Undercutting hearth vs transition molding?


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Old 11-21-05, 10:36 AM
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Undercutting hearth vs transition molding?

I know the pros here recommend undercutting the hearth.

Does using transition molding around the raised hearth look that bad?


What type of masonry saw are you supposed to use and how easy/hard is undercutting the hearth? Plus how far in are you supposed to undercut?


I have done some searches on masonry saws and what comes back are these table mounted saws which would not work. How much does the proper saw costs vs renting one?
 
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Old 11-21-05, 11:08 AM
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In my opinion...I don't think it would look THAT bad to use the transition molding around the hearth. I am actually doing that myself. I have heard it just looks more professional undercutting it.
 
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Old 11-21-05, 11:56 AM
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it depends on your hearth - what it's made of. if it's nice straight flat brick, trim moulding might be fine. if it's very random, uneven stone, then there's no way any moulding would work, and undercutting would be the way to go.

the cut needs to be high enough for the flooring to slip easily underneath, and deep enough for the edge of the plank to be hidden plus another 1/4" for expansion. i would think 1/2" would do it.

about the saw, in another post, someone wrote this:

I use a Crain 820 undercut saw with a diamond blade. The blade number is cr822. I think it also fits the Crain 812.
in yet another post, Carpets Done Wright said this:

A 4" diamond blade(ceramic tile blade) mounted in an angle grinder. It will cut it like butter!

Wearing gloves, goggles and a dust mast, have your shop vac handy(make a dust catcher with a smaller cardboard box, like a shoe box. Cut a hole in one end for the shop vac hose to go thru. Cut the other side of the box end almost all the way off. Leave one side on the end cut, not cut, so it bends out as a direction flap, to guide stray dust into the box. You will be cutting from left to right, so make the flap bend away from the hearth)

You can also use a washer on a scrap. Put your pencil in the hole of the washer and follow the contour of the hearth, it's trick.
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hope that helps.
 

Last edited by Annette; 11-21-05 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 11-21-05, 01:06 PM
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My hearth is not a complete straight line cut. But it is essentially straight and just a rectangle and I assume the transition molding would work.



What is an angle grinder??
 
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Old 11-21-05, 01:19 PM
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If you are going to use the transition molding...dry fit it first and then make your decision from there. At least you won't have to "assume" and then find that it may not work after you put it in...and then start all over again and go with the cutting.
 
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Old 11-21-05, 07:18 PM
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If your hearth is not flat, using an endcap molding is going to look stupid with gaps all along it to the rock.

This is a Limestone Hearth I undercut for a gluedown wood job I recently did.












Here is the Crain undercut saw. It is an angle grinder, made with a blade guide, especially for undercutting. It has a dust port for you to hook up a vacuum to. The diamond blade is sold seperately.


 
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Old 11-22-05, 06:08 AM
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How many passes?

Hey Carpets,
nice work there. How many passes did you have to do to get that right? Do you do the passes from the bottom up, vice versa or does it not matter? Is it fairly easy to do?

I am trying to find any places that would rent that tool. My first couple of places were not promising. The tool itself, while cool, I found for $250 and does not seem like I would have any other uses for so seems silly to buy one.

Also if you do undercut the hearth, do you then slide the underlayment under there as well? I know no one will be walking on it there.


OK I just re-read that older post from you that the other guy quoted. Would an angle grinder be sufficient? I imagine I could use that for some other tasks down the road and I believe it a bit less expensive.


Yeah there are no straight edges on the hearth, more like slight jagged cuts, similar to the stone in your picture, but a little closer to straight. Only my hearth is maybe 2 or 3 inches in total height. I was originally thinking of using quarter round around the hearth, but did not think I would be able to fasten it to anything? Are there any options for this? I am sure if I got a long enough nail I could angle it into the floor. I guess its possible to affix it to the hearth with some sort of adhesive, but that does not seem like the way to go.
 

Last edited by John Whorfin; 11-22-05 at 07:53 AM.
 

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