The azulejos of the Alhambra, beautiful multi-colored, intricately designed tiles, look like they may have been cut with modern tools, but actually required extensive training and dedication to the art of mosaic cutting to produce such astounding and complex designs.
Later, the same art became known as zellige in Morocco and other parts of the world, but one thing remained common: It was still an highly intensive manual art done with hand-powered chisel-like tools.
To get a glimpse how this ancient art has been transformed with modern tools, for the modern homeowner who wants a high-end custom look, take a peek at these ten inspiring examples of water jet designs for the discriminating homeowner.
10 Transformative Examples of Water Jet Designs
Traditional ways to cut tile, even in modern times, include the snap cutter and the diamond tile saw, a small improvement over hand tools. Hand-cutting had many advantages, not the least of which is that they were eco-friendly, but it was very laborious and time-consuming. It still is a very difficult process to cut curves with a diamond blade or wet saw too, and it leads to a lot of waste, more room for error, and less complex and aesthetically-pleasing designs.
Now, take a look at what a difference water jets make to designs in the field of artistic expression and how we make use of our raw materials:
1. Porcelain Tile Cutting as Thin as ¼ inch
Materials, like porcelain, are still very hard to cut and can be easily shattered when cutting using either snap cutters or a diamond tile saw, especially when it is very thin.
However, the thinness of the tile is not an issue with a wet jet cutter and can even create curves practically impossible with the diamond saw.
2. Inlay Cutting of Tiles
Water jet tiles can cut inlays that produce identical inner and outer pieces, instead of just mountains of scrap. The inlays can be used together or separately like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle with different materials used for various parts of the artistic tiles.
3. Perfect Tiles with Little Damage
The benefits of water jet cutting include no heat or surface stress during the cutting procedure. This leads to very precise designs with little waste. Often it is a single pass cutting that is extremely fast and still manages to produce a very high quality water jet designs.
4. Extraordinarily Curvaceous Designs
Whether it’s bubbles or spirals you’re looking for, you can do it all with the water jet, unlike other methods. They can produce even more intricate geometric patterns than those found in ancient sites. Homeowners that can’t find the degree of intricacy needed to make their bathrooms and hallways stand out in mass-produced tiles, can do so with custom designs created with a water jet.
5. Layered Tiles
There is a layering effect that is possible with designs cut using a water jet, leading to a sculpted look with the tiles. This provides a different dimension to your walls and ceilings, and can even be nice to touch in relief.
6. Overlayed Tile
Intricate designs and overlays can produce stunning visual drama with additional materials, like mother of pearl embedded within the cut designs. This brings in a natural element to a cold design and provides warmth and lustre to a private space, like a bedroom or bathroom.
7. Ribbon Tile
The water jet can produce ribbons of glass in swirling patterns that are impossible to do with traditional tools. The beauty of it is unmatched and the pattern can be reproduced endlessly without fault. This increases the quality of the final work and makes it an unparalleled work of art for showcase pieces for use as fireplace surrounds, as wall art, or on outdoor pool and patio areas.
8. Engraved Marble Tiles
If you want true elegance, you can’t beat marble. The water jet can engrave designs through this super hard material like it is slicing bread. Marble tiles would be a cinch for this powerful and precise technique.
Using different types of marble in a hall entry creates an impressive entryway and can be done by creating a custom medallion in your home using the water jet.
If you want something more dramatic, why not go for a “marble carpet.”
9. Metallic Tiles
Maybe you want to cut metal tiles or include metallic accent designs in your marble tile. It can be done with a water jet. The reflective elements will give your natural stone a shine when polished that can’t be obtained with other materials. This type of juxtaposition of natural and artificial elements produces very unique tile designs.
10. Other Stones, Both Natural and Man-made
Want a Terrazo floor or sink? The jet cutter can cut perfect holes in granite tiles for faucet handles and spigots, no matter how hard the stone.
Water Jets Are The Tool of the Future
With so many environmental concerns around about wasting natural resources, it’s nice to have a newer technology that makes the best use of the raw materials available to it. It doesn’t produce vapors or toxic fumes too. It is inherently eco-friendly.
In addition the custom designs available make it possible for any homeowner to visualize and create any design imaginable to them, even if it is full of curves and matching pieces that can be difficult with traditional methods.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how others have been able to use this modern tool to get results that are elegant and timeless in their appeal. What did you think of our list? Take a moment to let us know in the comments, and if you liked the article, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and followers too.