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Posted: 9/13/2004 3:33:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 8:35:07 AM EST by superdav]
I just put it down used the backer board blah blah, I've laid many a tile but never slate so i'm wondering how the grout is gonna go with all these uneven tiles. Got any pics of your work? I like the looks of it but i still dont know about the grout.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 3:40:10 PM EST
Our porch is tiled in slate. The grout isn't a problem, just dump it on the tiles, float it in, and wipe it off. The slate we used is pretty uneven and we had no problems.

Link Posted: 9/13/2004 3:41:43 PM EST
Most of the downstairs of my house is slate.

The grout is pretty much even.

Ill take pics when I get home if you want
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 3:48:59 PM EST
This book is pretty comprehensive, though geared towards regular ceramic tile:

Setting Tile

As I recall, there are mentions of specific techniques for different kinds of tile.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 4:04:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2004 4:07:05 PM EST by howlie]
I have set a lot of slate. First, go through all of them, cull the ones that look ugly, that are cracked/delaminating, or are too thick or too thin to be stable to use as cuts later. They may need to be washed to insure a proper bond. I like to put a coat of sealer (on the face only)on them before setting, this acts as a thinset/grout release agent.
It is important to use the right thinset, it's usually called "marble and granite" mix, it's specificaly made for setting natural stone tiles. It has more 'loft' than regular thinset, and it allows you to build up to 3/4".
The key to setting slate is to start with the THICKEST tile in the HIGHEST spot on your floor and build up the rest to meet that level. Make sure that elevation will work with any door thresholds, etc.. You can always gain elevation by building up with thinset, but you can't get it to go down mid-project.
Use a straight-edge and a 4' level to make sure that you are staying level as you go. This also helps you to get all the tiles nice and flat.
Wipe the tiles clean of thinset as you go, it's a real bitch to get it off after it dries. After the tiles are set, you may (depending on the surface texture) want to put another coat of sealer/grout release on to make grouting easier.
The key to grouting slate is to work in small areas before moving on. It can be a mofo to get all the grout residue off the tile face, so don't allow the grout haze/residue to dry on the surface. I like to mix the grout fairly stiff for slate, it's easier to control than when too loose.
After the grouting is done apply more sealer to the whole floor. Depending on what kind of sealer you are using several coats may be called for.
Take your time, setting slate is very labor intensive, even for the pros.
IM me if I may be of any further help.

edit; the book mentioned above is a good reference for the homeowner. I have a copy.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 4:12:49 PM EST
Who is she ?
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 4:18:51 PM EST
I've laid tons of slate. I was going to give some advice but Howlie did such a good job above, now I don't need to.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 7:56:42 PM EST


First, go through all of them, cull the ones that look ugly, that are cracked/delaminating, or are too thick or too thin to be stable to use as cuts later.

did that



They may need to be washed to insure a proper bond. I like to put a coat of sealer (on the face only)on them before setting, this acts as a thinset/grout release agent.

didnt do that



It is important to use the right thinset, it's usually called "marble and granite" mix, it's specificaly made for setting natural stone tiles.

did that


It has more 'loft' than regular thinset, and it allows you to build up to 3/4".
tried to do that


Make sure that elevation will work with any door thresholds, etc..
did that


The key to grouting slate is to work in small areas before moving on. After the grouting is done apply more sealer to the whole floor...
What sealer do you recomend?

Itried to get the tiles as level as possible and put the thicker ones in the center and worked out with thinner ones mainly because i made a decorative tile and oak border but because of the ragged edges and uneveness AND inexperiance with slate it's not perfect. My only concern is the appearance of the joints I've probably seen slate floors but never paid attention to them to notice the joints. If this goes well, on to the kitchen with oak (real not laminate)flooring with a slate border and a slate area where the table will set.
The grout will have to wait 4 days until my next day off

