Laying and Cutting Slate Tiles

Hi,
Our bathroom currently has bare floorboards and am looking to lay slate tiles. The area is fairly small (~3m2) and the floor is pretty level.
What is the best way to do this? Presume I need to prepare the floor first to lay the tiles? Obviously there is a number of obstacles to fit around (Toilet, Sink, etc). What is the best way of cutting slate tiles? I have a good jijsaw, can you get appropriate blades?
Thanks in advance
Will Owen
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On 2006-12-16 17:23:15 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com said:

Even though the floor boards are apparently level, they can be subject to movement, which is the last thing you need. Therefore, laying a sheet of ply would be a good idea because you can then guarantee a firm and absolutely flat base. The ply can be 12mm if the floor is sound and screwed to the existing floor at regular intervals. It would be a good idea to lift a floorboard or two and to check for pipes and cables. Cables should be run through holes at least 50mm from the surface, but it would not be unknown for them to run in notches in the joists.
The second and associated point is not to attempt to tile around things like washbasins and toilets. The results will be poor and it is much harder to do. These things should be taken out, the ply and tiling done and then the sanitaryware replaced.
Slate can be cut using an electric tile saw with a diamond blade. It is not hard to do if you take it slowly, but plenty of water is required. Powertools like jigsaws are not really suitable.
You will then need a good quality adhesive suitable for slate (e.g. products from BAL or Ardex) and allow for a sufficient depth (probably about 6-8mm on a flat surface). The slate hould be carefully washed after cutting and in any case before use, allowed to dry. You may wish to use a colour enhancer at this stage. These will raise the colours without making the slate look glossy and plastic in appearance (hence ruining the look). For this, Lithofin MN Colour Intensifier is a good product. Otherwise you can give one coat of a good quality sealer such as Lithofin MN Stainstop. The first coat is to prevent staining by adhesives or grouts. Fix the tiles in place, and allow the appropriate time for the adhesive to harden. Then grout and clean that up. For a slate floor, it is usually a bad idea to use a white grout because it will tend to discolour and not look appropriate in the first place. Generally, grey or mid grey works well with most types of slate. Finally, another 2 coats of Stainstop will seal the slate and the grout. These treatments appear to be relatively expensive but can be applied sparingly and go a very long way. 500ml containers may be enough for your needs for example.
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Andy Hall wrote:

Thanks Andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

Ain't that the truth!
Thats what I do if asked to lay laminate flooring in a bathroom - if I can't talk them out of it.......
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
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On 2006-12-17 11:04:20 +0000, "The Medway Handyman"

Sigh... where needs must, the Devil drives.....
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I thought laminate floor had to be able to move slightly? Doesn't fixing a toilet pan through it stop this?
--
*How about "never"? Is "never" good for you?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

It doesn't *have* to be able to move..its just that it *will* if its not...bolted down firmly ..by e.g. a toilet pan screwed through it.. :-)
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Andy Hall wrote:

On the subject of pipes... What is the best method to cut the slates around radiator pipes, etc? Can you nip it like ceramic tiles?
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

it cuts well with any diamond tools and files well also. I just nibbled edges out with my diamond tile cutter wheel and smoothed em with a file..
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On 2006-12-18 20:49:48 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com said:

Pretty much, although if the pipes are next to the wall, you can cut out a notch using a series of cuts from the edge using a tile saw, arranging the ends of the cuts to meet the edge of a semicircle. Then if you need it, you can cut a section to fit behind the pipe, although if it's only 10mm or so, probably not worth it.
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Andy Hall wrote:

Cheers Guys.
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

First of all get rid of the florboards and screw down something stable..you might as well use water resistant ply..
Then use a thick base of flexible cement, or the tiles will crack up. Buy a rotary diamond disc tile cutter for the fancy work. It makes mincemeat of cutting.
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wrote:

Replacing the floorboards with ply (and maybe stiffing the joists with some noggins especially in an old house ) could reduce the extra floor thickness you will otherwise end up Robert
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