If you have ever laid tile, then you know the difficulties and hassle involved with laying tile around a doorway. Each tile must be cut specifically to fit around the doorway, which is a tedious and extremely time consuming process. There is, however, another way. Instead of cutting every tile to fit just right, what if you could just make it so that the tile would fit uncut?
A specialty tool known as the jamb saw is perfect for this particular task. Jamb saws are basically circular saws that are mounted at the end of an extendable frame. Jamb saws serve to reverse the process of tile cutting. Instead of cutting the tile to fit the door jamb, you’ll be cutting the door jamb to fit the tile. When you begin, adjust the height of the jamb saw’s blade to the height of the planks or tiles that you will be using. Once the blade height is correct, you can begin sawing into the door jamb. Done correctly, the tile or plank should simply slide up under the door jamb without much fuss.
Jamb saws are also used to cut into door casings, making way for the laminate, hardwood, cork, or tile flooring that is being used. Be careful to adjust the jamb saw’s blade to the correct depth, or you’ll end up with flooring that either won’t fit or leaves an ugly gap. Usually, you can simply measure the flooring itself to find the appropriate depth setting. At times, however, you may need to measure the flooring as well as the underlayment that is being used. Underlayment is commonly seen with “floating floors”, and it is very important that it be included in the measurement for a correct fit.
When you begin cutting door casings, be sure to wear eye protection. Some baseboards may have nails in them, and these can go flying when you saw through them. To save yourself plenty of frustration, you should also try out the fit of the flooring after the first door casing you cut. Do not wait until you have cut all the door casings just to find that the flooring does not fit.
Expect to pay a decent price for a good jamb saw. Most quality jamb saws are going to run at least $160. There are also hand jamb saws, but these can be very tedious and laborious to use. QEP makes a great jamb saw, the 10-55 Long Neck with carbide tipped blades, for $177. Roberts makes a 6″ jamb saw for $180 as well that is decent.