What to do about fireplace

Old 10-09-03, 10:05 AM
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Question What to do about fireplace

I am installing 3/4 unfinished, strip, red oak flooring in our family room. Centered on the far wall is a stone fireplace. The strips will be parallel to the front of the fireplace. I was thinking of "picture framing" the flooring (45 degree corners ec.) around the fireplace and my question is, What do I do with the gap between the picture framing and the stone?

I could saw small filler pieces between the picture frame and the stone, but I am concerned about expansion if the wood buts up against the stone. I have heard that cork, because it is flexible and can take stain, can be used to fill the gap. Has anyone used cork successfully? If so, where can I buy it?
Old 10-09-03, 10:23 AM
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Most of the time, I have seen people put grout that matches what is used with the stone to fill the gaps. It looked great!
Old 10-09-03, 04:22 PM
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The only right way to do this is to undercut the hearth with a masonary saw.

Leave an expansion gap under the hearth where it cannot be seen. Anything (like cork or grout) put in the expansion gap can (and most likely will) cause buckling of the floor the first hot humid day that comes along........
Old 10-09-03, 06:16 PM
Binary Bob
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masonry saw??

I'm planning a floating hardwood install on slab. I have a brick fireplace hearth. What masonry saw can cut the bottom of the hearth even with the slab? And how can I cut the corners of the hearth where it meets the wall? I want to make sure its a clean, even cut in case new owners may want carpet or other flooring....Yikes...this sounds like a mess..
Old 10-09-03, 09:03 PM
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An endcap molding can be used around straight brick. Uneven stone is to be undercut with a masonry or diamond blade. It is dust city, unless you have 3 hands. One to hole the shop-vac in the right place to catch the majority of the dust being thrown by the blade.
Old 10-10-03, 07:00 AM
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Can I undercut with a circular saw?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I never thought of undercutting (duh!). I have a diamond blade for my circular saw. Could I use that or is there something better?

Thanks again,
Old 10-13-03, 02:07 AM
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Can't use a circular saw. I use a Crain undercut jamb saw with a masonry blade. Another way is to use a Roto-zip with Zipmate attachment that has a 3" or so dry cut diamond blade. I have used that twice before with good results.

Some pros use an angle grinder with a masonry blade but I have not tried that method yet.
Old 10-15-03, 08:09 AM
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Success (and Failure)!

I bought an angle grinder and diamond blade and it worked like a champ. The only problem was LOTS OF DUST EVERYWHERE. There was so much dust it set off the smoke detector! (My wife's ready to divorce me.) If you plan on doing this shut off the furnace; cocoon your work area in plastic; and use a shop vac or dust collector, if you have one, to create negative pressure in your work area. The dust was more than I ever imagined and it is worse than sawdust.

In the doghouse for a while,

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