How To Cut And Shape Thick And Thin Slate Roofing Tiles

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If your home's slate roof was damaged in a storm and you want to tackle the job of replacing the broken tiles yourself, then you will be pleased to know it is simple to cut some replacement tiles for the project. In fact, regardless of the thickness of your roof's tiles, you can cut the new slate tiles with tools you already have in your garage. 

Before you start cutting the new tiles, first you should mark cut lines with chalk. Mark the underside of the tiles and always make your cuts from the thinner end of the slate tile to the thicker end to prevent cracking.

To cut new slate tiles to match those you are removing, follow the procedure for the thickness of the tiles you have:

Cutting Thin Slate Tiles

You can cut down thinner slate tiles by using either a handheld slate cutting tool or a framing hammer.

To use a handheld slate cutting tool, simply mark the tile and then cut it as you would cut a piece of paper with a pair scissors. 

If you don't have a slate cutting tool and don't have enough tiles to cut to justify purchasing one, then you can shape the slate tiles using a hammer and a brick. Place your slate tile on top of a brick with the area you want to cut off hanging over the edge. Using your hammer, gently chip off small pieces of the slate until you break off enough to get to the line you marked.

The secret to using a hammer to shape slate tiles is to never remove too much material at one time. Don't whack the slate tile, rather tap its edge gently and remove the waste material in a slow and methodical way.

Cutting Thick Slate Tiles

While you can use the hammering technique above to shape even the thickest of slate tiles, it is faster if you cut them using an angle grinder. 

If you own an angle grinder, you can cut the slate tiles using a multi-purpose diamond blade. While you do not need to use water while cutting, you absolutely must wear a dust mask to protect your lungs!

To cut a tile, place it on a steady surface and hold it in place with one hand while holding your angle grinder in the other. Gently move the angle grinder in a sawing motion along the tile to help the blade shed any dust it picks up while cutting. 

Finally, for a natural looking edge on the slate tiles, tap their edges gently with your hammer and rough up the edge.

Contact a roofing company, like Three Rivers Roofing, for more help.

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2 August 2017

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My name is Janet, and I am a professional architect and interior designer. While I love to design and decorate homes, I have recently developed another passion. I have fallen in love with the flat roof. Most people only see flat roofs in tall buildings in urban areas, but suburban homes can have them too. You can have a roof with a living space, a garden or even a pool. You simply need to design it so that water is adequately drained, and you can enjoy your roof almost as if it were an extra room. Explore the possibilities of flat roofs with me.