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Old 05-27-2010, 09:34 PM   #16
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


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So from the sounds of it, i'll need to stall a temporary ledger after every row?
No just the top row. After those tiles are firm and you can remove the ledger you can then do the math so that you stack the legs up from the floor on spacers but cut the bottom tile. It looks better and isn't as noticeable if you cut the bottom tile.

Yow I know: Clear as mud!

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Old 05-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #17
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My hand cramped so excuse the penmanship!

Here's something like what I think I would do with this one. The keystone tops are really classy looking I think, and it breaks up the hum-drum of the square tile a little.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:51 PM   #18
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Alright, here is this morning's work. As best I could, I sanded the ridges down on the grout I laid yesterday so that they sit flush with the face of the firebox. I could easily see the high and low spots after sanding the grout lines down with some aluminum oxide sand paper (80 grit) on a 2x4. After I felt everything was fairly flush, I wiped the grout down with a sponge (might not have had to but I figured i'd be safe than sorry). Next I proceeded to lay down a thing coat filling in my ridges with the smooth side of the trowel, this part was easy. I'm fairly happy with it. Also, you were very much right, it was WAY easier filling in the combed ridges, rather than making them as I had to do yesterday.

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Old 05-28-2010, 01:15 PM   #19
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
My hand cramped so excuse the penmanship!

Here's something like what I think I would do with this one. The keystone tops are really classy looking I think, and it breaks up the hum-drum of the square tile a little.
Oh wow! I'm not sure I trust myself with those cuts, LOL!
I'm running low on funds so instead of renting a wet saw I'm going with a grinder and a 4" diamond blade.. Here is to hoping for a steady hand.

EDIT: How long should I wait before laying tiles on top of my finished thinset surface? I laid the thinset down around 9AM.. I'm so eager to get started!

Last edited by Fropitar; 05-28-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #20
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


The final pass of thinset should be dry by now, it should only take a few hours. It doesn't have to be completely dry anyway especially if you backbutter the tiles.

I assume you'll attach a temporary straightedge to rest the top row of tile on. If you use the keystone idea, layout the tile for the keystone and cut it first. Then you can layout a string of tiles for the top row and use the keystone itself to pattern the angled cuts of the to-be-angled-tiles on either side. Be sure to allow for the grout line.

A 4" grinder should work fine. Hopefully you have a "dry-cut" diamond blade. A little trick there is to layout your cut then use a piece of board for a saw guide. Lay the board it your mark and allow the blade to glide along the side of the board. All you need is two or three passes then you can remove the board and free-hand the rest of the cut to go through the tile. The saw blade will easily follow the cut (kerf) you have made with the board-guide.

When using slate you won't have to worry too much about chipping the edges. Oh sure, the edges are going to chip but it only enhances the look of the slate. If the chips are too obvious compared to the edges of the other tiles you haven't cut then use some of that 80 grit sandpaper on a sanding block and soften all the edges of all the tiles to match everything up a little. Slate is one of the softer rocks when it comes to cutting like this and it's real easy to work with.

All of these tiles where cut to size. The edges where then rubbed with abrasive. Can you find the butterfly and the hummingbird?
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #21
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Alright, here is the progress! I went with this layout for no other reason than after my first few cuts being more difficult that I though, it was the simplest design.

Also, I can not find the hummingbird for the life of me.

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:29 PM   #22
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Nothin' wrong with that! No matter what you do for a pattern it's gonna look good with slate.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #23
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


The hummingbird is hard to see if you don't know it's there.
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Old 05-30-2010, 02:57 PM   #24
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Alright, I made a boo boo and need help picking between the lesser of two evils here!!

The little caption in each picture should explain what i mean. Which would look goofier?!




OR................................................ ......

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Old 05-30-2010, 03:15 PM   #25
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


The suggestion in the top picture would be my choice. This would maintain the horizontal grout line at the base of the firebox as long as the tiles aren't blocking an access panel on the fireplace.

To further cloud the project now that I see the tiles in place, I think I would get a little "artsy fartsy" and cut the two bottom rows narrow so that there is a vertical format appearance, a soldier course if you will. By "narrow" I'm saying to cut each of those remaining tiles approximayely the same width as the three at the top of the firebox. This would probably give you about nine tiles left to right.

There are no rules you know?
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:27 PM   #26
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Woohoo! Tiles are laid. Somehow, some WAY I was able to use the cut pieces from the rising tiles around the sides of the firebox to fill in the bottom.. thank god because I was short on tile! With that being said I couldn't continue the 4.24" narrow pieces all the way across, so I had to fill the middle in with my last whole tile.. I'm fairly happy with it!

Next steps are to seal the slate, then grout.. I think i'll save that for tomorrow...

Any grouting tips?

Here is the pattern I went with:

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Old 05-30-2010, 06:44 PM   #27
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


EUREKA!!!

That looks really good actually.

The slate may want more than one coat of sealer. Also be sure the sealer is totally dry before applying the grout.

One more suggestion:
If you have a pastry bag (cake decorator) I would "bag" the grout joints. This will reduce the amount of grout you have to smear over the surface of the tile. With plenty of sealer you'll be OK but still, if you don't have to get too much grout on the surface of the tile you'll be ahead of the game.

Excellent job!
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:00 PM   #28
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Thanks a MILLION for ALL your help. This would not at all been possible without your expertise and kindness. Perhaps a Forum moderator could sticky this thread for anyone else that may be doing a similar project. I'll post a final picture when I finish sealing and grouting tomorrow. Again, thank you. As a young homeowner it feels so nice to sit back and look at my own work.

I'll be sure to head on over to the electrical section and return the favor to someone else who may need help in my area of expertise!

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:26 PM   #29
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


Fropitar, Bud has done a bang up job guiding you through this job.

Grouting slate can be a real so and so because of the different heights on the edge of the tiles. The bag idea is a good one, so even if you don't have such a bag - go out and get one. It's well worth it. The less grout you have to remove from slate, the better.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:44 PM   #30
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Removed tile around fireplace, drywall underneath?!


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Fropitar, Bud has done a bang up job guiding you through this job.

Grouting slate can be a real so and so because of the different heights on the edge of the tiles. The bag idea is a good one, so even if you don't have such a bag - go out and get one. It's well worth it. The less grout you have to remove from slate, the better.

Indeed I will! I've followed every bit of advice so far and its been extremely helpful. ESPECIALLY using the piece of wood (4x4) to help guide me as I cut with the grinder and diamond blade.

Time for another coat of sealer! (I couldn't wait till tomorrow)

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