3 Concrete Cutting Methods

Concrete sawing is an important task that we need to do, if we want to perform various DIY jobs. It is essentially a controlled process of controlled concrete removal, drilling and sawing. This needs to be performed by skilled and experienced operators who use special saws with diamond-impregnated blades. Modern concrete cutting method should leave attractive, smooth finish. Water is used as coolant during the cutting process and it also prevents the distribution of dust. There are different methods of concrete cutting, however, flat/slab sawing, core drilling and wall sawing are the most commonly used.

  1. Wall sawing: Wall sawing is a cutting process to create openings for windows and doors in concrete wall. The normal procedure can be performed on concrete wall that is less than 12-inch thick. However, with special tools; up to 24-inch thick of concrete can be cut. We can accomplish this by saw that’s attached to the track. For 12-inch thick of concrete wall, we need an enormous 30-inch of diamond impregnated blade and even larger for thicker wall. This type of concrete cutting often requires the most skills and it can’t be performed by your average DIY-ers. Although homeowners may do this on their own; they will need to invest on heavy-duty tools and it takes practice to create level openings and perfectly smooth cut with minimal amount of dust and mess. If we want to hire the concrete cutting professionals, we may need to pay about $500 for one session of concrete wall cutting.
  2. Core drilling: Core drilling is a process to create perfect, round holes through the concrete for various purposes, such as for ventilation, exhaust fans or cables. Holes can be anywhere between 1-inch to 12-inch in diameter. However, for many homeowner applications, 5-inch is the most commonly used. If holes are used for heating, plumbing and electricity, they are called as “utility penetrations”. Holes are also usable for clothes dryers and venting furnaces. For relatively thin wall, the task can be performed by homeowner with standard drilling tools; but for thicker walls, it may need to be performed by advanced DIY-ers. Core drilling tools should be available in supply stores or local tool rental. Professional concrete drillers could charge $250 for a session of drilling.
  3. Slab sawing: Slab sawing is also known as flat sawing. In this case, the method is used to cut horizontally flat surfaces, including pavement, bridge decks and floors. Slab saws have diamond blade and it can be operated by a single person. For many homeowner applications, standard tool can cut about 6-inch deep, but heavy-duty tools may cut up to 30-inch or more. When we want to make opening and penetrations in concrete floors, slab sawing is an ideal thing to do. For demolition tasks, slab sawing is also a good method to choose. We will be able to remove and break up unwanted, cracked walkway, driveway and patio. Sometimes, we can use this method to cut concrete slab or patio partially to alter the overall landscape design.

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