I just ordered 50 sq. ft of tumbled slate 4" x 4" tile. I'm using these
tiles for a grid pattern to go around larger 12" marble tile. The problem is
that the tiles are different thickness and not all of them are 4 x 4. The
size differences range from 1/8" to 1/4" . If I use these tiles it will
screw up my grout lines and make the floor uneven. I bought these tiles at
the HD Expo and they were a custom order. Has anyone else has this problem
with slate tiles or tried to return a custom order at the Expo?
Sounds like the cheap Indian import stuff, which has very poor
dimensional control. When I've used it, I always buy about 1.5 times
what I think I'll need, pick the more properly dimensioned pieces out,
and pack up and return the rest. This should have been done at the
quarry, but apparently not so in third-world quality control.
But all tile has dimensional variation. All building materials, for
that matter. Everything physical, for that matter.
Natural stone tends to have more variance than manufactured tile. Did
you order it based on a specified tolerance for size? Or just hope for
the best? Or did you just not think about it at all?
You can always recut them yourself to whatever precision you need.
Except the thickness of natural slate is determined by cleavage, and not
really subject to precise control.
It sounds like you mistake the result of a good, even tile surface to be
a natural property of the product. In fact, it is the skill of the
installer that makes imperfect tiles into a near-perfect floor.
I decided to keep the 4 x 4 slate tiles I recently bought. I guess I'll be
doing a lot of sorting and cutting. They are quarried in India and the
quality control is not that good. The thickness of the tiles vary greatly.
Some tiles are 1/4" thick while other are 3/8" thick.
Anyway, should I use a 1/2" notch trowel instead of a 1/4" trowel?
Is there any danger in building up the thinset to float thinner tiles so
that all the tile are the same height?
Can I use premium Flexbond fortified which has a very high PSI strength?
Any advice or experience shared would be appreciated.
years ago.. they came in big sheets of slate, some square, some
rectangle, some triangle, each was kinda different... one side of the
slate was 3/8 in. and the other might have been 1 inch.... on a concrete
slab i made a big "L" shaped thing out of some one by one wood and used
it for a guide and layed out some mortar mix(the kinda of stuff they use
to put up bricks... it was about 1 in. thick and i layed down some slate
that i cut up with a masonary blade to have about 1/2 to 1 in space
between them.. i then forced each slate down into the morter mix the
best i could and they went down... kept moving the "L" piece as a guide
to mix more mortar mix and made another 1 in. thick pad on top of my
original concrete pad.. i then did the same thing, put the slate on top
of this and forced it into the mortar mix down...... completed it 33
yrs. ago and it still looks great.. the slate even looked better when i
applied the $25.00 per gallon sealant on it.. looked real black and rich
looking, but it was too slippery when moisture was on it.. so we
stopped using the sealant on it for safety reasons....
Thanks for sharing your experience. I will definitely use a guide to keep
everything level as you suggested. It'll take some extra time but I think
the darker multicolored slate with my ivory travertine will look awesome
when it is finished. Hopefully it will last as long as your slate job.
I would be interested in what sealant you used on the tile?
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