Heat-resistant tiles (for around fire place)


Old 01-06-05, 04:14 PM
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Heat-resistant tiles (for around fire place)


Thought I'd post my question here than in the fireplace forum, as it's tile related, it's not about the fireplace.

I want to retile my hearth and also around the fireplace entrance. It's a woodburning fireplace.

My question is, what type of tiles can I consider for this project?

I've read that marble is not good with heat. My neighbour has marble near his fireplace and it's cracked and pieces have chipped off near the entrance. But I don't want marble anyway. ;-)

I'm interested in Granite or Slate tiles. They provide 2 different looks, so still not sure which one I want. How do these 2 tiles stand up to heat?

I'm not interested in ceramic tiles.

Is there anything I should know about the tile adhesive / cement that I use? Obviously a heat-resistant one.

Then, second part. :-) How easy (or difficult) is it to cut granite or slate tiles with a wet saw? Is it easy to use the wet saw? I plan on hiring one from the local HD.

Old 01-06-05, 05:54 PM
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Granite and slate will be fine.

Cuts pretty easy, just don't force it into the blade.
Old 01-06-05, 08:40 PM
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You will need a modified thinset to set the tile. mastics will get brittle from the heat and let the tile go. Use a white colored thinset ( they come gray or white) so it doesn't discolor the granite. You may see the granite turn darker from the water in the thinset, but only for a few days until the thinset cures.
The tiles across the top of the fireplace opening will need to be supported by a ledger board for about 24 hours. Then you can do the sides. After the grout goes on you can run a bead of black caulk made for high heat locations around the edge of the tiles that overlap the black metal, that is if the firebox is made of black metal.
Old 01-08-05, 08:07 PM
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You can lay the tile out to figure out what the cut will be at the bottom of the leg on the fireplace make that cut and then start stacking the tile and work your way up,once you get to the top then cut you some 2x4 or something else strong enough to support the tile,you will need one piece to go across the opening and then 2 more pieces to supoport that piece and hold the tile in place.
You have options for the inside of the tile around the firebox,you can use a piece of schluter to around the inside of the opening and then caulk or you could just caulk as stated before.
Depnding on the type of look you want or like the slate would give you a rougher appearance while the granite would more elegant and alot neater looking,granite is tough stuff and hard to hurt,while some slates are a little more brittle and softer and easier to damage,and some will flake cause it is a layered tile,just depends on the type of slate.
Make sure when buying the granite that it is an true granite and not a fake granite cause some will sell you the fake telling you it is real granite.Hard to tell until you cut into it then you can tell by the color of the water and the hardness of the tile,the fake will be heavily dyed and will stain the water badly on the first cut and will be easy to run through the saw while the true granite will not stain the water badly and will be harder to cut
Old 01-08-05, 08:14 PM
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Thank you all very much for the great info and responses. It is appreciated.

I'm going with the black granite.

Thanks for the info on how to support the tiles, didn't think about that, and the weight of them.
Old 01-17-05, 10:32 AM
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Grout for slate on fireplace?

We are going to be doing the same project, only we're going to use slate on our fireplace. I am wondering, though, when we grout the slate do we cover the entire tile with the grout as you would with regular ceramic tile? Or, do we try to just grout the spaces? I am thinking that the grout will be hard to get off the slate since it's such an uneven and rough surface. I can imagine it would get stuck in all the little crevices. Also, can we apply the slate right to the drywall that is surrounding the gas fireplace?
Thanks for your input!
Old 01-17-05, 11:46 AM
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For Robert M, most black granites are VERY hard, rent a professional tile saw, they do rent them at Home Depot and tool rental centers. Do not buy one of those cheap $ 100.00 tile saws, granite laughs at those!

For Denver Dog, Home Depot carrries a sealer made by Custom building products, I can't remember the name now but it comes in a green bottle. You have to seal your slate with a penetrating sealer before you grout, it works as a grout release. You can gout either by spreading grout over everything or just the joints, but it is a lot easier to spread over all of it. T he sealer will make it much easier to clean, but more importantly, it will stop your grout from staining the slate, and yes it will still be more difficult to clean than a smooth tile.
Old 01-17-05, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll rent one rather then.

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