IM sent
thanks

Link Posted: 9/13/2004 8:14:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By howlie:
I have set a lot of slate. First, go through all of them, cull the ones that look ugly, that are cracked/delaminating, or are too thick or too thin to be stable to use as cuts later. They may need to be washed to insure a proper bond. I like to put a coat of sealer (on the face only)on them before setting, this acts as a thinset/grout release agent.
It is important to use the right thinset, it's usually called "marble and granite" mix, it's specificaly made for setting natural stone tiles. It has more 'loft' than regular thinset, and it allows you to build up to 3/4".
The key to setting slate is to start with the THICKEST tile in the HIGHEST spot on your floor and build up the rest to meet that level. Make sure that elevation will work with any door thresholds, etc.. You can always gain elevation by building up with thinset, but you can't get it to go down mid-project.
Use a straight-edge and a 4' level to make sure that you are staying level as you go. This also helps you to get all the tiles nice and flat.
Wipe the tiles clean of thinset as you go, it's a real bitch to get it off after it dries. After the tiles are set, you may (depending on the surface texture) want to put another coat of sealer/grout release on to make grouting easier.
The key to grouting slate is to work in small areas before moving on. It can be a mofo to get all the grout residue off the tile face, so don't allow the grout haze/residue to dry on the surface. I like to mix the grout fairly stiff for slate, it's easier to control than when too loose.
After the grouting is done apply more sealer to the whole floor. Depending on what kind of sealer you are using several coats may be called for.
Take your time, setting slate is very labor intensive, even for the pros.
IM me if I may be of any further help.

edit; the book mentioned above is a good reference for the homeowner. I have a copy.



This guy knows his stuff.

I would just add that it is very important that you get complete adhesion on the back of the tile w/ the mortar/thinset. Hollow spots are weak spots that are susceptible to cracking, water getting in and causing the slate to come up from the sub, etc... . If the sub is out of level (most likely the case) then it may be a good idea to float the surface in order to dictate the way that water will move off of the slate.

With respect to grouting the slate - the above advice is solid - one technique that I have found very useful and efficient when trying to achieve a clean job in the least amount of time is to use the large yellow cellulose sponges that are found at any tile shop/home center. Get clear cool water set up in about 3 or 4 five gallon buckets. Let the grout set up and then wipe with one face of the sponge once and in the exact same spot use the opposite face of the sponge then rinse the sponge clean. Yeah, it takes a long time, but it minimizes the amount of rewipe that you will have to do. Change the rinse water often, ensuring that you get all visible grout out of the sponges/buckets before starting again. If you combine this technique with the above technique of sealing the faces of the slate prior to setting them, then you will have a very quick and clean grout job and clean up.

Good luck!

Post pics after your done!
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 9:41:56 PM EST
where's the pics?
As far as sealer goes...you can use a 'color enhancer' type, makes the tiles look 'wet' and shiny.
or a 'penetrating' type sealer that doesn't affect the appearance of the tile.
I use TileLab sealer mostly, but it's not too critical what brand you use.
Whatever sealer you pick, try it out on a scrap piece and let it dry to see if it will give you the look you want.
And be prepared to shell out $17.00+ a quart.
I really like the rustic look of slate and it wears well, good choice.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 10:30:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By howlie:
where's the pics?



I'll post em when i grout it on my next day off
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:06:58 PM EST
Here it is with an ARFCOM accent

Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:12:32 PM EST
Excellent work. The obligatory AR in the photo is well done too.


Looks great, slate is my favorite stone but a bitch to pay for and work with - worth it though.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:33:56 AM EST
yea, its a little pricey but it does look good, thats my fav AR too
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:41:04 AM EST
Nah, she is too much of a high maintenance bitch.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 8:51:43 AM EST
Looks good!
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 11:08:20 AM EST
Guys, do a search on http://johnbridge.com for any questions about tile related items. This guy runs the ultimate tile forum. I gurantee it's the best one out there for no BS advice. He covers ceramic, granite, marble, slate, etc. I promise you'll thank me later for this if you are laying your own tile.
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 11:14:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By superdav:
Here it is with an ARFCOM accent

img.photobucket.com/albums/v443/superdavarfcom/000_0027.jpg



Only on ARFCOM!! Slate looks great superdav....
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