Well, we are now full renovation mode and today we have been tiling the hearth.
Last winter, in the week before Christmas, we poured our concrete hearth, and laid the tiles in the middle of the hearth, so that our woodburner could be reinstated and our boiler could be fitted.
So the only parts left to tile were the outsides, y'know, all the tricky bits *sigh*
So here are some progress shots along with some of my top tips for tiling a hearth with slate.
1. Slate the hearth before installing the woodburner; and as best you can, work from back to front. I nearly caused myself a mischief trying to reach into the back without leaning on the tiles I had just put adhesive on... it is a stupid mistake I should have know better.
2. Protect your floor… I didn't. Yes, yet another rookie mistake, it took me 20 mins on hands and knees scrubbing the adhesive that had splattered all over the place. *tsk!
3. Use a pencil to mark your cutting lines (perhaps one of those chalk pens would do the trick, but we don't have one) Pencil is easy to see in full light but tricky to see in a dull room. It does give a nice clean line though, which is important for a good cutting guide and it will clean off later.
4. Do all your cutting outside, to avoid mega-dust in the house - we used an angle grinder. You could use a wet tile cutter but since we didn't have that much to do, it didn't seem worth hiring one. (for our ceramic tiles we use a cheapo tile cutter)
See how J attacks tiles with his manly strength, I'm not allowed to use power tools, but more about that some other time.
5. Use a piece of chalk to label the tiles and where they have to go. This is especially handy when you need to cut outside rather than in situ. Use a separate code to label any edging strips (numbers and letters for example)
6. When cutting for the edging always use tile-spacers on their side to hold the tiles off the floor. You use he same trick when tiling above a worktop, it makes for a neater finish.
7. When putting on small tiles, put the adhesive straight on the tiles. A proper floor adhesive spreader is too un-wieldy for tiny bits, I used a pointing trowel instead
8. Work slowly and make sure your lines match up - even if the thickness of the tiles doesn't... it is part of 'the look'
9. When you are done for the day, stand back and admire your work. The chalk marks and tile spacers will have to stay until the adhesive has set.
The Nitty Gritty:
- The tiles are from Wickes, they are Grey Riven Slate Floor Tiles (the surfaces are rough and they are of irregular thickness) We used 3 packs.
- The adhesive is a premixed combined floor tile adhesive and grout, also from Wickes but they seem to have discontinued the product. We got charcoal grey. It is specifically for concrete floors and specifically for use with natural stone tiles (there are so many types of adhesive so you need to check it is the right type)
- The woodburner is a Clearview 650 with baffle boiler, it has been in the house during the entire rebuild and it needs some TLC, but that will come another day
I was Listening to:
Small was watching CBeebies in the next room so I was mostly listening to giggles (Charlie and Lola are still a firm favourite in this house)