slate tile question

Over the years I have installed ceramic tile for many family members. Now, one wants slate tile installed. Can slate tile be cut with a ceramic tile cutter or do you need a wet saw? Is the same thinset used on slate tile? Advice and recs needed, please. Thank you, Seamus J. Wilson
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Seamus J. Wilson wrote:

The John Bridge forums are the best on the net. http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t22
R
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Thank you for the helpful reference. Best, Seamus J.

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Seamus J. Wilson writes:

If by "cutter" you mean scoring, no. You have to saw it.

Sure.
Beware, there are lots of slate varieties. Most of what I see sold is low grade stuff from India.
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Hi Seamus,
We recently laid Travertine and slate floors in out home and put California Gold slate on our fireplace and black slate in one of our bathrooms. After this experience I will say no, that a tile cutter will NOT work to cut the stone. Slate has a grain, much like wood. When you score it and try to snap it, it breaks along the grain unlike tile. This leaves you with jagged edges. Slate also varies greatly in thickness from tile to tile. A single 12" square stone may go from 1/4" thick on one side to 1/2" thick on the other.
To set these stones, some of them were 21" square most 18" we used the best quality of thinset available to us in our area. C Cure full contact 907. Yes it DOES cost more but it hangs on. With the expense of a stone floor, no one wants to take a chance on the tiles popping. We decided to use the better thinset simply because we knew that if we couldn't afford to do it right the first time, we would never be able to afford to do it over again.
For cutting we purchased a tile saw at Harbor Freight Tools, and a couple of spare blades. We bought this one http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber386
They put them on sale fairly regularly for $249 HOWEVER... little know fact. If you buy your stone from Lowes, they will make your cuts for free! You just have to have them marked before you go in. That can be a hassle though. If the area you're tiling is small, than it would be an inexpensive way to go.
On a side note. If this floor is intended as a dining room floor..... Chairs don't move very easily on it.
We put slate insets in our Travertine. The chairs screech to a halt ever time they hit a piece of slate.
Best of luck!
Kate O|||||||O
Over the years I have installed ceramic tile for many family members. Now, one wants slate tile installed. Can slate tile be cut with a ceramic tile cutter or do you need a wet saw? Is the same thinset used on slate tile? Advice and recs needed, please. Thank you, Seamus J. Wilson
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Thinset yes, Glasscutter type tile cutter no- use the wet saw Strongly advise sealing the slate before attempting grout as it's surface irregularities make unsealed a pain to clean.
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wrote:

Thinset yes, Glasscutter type tile cutter no- use the wet saw Strongly advise sealing the slate before attempting grout as it's surface irregularities make unsealed a pain to clean.
Good advice!
Kate O|||||||O
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