Granite in fireplace

Hi,
The bottom of my fireplace (that houses a wood burning insert) was lined with very ugly tile which I decided to replace with a slab of granite (probably in two pieces). But removing the tile damaged the wet bed as you can see here:
http://freeboundaries.com/fireplacefloor.jpg
Where do I go from here? Should I just pour self leveling concrete on it (5/8") and put the slab of granite on top or do I remove the wet bed and start all over?
Many thanks in advance,
Sam
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If the bed is not that loose, i would just trowel some thinset on it and just put the granite right on top. Its not like it has to support a lot of weight or constant traffic. The thinset would probably lock all the loose bed together.
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A friend of mine owns a granite company. A friend of his did a free video for him, as he was learning his videography skills. The video shows the advantages of granite. In one sequence, they take a large propane weed burner and turn it on the underside of the granite. On top, there is a pan of water. They get the water to boil vigorously. I know granite is good stuff. I have owned a lot. But, I don't know what the cracking limits on it are, I think it may vary heavily with the graining and natural cracks already there. Still, installed flat, and properly supported, I would think it would be pretty durable. Just buy pieces with no obvious cracks. Maybe even the 1.25" thick instead of the .75", too. Some smaller chunks might be a lot cheaper, too.
Steve
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I'm not a granite expert (you might ask a dealer) but I'd likely just clean out what's loose and put a layer of thinset over what's there, and build on that. I don't think it needs to be 5/8", just make sure there are no high spots to put stress on the granite.
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You're really asking aesthetic questions and how much work do you want to spend doing it questions.
What you do with the setting bed is dependent on how thick the granite will be, and whether you want to leave the flooring alone or add wood reducing molding around the perimeter of the stone to protect the exposed corners and edges.
Generally speaking, when you aren't facing a critical height restriction, the procedure is to remove as much of the old setting bed as you can without going nuts (cold chisel and 3 pound hammer), then fill it level when you place the setting bed mortar and set the granite.
If the stone is thicker than the old tile (it will be), then you either cut down the existing bed or add three pieces of oak trim. Some people leave the stone sitting proud of the wood, but that's not a great idea. The exposed edges will get abused and the chips will make all that hard work look aged quickly. Then again, maybe an aged look is what you want.
As far as the two pieces of stone, I'm imaging that you mean one inside the fireplace, and one for the hearth. There's really no choice in that matter as one piece would almost assuredly crack. If you meant too pieces for the hearth because of the weight of the stone and you're setting by yourself or something like that, I'd encourage getting a local to help you for half an hour.
Should look pretty stellar when you're done. Have fun with it.
R
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On 2/20/2011 3:58 PM, RicodJour wrote:

Thank you for all the enlightening responses!
Please note that I was planning to go with 1.25" granite and that I would like for it to be sitting above the hardwood and show a rough edge. So I need to build the wet bed up to the level of the floor.
How come nobody liked my self leveling compound idea?
Thanks again,
Sam
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You can flame the granite to roughen up the sawed-edge surface.

Because it's more trouble than it's worth.
R
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Mostly because self-leveling isn't necessary. My guess is that it won't support the granite as well as mortar, either. A mortar bed of whatever thickness you need to level the stone where you want it should pretty easy to do.
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On Feb 20, 5:32pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

The compressive strength of self-leveling floor compound is usually two or three times that of your average mortar.
R
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On 2/20/2011 10:04 PM, RicodJour wrote:

Is that a vote in its favor?
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No, that's a single factor, but what I wrote earlier, "Because it's more trouble than it's worth." still applies. There's no load to speak of on a heath stone, so any setting bed at all would have enough strength. You could use plaster of paris if you wanted to.
What's the big deal about mixing up a bag or mortar? It's Play Doh fer cryin' out loud! The longer working time and greater body is to your benefit, and it's cheaper and more forgiving than the self- leveling stuff.
- Make a screed by cutting a straight piece of 1x3 that is two inches longer than the width of the hearth stone opening in the wood flooring. - Calculate how far you want the bottom of the stone to be below the top of the wood flooring, and add 1/4". - Then cut a ~1" notch in either end of the wood screed 1x4 that will hold the bottom of the screed at the level you calculated above. Test the screed in the opening to make sure it moves smoothly and doesn't bind. - Cover the exposed sides of the wood flooring with painter's tape, tape cardboard around the hearth stone opening extending ~12", and cover the surrounding area with drop cloths. - Place mortar, use the screed to level off the surface by scraping it back and forth. Remove the excess mortar with a trowel and paying particular attention to the level where it abuts the wood flooring (covered with tape), fill in any low areas and give the surface a quick smoothing with the trowel. The surface does not have to be perfect, but there should be no high spots. - Let the mortar set for a day or two, then place the hearth stone in a mortar or thinset setting bed using a 1/2" x 1/2" notched trowel - that will provide you with the ~1/4" setting bed when it's held at a 30 degree angle.
It's an hour or two job all in.
R
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