip the tile, cut to the same corners (MARKED) then set the tile.

    Obviously an OOPS can happen, and one should expect so, having extras, but unless you want cut lines to show, and don't have extras to TIGHT fit a cut back into the tile, to TRY to be invisible, DO NOT think a Wet Saw is the way to proceed.

    Steven Wolf

    Just my two "sense"

    Add On: As stated, cut the PLUG out with a Diag. Grinder.

    After I did all my "registers" I used construction adhesive , small dots, then re-set the register in the cut out. If I need access, a paint knife will break the bead/dot allowing me to lift the register out of the floor.

    Source(s): 45 plus years as a contractor
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  • 1 decade ago

    Use a grinder with a diamond blade , you can cut anything with that , faster than a wet saw but lots of dust , If the joints were to end up in the center of the vent you can use the wet saw to cut half of a rectangle , Imagine a square U , cut the two ends first then continue cutting towards the same direction until they look like shreded paper, then just knock them off and then slowly grind against the wet saw blade until you get a straight line , that's if you don't have a grinder and you don't want to have to buy one but a grinder with a diamond blade beats everything, a roto-zip tool with a tile bit can cut tiles in any direction but way too slow , are you taking off the covers for the vents before you tile ? you may need longer screws to put them back but you'll have a better finish look ,

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  • 1 decade ago

    You need a wet saw (could rent at a local equipment rental store) to cut the tile after measuring, and the lip of the vents will cover any imperfections. . . That is the same thing that is done in every type of flooring, drywall, etc.

    Very easy once your realize that the flaws will be covered. If you all are excellent at measuring and cutting, you may not even have that :)

    Source(s): Cut thousands of holes and cosmetically repaired them over the years :) Never had a problem or complaint yet :)
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  • 3 years ago

    How To Install Floor Register

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you need to lay out the tiles and mark the ones you need to cut. use a wet saw to cut the tiles. the edges of the vent covers will hide the cuts.

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